Wondering if you need crawl space waterproofing? You probably do unless you live in an arid area. You know, like a desert.
Water is something you don’t want in your home’s crawl space because it’s bad for your foundation. Moisture contributes to wood rot and attracts wood-eating pests. As wood rot and termites work on your beams and joists, your floor will eventually weaken, leading to expensive repairs.
A wet crawl space is also the perfect petri dish for mold. Since a certain percentage of air from the crawl space flows up and into your home’s living area, you want the crawl space to be clean and dry, not full of mold spores and other allergens.
This article will go over the benefits of waterproofing a crawl space, how crawl space waterproofing is done, signs you might need your crawl space waterproofed, and more.
The benefits of waterproofing a crawl space include:
For more information about moisture and foundations, see Don’t Make These 6 Mistakes When Landscaping Around Your House’s Foundation.
Crawl space waterproofing involves digging a sump pit and excavating around the foundation down to the level of the footer. A shallow trench is created and lined with gravel. A perforated drainage pipe is then placed in the trench and covered with more gravel. Finally, the excavated soil is put back.
Excess water in the soil around the foundation will now flow into the drainage pipe and be directed to a sump pit. When the sump pit fills with water, a sump pump kicks in and releases the water away from the foundation. The water could be released without using a sump pump, if the grading around your home permits it.
Crawl space encapsulation involves covering the floor and walls of the crawl space with a thick vapor barrier. After the seams are sealed, the crawl space’s dirt floor is sealed off, and the result is a clean crawl space suitable for storing certain items. Adding a dehumidifier ensures that moisture can’t build up in the crawl space. For more information, see Crawl Space Vapor Barriers.
Signs your home might need crawl space waterproofing include:
The cost of crawl space waterproofing depends on various factors including your geographical location and the size of the crawl space. The only way to know for sure how much it will cost to waterproof your crawl space is to contact a foundation repair contractor with experience waterproofing crawl spaces and ask for a repair estimate.
We don’t recommend homeowners attempt DIY crawl space waterproofing. It’s hard work and requires a crew to get the job done quickly. Also, crawling around in an unwaterproofed, un-encapsulated crawl space can be dangerous. You might encounter pests, including rodents or snakes, airborne mold spores, dangerous animal droppings, sharp items on the crawl space floor, etc. Never venture into an unwaterproofed, un-encapsulated crawl space without protective gear, including a respirator.
When you hire a professional to waterproof your crawl space, you know it will be done properly, more quickly, and come with a warranty. (Never hire anyone to waterproof your crawl space that doesn’t offer a warranty.)
If you believe – based on the above signs – that your home needs crawl space waterproofing and you’re in our service area in Kansas City, MO, contact us today for a free inspection and repair estimate.