Your home’s crawl space may be out of sight, don’t let it be out of mind. What goes on in your crawl space affects both your home’s structural integrity and the air quality inside your home.
What is a Crawl Space?
A crawl space foundation raises a home from 1.5 to 4 feet off the ground. The area underneath the home is called the crawl space, and it’s just roomy enough to crawl around in. Crawl spaces provide easy access to the home’s electrical wiring and plumbing. However, because crawl space floors are dirt, they’re susceptible to water infiltration, insects, rodents, and mold growth.
A Wet Crawl Space Is a Petri Dish
Crawl spaces are full of mold, wood rot, mildew, pests, droppings that could contain dangerous pathogens, and various other nasty things. As if that weren’t enough, what goes on in the crawl space doesn’t stay in the crawl space. A certain percentage of air from your crawl space makes its way into your home’s living area via the stack effect. If that air is full of allergens, people living in the home could get sick. This is why you don’t want water in your crawl space. You want a clean, dry crawl space beneath your home.
Problems caught early are less expensive to fix, and this applies to your crawl space as well. Your crawl space may be out of sight, don’t let it be out of mind. Get in the habit of inspecting your crawl space at least twice a year.
Benefits of Crawl Space Waterproofing
Your home will feel warmer in the winter and cooler during the summer – If your crawl space is humid, your home will be as well. Humidity makes your home feel colder during the winter and warmer during the summer. Turning up the heat or air conditioning leads to higher energy costs. Crawl space waterproofing along with a dehumidifier keeps the crawl space dry and that means the air flowing up into your home due to the stack effect will also be dry.
The air in your home will be cleaner – If the air in your crawl space is full of mold, mildew, and other allergens, the air in your home will be as well because of the stack effect. This could cause respiratory problems for anyone living in the home. Since properly waterproofed crawl spaces are clean, dry, and mold-free, this improves the air quality inside your home.
Crawl space waterproofing helps to preserve your home’s structural integrity – Damp crawl spaces encourage wood rot and attract wood-eating pests like termites. As the wood rot and the pests work on the beams and joists in your crawl space, the floor above will eventually be compromised, leading to expensive crawl space repair. Crawl space waterproofing along with encapsulation will stop wood rot, keep pests out and preserve your home’s structural integrity. (water going in and out….)
You gain extra storage space – An encapsulated crawl space is clean and dry, making it an ideal storage space.
Crawl space waterproofing keeps your home’s electrical wiring dry – Moisture around electrical wiring could cause shorts and increase the risk of fire.
Your home will be easier to sell – Buyers like clean, dry, encapsulated crawl spaces. This shows them that your home is structurally sound.
Signs You Might Need Crawl Space Waterproofing
Signs you might need crawl space waterproofing include:
A sagging or bouncy floor above the crawl space
Furniture that shakes when you walk by
Problems opening and closing window and doors
A musty smelling home
Visible mold in the crawl space
Pooled water in the crawl space
Evidence of pests in the crawl space
Efflorescence on crawl space walls
Crawl Space Waterproofing: A 3-Step Process
Install a drain tile system – The first step involves installing a drain tile system. When waterproofing a crawl space or basement, a drain tile system is a gold standard. Instead of merely putting up a barrier to keep water out, a drain tile system prevents water from building up in the soil around the foundation. Any excess water in the soil gets channeled toward a sump pit and ejected away from the foundation via a sump pump.
Encapsulate the crawl space – The next step is to cover the ground and the crawl space walls with a thick vapor barrier. This seals off the crawl space from the dirt floor and protects the crawl space’s wooden structures from moisture.
Add a dehumidifier – Installing a dehumidifier is the final step. This keeps the crawl space as dry as possible. A waterproofed and encapsulated crawl space with a dehumidifier can be used for storage.
If you think your home’s crawl space might need waterproofing and you’re in our service area – Greater Hampton Roads (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Williamsburg, and surrounding areas) – contact us today for a free inspection and estimate.