Unless you fix the dirt floor in your Baltimore, MD, crawl space, it will be an unending source of outside moisture and water from the ground. An exposed dirt floor can lead to wood rot, condensation, and ultimately mold growth. Plus, it will limit what you can do with your crawl space. Read on and find out how you can seal the perimeter and cover the dirt floor of your crawl space to keep moisture at bay.
Dirt floors allow air and moisture to enter your home, so vents are added to allow this moisture to leave the crawl space. The problem is that the air in a house flows from the bottom to the top. The air leaks out of the top of the building and leaks in from the bottom. This brings in cold air from the outside into the house during the winter.
Waterproofing a Dirt Crawl Space
A dirt floor, even one that’s topped with gravel, tends to release and absorb moisture. And this will mark the beginning of your struggles with moisture. It’s a battle you will surely lose. Save yourself the time, agony, and frustrations of dealing with a water-damaged crawl space.
Yes, it’s possible to waterproof a crawl space with a dirt floor, and it’s a good move, too. While some crawl spaces have concrete floors, the majority of them are dirt. It can be tough to find the right solutions to waterproof and repair dirt crawl spaces, but we at JES Foundation Repair offer solutions specifically designed to work with these delicate areas.
Seal crawl space vents. Vents were meant to promote air exchange but they’re counterproductive as they let in moist air. We use durable plastic vent covers that are fade-resistant and easy to install.
Crawl space interior drain system. Wet seasons in Baltimore, MD, mean your crawl space will be at risk of flooding. A subfloor piping system will arrest water from the floor and wall joints before it inundates your crawl space, and this water is then directed to a sump pump to be removed from the area.
Insulate the crawl space walls. Even if the crawl space has no vents, it’s still a good idea to cover the walls with insulation. Proper insulation is the key to creating a dry crawl space that discourages pests, which translates to a healthier home. We recommend ExTremeBloc™, a durable insulation panel that has a superior R-value. As well as reflecting heat back to the crawl space, this material prevents heat conduction.
Crawl space encapsulation. Dirt floors allow moist air and water to enter the crawl space. You need to hold back this moisture. And the best way of doing this is by encapsulating the crawl space. It involves laying down a 20-mil polyethylene plastic vapor barrier over the crawl space floor and walls. They will overlap the seals by 12 inches, then secure the barrier with double-sided tape.
Install a crawl space dehumidifier. Lingering mold spores and moisture can still cause problems such as allergies and asthma. You can improve the air quality in the crawl space and eliminate nasty smells by setting up an energy-efficient crawl space dehumidifier. It’ll help dry out the air and remove odors and mold spores hovering over the crawl space.
Benefits of Crawl Space Waterproofing
Your once wet and moldy crawl space will become clean, dry, and usable. You will be able to tame moisture and bring down heating and cooling costs. Indoor conditions will improve. Floors and walls will stay warm even during the cold season. What’s more, you won’t worry about stale air rising up to your home. Creepy crawlies won’t have a staging area to get into your home.
You’ve spent money building your home, and you want every functional space to do its job. It wouldn’t be nice to have a crawl space that’s going to cause problems for the rest of your home. Isolate it from the outside and seal the vents. This way, it’ll stay dry and trouble-free all year round. If you need urgent crawl space repairs and waterproofing, be sure to contact JES Foundation Repair. We provide free crawl space inspections and repair quotes along with solid waterproofing recommendations to best suit your home’s unique needs.