If your home has a crawl space, it’s crucial for you to ensure that water never gets in the area. Failing to do so will cause plenty of problems such as mold growth, pest and insect infestation, and structural damage. Your health might also be put at risk since molds can trigger allergy symptoms. Pests and insects like rodents, cockroaches, and mosquitoes may also cause infectious diseases.
Crawl space waterproofing is one of the best ways to prevent water from entering the underside of your home. If you’ve never heard about it before, here’s how it is normally done:
Step 1: Determine Where the Water Is Coming From
The first thing contractors usually do before waterproofing the underside of a home is to find out where the water is coming from, and then fix it. Cracks in the foundation, low water tables, and leaky pipes are some of the top causes of water in crawl spaces.
Step 2: Remove Old Vapor Barriers and Insulations
Once the source of water in your crawl space had been determined and fixed, the next thing waterproofing contractors do is get rid of any debris in your crawl space. This includes any old vapor barriers and falling fiberglass insulations.
A vapor barrier is a sheet of a plastic liner that helps block out vapors and odors that evaporate from the earth. It can normally last for five to ten years depending on how damp the underside of your home is. On the other hand, fiberglass insulation is made of plastic reinforced by tiny glass fibers. Its main purpose is to absorb moisture. However, it can gradually gain weight and fall down.
Step 3: Seal All Windows and Vents
Crawl space vents and windows are designed to provide airflow in the area. However, they can also cause high humidity in the underside of your home. If this happens, you may experience plenty of issues such as mold growth, pest and insect infestation, structural damage, and even health problems. To prevent such things from happening, waterproofing contractors need to seal your windows and vents.
Step 4: Dig a Trench and Install the Drainage
If there’s standing water in the underside of your home, then it could mean that your low point drain does not allow the water to flow out of the area. To solve this problem, your waterproofing contractors will have to dig trenches around the perimeter of your crawl space, sloping it to wherever the water should go.
Once the trenches are dug, pipes are then placed around them. A sump pump is also installed at the lowest point of the crawl space. Its main job is to collect water and eject it outside your property. After the installation, the contractors will then fill the trenches and cover the pipes with drain rocks.
Step 5: Encapsulate the Area or Install a Vapor Barrier
After installing the drainage system, the next thing waterproofing contractors will do is install a new vapor barrier or encapsulate your crawl space. As stated above, a vapor barrier can help prevent gases, moisture, and vapors from getting into the area.
Encapsulation, on the other hand, offers plenty of benefits, which include preventing mold and mildew growth, warding off insects and pests, improving indoor air quality, and increasing your home’s energy efficiency. This is why many waterproofing contractors prefer it over installing vapor barriers.
Step 6: Install a Dehumidifier
If you’ve chosen to encapsulate your crawl space, then experts suggest that you also install a drying mechanism like a dehumidifier system. Encapsulation alone may not be able to prevent moisture from getting to the underside of your property, especially with the wide temperature variations we experience.
So, to ensure that moisture never gets in the area, you need to install a dehumidifier. It also prevents many issues like high energy bills and structural problems.
Get in Touch With a Waterproofing Company Today!
Now that you know how to waterproof a crawl space, you might think that you can make it as a DIY project. However, sealing the underside of your property isn’t a one-man job, especially if you don’t have the tools and proper knowledge about it. So, the best thing you can do is contact a waterproofing company. They’ll surely be more than happy to help you with your needs.