Whenever people move into different homes, they sometimes get carried away by the excitement of the new environment that they forget to secure the crawl space beneath their home. It’s only after a while that they realize something is wrong. By then, water will have come in and caused damage to the underlying structures. Ultimately, they could end up paying a heavy price to fix the mess that is their damaged crawl space.
Don’t develop a wait-and-see attitude. Get in touch with your local crawl space repair contractor and arrange an inspection. That way, you will know if there are problems and what you can do to resolve them. If the crawl space is in good condition, it doesn’t mean it’s immune from water. You should take active measures to keep water out. We strongly recommend that you do the following things.
1) Encapsulate the crawl space
Seal the crawl space to stop moisture, water, insects, rodents and mold spores from entering the area under your home. We recommend that you install a thick plastic vapor barrier over the walls and across the crawl space floor. It should go around barriers and be taped down. Encapsulation will lock out moisture and toxic air keeping your crawl space dry 365 days a year.
2) Grade your yard
Water is likely to enter the crawl space if the earth slopes toward the perimeter of your home. Landscape the yard and ensure no water collects around the exterior walls. A professional landscaper can help you with this.
3) Clean your gutters
In addition to changing the gradient of your yard, clear debris and dirt in your gutters and downspout extensions so water can flow freely to the exterior drainage system. A blockage could hinder water flow and cause spills near the perimeter of the home.
4) Stop water leakages
Inspect the water pipes that run through the crawl space for leaks. Fix any that are leaking as it will cause moisture problems. Over time, moisture can lead to mold growth, while water can damage the insulation material. Resolving both issues might not be cheap, so head them off at the pass while you still can.
5) Install a dehumidifier
Homes around Virginia Beach, VA, experience various levels of humidity throughout the year. Moisture levels are pretty high during hot and humid summer months. Even if you get to seal the crawl space, you won’t be able to control internal condensation until you dehumidify the crawl space. We recommend an energy-efficient unit with an automatic thermostat that works at preset times and has a self-draining mechanism.
6) Eliminate pests and rodents
If your crawl space is infested by pests, call a pest removal expert to exterminate them. Pests are more than a nuisance. They can damage insulation material and dig tunnels that can let water and moisture into the crawl space. By ridding the crawl space of them, you will be one step closer to creating a dry crawl space.
7) Seal crawl space vents and openings
Many homes that were built with crawl spaces have open crawl space vents. In the past, people thought these small openings could help keep the crawl space dry. But studies have proven otherwise. Conceal vents with covers, and seal sill plates and openings around pipes with caulk to lock out moisture.
8) Install insulation
While sealing the crawl space, remember to insulate the crawl space walls using ExTremeBloc™, an energy-efficient insulation material with a high R-value and lasting insulation value. As well as covering the walls, insulate the rim joists. Proper insulation keeps the crawl space dry and makes the home energy efficient.
9) Install an interior drainage system
Where flooding is a likelihood or leaks because of cracks, installing a French drain around the interior walls can help stop water from collecting on the crawl space floor. A clog-free drainage system will ensure all unwanted water gets out before it starts causing problems. This system is installed throughout the crawl space perimeter and intercepts leaking water from the walls and floor. This water is then directed to drain to a sump pump system, which pumps the water out of the crawl space and away from the home’s foundation.
Other measures you can take include replacing your below-the-grade access door with an airtight and waterproof crawl space door, fixing cracks on your crawl space wall, and installing a sump pump.
Have a crawl space under your new home but not sure what its condition is? Eager to seal the crawl space to stop moisture? Schedule a free crawl space inspection and estimate with the professionals at JES today!