Knowing how to prevent moisture in your crawl space will spare your home from a host of costly problems. Since 98% of basement areas, including crawl spaces, will have eventual water damage, you’ll benefit from planning on some type of water damage mitigation.
Although many crawl space issues start off being relatively minor, they have the potential to worsen over time. Regular maintenance and quick mitigation will help prevent many of the worst problems.
What is a Crawl Space, and How Does It Attract Moisture?
A crawl space is a hollow area between the ground and a home’s first floor, which is not present in all homes. Most crawl spaces are 1-4 ft. high, providing a space just big enough for a contractor to crawl in.
There are many possible avenues for water to get into a crawl space. Plumbing leaks are one of the most common ways for this to happen. Sometimes leaks in crawl spaces aren’t noticed right away.
Sometimes, holes in foundation walls can allow moisture in. The usual cause in these circumstances is saturated soil pressing against the foundation.
Crawl space vents are also possible entrances for water. With the humidity that North Carolina experiences, this is a real problem.
Why Do You Need to Prevent Moisture in Your Crawl Space?
One of the top reasons to prevent moisture in your crawl space is to prevent mold and mildew. In addition to being unsightly and smelly, both can cause health problems, especially for people living with allergies or asthma.
Standing water in your crawl space from poor drainage can damage appliances or items stored in your crawl space. Water can also be host to venomous snakes, especially after hurricanes or similar weather events.
Sometimes, damp crawl spaces attract rodents and similar pests. Rodents are a health threat, in particular, because their droppings carry serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases.
What Are Some Insulation and Vapor Barrier Options for Crawl Spaces?
Having your crawl space waterproofed is one of the most important steps to take in keeping moisture out. A 10-mil vapor barrier will help provide the greatest amount of protection.
You should also consider making sure that your crawl space’s floor is covered. Having your contractor install the vapor barriers in continuous runs will help ensure the greatest protection.
Proper grading of about five inches per foot will help keep excess water out of your crawl space. You can also have extra protection from having a drain installed in the crawl space.
Using a dehumidifier when you need to dry out the crawl space is always a good idea. Having ventilation fans installed in crawl spaces that have a venting system is also a smart move.
Keeping Your Crawl Space Dry
There are a few best practices that can always benefit you when your crawl space needs drying. Putting these practices into use will help you achieve better results.
Safety is always of primary importance, which makes getting professional help all the more important. Crawl space contractors have the protective gear and equipment required to get the job done.
Knowing where the moisture is coming from will be helpful in getting this situation resolved. Your contractor will have a better idea of what mitigation measures are available to you.
Once your contractor has had a chance to inspect your crawl space, you’ll have a better idea of what’s needed to get your crawl space back on track. Some possible measures may include encapsulation, which involves installing a water vapor barrier.
Sump pumps and ventilation systems may also be options. Working closely with your contractor will help you find a suitable solution.
Falcone Crawl Space can help prevent moisture in your crawl space through multiple proven solutions; contact us today for more information.