Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 by Chris Alford
As long as you have a crawl space, you can’t afford to ignore what happens there or its condition. This space is going to be in the crosshairs of moisture and the occasional running water, both of which are destructive. Add to this fluctuation in temperature and back-drafting from heating appliances, and you have a space that's going to make indoor living less joyful.
Sadly, this area only comes into the mind of homeowners when they have moisture problems or run short of storage space. This shouldn’t be the case. In the following section, you will see why you need to waterproof the crawl space beneath your home.
There’s a direct correlation between the quality of indoor air and the condition of the crawl space. A crawl space that hasn’t been waterproofed lets in mold spores and gases from heating appliances below the ground. When these get into your living space, they contaminate the quality of indoor air. You’re likely to experience more bouts of asthma and other breathing problems.
Waterproofing your crawl space using a plastic barrier prevents conditions that enable mold to grow at the same time it stops toxic gases from entering your home.
Another reason you should waterproof and encapsulate your crawl space is that it lowers your monthly energy bills. Encapsulation prevents air leakage, a common problem in energy inefficient homes. Your indoors during winter months will be warm and summer months cooler and less humid. As a result, you won’t need to run your HVAC for many hours to harmonize the temperature and humidity in the living space and crawl space.
Sealing your crawl space also helps stop water from penetrating it and causing problems. Water is a major issue during the winter and wet season. Left unchecked, the crawl space can get waterlogged. Some people think they can eliminate water by pumping it out. However, they forget the water that seeps through cracks in the foundation floor and walls. Such water can cause damage. Waterproofing your crawl space with the proper drainage, sump pump, and moisture barrier will help address it effectively.
An exposed crawl space is an open invitation for water to enter your home and damage your belongings. After a heavy downpour, you may find dirty running water entering your home. Such water will stain your belongings, drench your carpets, and bring in the mud. Is that what you want? Sealing the crawl space coupled with external and internal waterproofing will ensure your home remains dry and clean even in the wet season.
Waterproofing may seem costly at first, but wait until water enters your home via the vented crawl space. It’ll mark the beginning of prolonged and costly repairs. You will spend money fixing water damaged upholstery, carpets, furniture and appliances. Add to it the cost of water removal and clean-up, and you will have a budget that runs into thousands of dollars. So it makes sense to waterproof the crawl space when it’s dry and not after water damage.
High humidity levels in the crawl space are also bad for your foundation because it causes the foundation walls and floor to crack. Also, moisture causes wooden beams and joists to rot. This weakens the structure of the area below the home, making it ineffective in supporting your entire home. Waterproofing stops moisture from getting into this space and causing structural problems.
High moisture levels will cause dampness, which can trigger mold growth and attract pests such as rats and mice to your crawl space. Sooner or later, they will multiply and make their way into your living space. When they do, you can be sure they will contaminate your food, water, and floor, including the walls. Don’t forget both pose health risks. If you don’t want to expose your loved ones to vermin and mold, waterproof the crawl space.
If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, you will be doing yourself a favor by encapsulating it. Waterproofing isn’t just a desirable feature, it can be a major perk that can help you sell your home faster than neighbors whose homes have vented crawl spaces. Like any improvement project in the home, encapsulation will increase the value of the home.
Are you interested in waterproofing and encapsulating the crawl space your home? Not sure which solution works best? Contact your local foundation and basement repair contractor and request a free crawl space encapsulation estimate. We’ll supply you with an honest quote and give you solid recommendations that will ensure your crawl space remains dry for a long time.