Three Ways to Waterproof Your Crawlspace
Living in the wet and humid climate of the Carolinas has its advantages; after all, water is essential to life. But the presence of water in places it shouldn't be can cause significant headaches. Homeowners who've dealt with excess water in their crawlspaces know the best way to avoid the issues excess water can cause—mold, rot, pests, higher energy costs, and unhealthy air quality in your home—to prevent the problem in the first place.
How can you tell if you have a problem? This is a great question, especially when considering a certain amount of moisture to be expected given the climate. While water seepage from surrounding soils can cause problems, the more serious issues arise from cracks or gaps in the foundation and condensation. It may seem counterintuitive that condensation can be such a problem; this is the south. But in fact, water vapor can be just as serious if not more damaging to your home than the water itself. The moisture from water vapor causes rot and mildew that attracts pests and makes your house harder to heat and cool. These problems don't stay put. As much as 50% of the air in your home comes from below, carrying musty smells, mold, and dust mites.
Any homeowner can spot signs that may indicate you have excess moisture in your crawlspace. Standing water is the most obvious one, especially after an intense rainstorm. Your foundation has become oversaturated after heavy rain, standing water, or wet soil on your crawlspace floor. If you notice your insulation is damp or sagging, or you have wet floor joists (the wood beaming that runs along with your crawlspace's ceiling), or bouncy, sagging floors, your moisture problem is already at a critical juncture. It needs to be immediately addressed by a professional.
The good news is there are great ways to combat extra moisture in your crawlspace. The helpful professionals at Carolina Basement Solutions suggest three different solutions, depending on the severity of your moisture problem.
1. The Vapor Barrier
Because most crawlspaces have dirt floors, they naturally contain some water. Where there's water, there's evaporation, which can get absorbed by your floors. One of the simplest ways to prevent moisture problems inside a crawlspace with dirt floors is to install a proper vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is a system that blocks water vapor, assists with controlling the moisture levels, and helps prevent significant issues like wood rot and mildew. A vapor barrier's efficacy is dependent on how absorbent it is and how well it is installed. Carolina Basement Solutions recommends professional installation of a vapor barrier of at least 14 mil., either a Flexi-Seal or Flexi-Foil system, to block water vapor and control moisture levels properly.
2. An Encapsulation System with Dehumidifier
Vapor barriers are reasonably effective at managing the moisture in a crawlspace. Still, some situations require a more comprehensive solution to keep water at bay, especially if the health of your overall foundation is in jeopardy. Installing a crawlspace encapsulation system is one of the most efficient and effective ways to control moisture and humidity levels inside your crawlspace. While a vapor barrier covers only the floor of a crawlspace, an encapsulation system is all-encompassing, covering the walls and columns and completely sealing all seams, vents, holes, and cracks in the crawlspace.
Carolina Basement Solutions specializes in installing crawlspace encapsulation systems that use an antibacterial 20 mil. Flexi-Seal vapor barrier to line the floors of the crawlspace and a 14-mil moisture radiant barrier to line the walls; this removes unwanted moisture and prevents structural issues, and increases your home's energy efficiency, reducing your energy bills by up to 20%.
To optimize your encapsulation system, many homeowners consider adding a dehumidifier system to keep the moisture level constant in your crawlspace, regardless of the conditions outside. Experts recommend keeping the humidity level below 50% to ensure no mold growth is possible. If your crawlspace is incredibly dark, cool, and moist, a dehumidifier may be needed in addition to an encapsulation system. The Carolina Basement Solutions experts can recommend based on your circumstances.
3. Crawlspace Waterproofing System
Homeowners concerned with the value of their investment often choose a comprehensive waterproofing system as the best way to keep out unwanted water and moisture from a home's crawlspace or basement. Because water damage and mold can decrease a home's value by as much as 25%, waterproofing systems add unprecedented value to your home by protecting it from rapid depreciation.
A waterproofing system by Carolina Basement Solutions uses only ICC-ES Certified products, the leading industry standard for all structures, commercial and residential. The complete procedure is designed to do two things: repair old damage and prevent any new damage in the future. The maintenance side as a homeowner includes sealing and caulking cracks and seams and ensuring proper drainage maintenance by clearing your gutters of leaves and debris and making sure your downspouts extend at least 6 feet away from your foundation.
The prevention component of a comprehensive waterproofing system provides a permanent solution to water and moisture issues. It includes a moisture barrier, a diverter, a drainage system, a sump pump, and a backup system to divert water properly and away from your home. This system provides the peace of mind of healthier indoor air quality and protection for your foundation, thereby protecting your home's value and future energy cost savings.
"We recently moved into a new place with a crawlspace," says homeowner Paul S. of Greensboro. "Our realtor had recommended Carolina Basement Solutions, and we are very pleased with the work. The crew was very friendly and professional. They kept us updated throughout the day and did a great job. We had some follow-up questions, and the technical sales consultant came to assist. Friendly and professional, and our crawlspace looks great. Highly recommend the folks at Carolina Basement Solutions."
If you've recently seen any of these signs of water damage or moisture in your crawlspace, it's best not to wait. Call a professional today like the experts at Carolina Basement Solutions.