With all the excitement and anxiety that comes with moving houses, the crawl space is one area that’s likely to stay out of mind until disaster strikes. You shouldn’t overlook it. Leaving it exposed could open your home to moisture, which can lead to many problems, including structural damage.
Act now while you still have the time. Here are six preventive tips that might help you create a dry and usable crawl space.
Improve Water Drainage
When the rains start falling, water can enter your open crawl space and pond on the floor. This will mark the start of your moisture issues or water problems. To protect your crawl space, install an interior drainage system and a sump pump. Pairing both creates a formidable defense against water from multiple sources. The drains will collect water and take it to the sump pump, which ejects it outside. The waterproofing experts in your area can help you with sump pump sizing and drainage installation.
Seal Open Vents and Wall Cracks
Your open crawl space vents do more harm than good to your crawl space. As long as they’re open, moisture control will become impossible. Mice and insects will also have a free pass to your crawl space. You can help make it difficult for water and pests to get inside by sealing the vents using airtight vent covers.
If there are cracks on the walls, make sure they’re all sealed before your move into your new home. Small cracks can widen with time and allow water to seep through.
Encapsulate the Crawl Space
Here, your local contractor uses a 20-mil plastic vapor barrier to enclose the crawl space. What this material does is separate your crawl space from the ground and the outside.
Such a heavy-duty plastic barrier is an effective deterrent against moisture and pollutants from the outside. With no moisture coming in unabated or creepy crawlies making forays, your crawl space stays dry and healthy. And that means less repairs.
Insulate the Crawl Space
You can bolster your waterproofing efforts and prevent moisture problems by applying the right insulation to the crawl space walls. As you do so, pay attention to areas that are prone to leakage. Properly installed insulation creates an unbroken barrier that keeps moisture out of the crawl space. It also makes it more difficult for rodents and pests seeking an entrance to your home.
We recommend ExTremeBloc™, a durable, rigid insulation that’s water-resistant and is manufactured with an integrated termiticide. Hard-to-reach areas like rim joists can be insulated with spray foam. Once installed, the insulation will make your crawl space noticeably warmer and can lower your monthly energy costs.
Get a Dehumidifier
Your home is likely to experience high humidity in the warm summer. Left unchecked, moisture buildup can instigate wood rot and attract thirsty vermin and insects. You can avoid this scenario by installing a dehumidifier. This appliance dries out the crawl space air, ensuring that humidity remains below 50%, which is the acceptable threshold.
We recommend a high-efficiency dehumidifier with a larger holding capacity. Go for one that also has a thermostat that can turn it on and off. This way, you won’t have to manually turn on your device when the crawl space is damp and off when the moisture levels drop.
Grade Your Landscaping
Have a yard with negative grading? Ask your local landscaper to come and re-grade it so it has a positive slope. Expect some excavation work around your yard. The contractor might also build up the landscape to attain the right grading. Ideally, the ground should slope by six inches for every foot around your home.
A positive grading ensures that the ground slopes away from your home’s perimeter. Whenever there’s a downpour or snow melts, water will flow out and away to a designated place.
Talk to a Crawl Space Expert
Crawl space repairs and waterproofing are among our specialties at Groundworks. If you need help with insulation. Encapsulation, or repairs, contact the crawl space experts in your area to schedule a free crawl space inspection and repair quote. We can help you implement the necessary measures so your crawl space stays healthy and water-free.