The crawlspace is the small area under your house that is prone to moisture. Once the crawlspace gets damp, your home is at risk for foundation damage and mold issues that can lead to expensive repairs. You can save time and money by waterproofing a crawlspace before damage occurs.
The vents in your crawlspace are designed to allow for airflow, but unfortunately, these vents invite humidity inside. In addition to the extra moisture, vents allow pests to enter your home and promote wood rot. All of these invasions can lead to extensive damage. Moisture breeds mold and causes issues that weaken the foundation as well as cause health issues within your home. If your vents are louvered, you can easily close them. Otherwise, you can use foam to seal them.
If you find standing water in the crawlspace, you will need to install a sump pump. Sump pumps remove the water and redirect it away from the house. They are usually found in basements, but they work nicely in crawlspaces as well. They run automatically as they are needed, and you can find ones with battery backup so that they continue to work during a power outage. There are several models to choose from. Some are designed to be turned on when there is a risk of flooding, while others can be used all year long.
A vapor barrier is created from 6 mm thick polyethylene sheets that are puncture-proof. These sheets are placed on the ground, around the wood joists, and on the walls of the crawlspace. The overlapping sheets are taped, and the edges are anchored for a complete seal. While it is best to hire a professional to do the work, a homeowner with the right skills can install the barrier themselves. The materials are available from your local home improvement retailer.
Encapsulation is a wonderful investment for homes in flood-prone areas. It uses a thicker plastic than a vapor barrier, and it covers the ceiling as well. This provides further protection, and it creates an airtight lock against moisture as well as pests. It is often used with a dehumidifier for best results. Professional installation is available from 58 Foundation.
Waterproofing the exterior is costly and requires professional help, but it is one of the most reliable solutions when waterproofing a crawlspace. It eliminates the need for any of the above-mentioned options. Waterproofing the exterior is typically done during the home’s construction, but it is possible to provide this on an existing house too. You want a professional to do the work because it will involve excavating the foundation walls, applying a moisture barrier, and incorporating a drainage system. If done improperly, it could damage the home’s structure.
These simple tips can help you avoid costly repairs due to water damage in the crawlspace. They are simple to accomplish, and they ensure the longevity of your foundation.