As much you’d like to move into a new home and settle in fast, we can tell you that your excitement will only last for as long as the crawl space remains dry. You’ll realize this space is under constant attack from moisture, pests, and the elements. All these can gang up, hurt the crawl space and lower the quality of indoor life.
Unfortunately, some people get inducted into the world of crawl spaces in a painful way. We wouldn’t want you to take this route. It’s going to be messy and costly. Here are six things you can do to keep moisture out of the crawl space all year round.
1) Seal Vents and Openings
Vented crawl spaces have been the norm for years, but it’s proven to be more harmful than useful to homes. Vents allow outside air, water, and pests into your crawl space to wreak havoc and create unhealthy conditions for you and your family. To keep these nuisances out, be sure airtight vent covers and doors are used to seal your crawl space.
Also be on the lookout for any cracks or other openings in the walls. Your biggest worry should be the crevices that let in water and insects. Left unchecked, cracks will continue to expand and weaken your home. Repairs will be expensive and disruptive.
Trust in a local foundation and crawl space repair contractor to address these issues the right way the first time so your home is properly protected.
2) Install Drainage and a Sump Pump
A low-lying area such as the crawl space will experience flooding issues at some point in time. Flooding is the most serious threat. When it happens, your entire crawl space could be submerged. Rainstorms are the common culprits, but leaking water pipes can contribute to this problem. Your only hope and protection lie in crawl space waterproofing methods including interior drainage and a sump pump. The CrawlDrain™ interior drainage system will collect leaking water and direct it to a sump pump system. The sump pump, installed at the lowest point in the crawl space, will eject water fast before it causes problems.
3) Encapsulate the Crawl Space
One of the best ways of protecting your crawl space is by sealing it with a vapor barrier, which goes over the floor and walls and around obstacles. This solution will lock out moisture from the outside and water from the soil, and avert problems like wood rot, mold growth, and pest incursion. We recommend a 20-mil plastic. Besides controlling moisture, the plastic barrier also acts as an insulation of sorts that will keep your home warmer during cool months and cooler in hot and sultry summer months.
4) Insulate the Crawl Space
Moisture buildup has the potential to weaken your crawl space, especially the wooden structures such as joists and beams. Adding insulation to the crawl space wall seals it completely, ensuring water and moisture doesn’t infiltrate. The outcome is a warmer crawl space that’s also free from rodents, radon gas and crawling insects.
5) Get a Dehumidifier
Your crawl space waterproofing efforts would be incomplete without a dehumidifier. Dehumidification plays an important role in that it bolsters whatever you want to achieve by sealing the crawl space.
Remember, moisture will hover around the atmosphere for days. Unless you measure humidity, you may assume everything is ok. You have to clear it out before it can cause problems. A dehumidifier sucks out moisture from the air, creating a dry space. It will come in handy during hot and humid summer months.
6) Think About Your Landscaping
When was the last time you attended to your yard? Taking care of external issues is just as important as addressing the internal factors that instigate moisture. One of these is landscaping. How the yard slopes will determine whether the crawl space will get wet or not. Ensure that your yard slopes away from the perimeter of your home so rainwater won’t flow back.
Worried about your crawl space?
Get in touch with the professionals at Florida Foundation Authority for a free crawl space repair inspection and quote in Orlando, FL. We’re happy to check the condition of the crawl space and recommend lasting solutions to problems such as moisture buildup or condensation.