Moving into your new Charlotte, NC, home shouldn’t overshadow your concern or care for the crawl space. Once the crawl space starts deteriorating, the excitement of your home will disappear. Our advice is simple and plain. Take good care of your crawl space and it will remain intact and useful for years.
Crawl space care is an integral part of routine home care, yet for some people, it’s something that never crosses their minds. It’s only when moisture and water start threatening their homes that they take meaningful action. Let’s look at six practical measures you can take to avert crawl space moisture and water problems.
1) Seal Vents and Other Openings
If you’ve got a vented crawl space for air circulation and drying purposes, this actually is hurting your home. Crawl space vents have been the norm for many years, but the stance on these openings is changing. Vented crawl spaces are easily damaged by outside air, water, and pests that make their way inside to create unhealthy living conditions for you and your family. It’s best to seal these openings with airtight vent covers and doors.
Also pay attention to crawl space cracks, as they also can be a conduit for water and pests. The tiniest cracks can widen in no time and expose your crawl space to water. Some people attempt DIY, but that’s a superficial solution. When a local contractor comes to your home, they will inspect the cracks and recommend the right fix from a range of proven solutions. We’re not just welding the cracks by rectifying the issues that triggered them.
2) Interior Drainage and Sump Pump Installation
As part of your flood prevention and water damage control, get an interior drainage system like CrawlDrain™ and a trusted sump pump. CrawlDrain™ collects leaking water and directs it to the sump pump system to be pumped out of your crawl space and away from your home. Without a functional interior drainage system or sump pump, your crawl space may quickly turn into a waterpark. Anything inside will get wet. You can avoid surprises and heartache by ensuring you have a sump pump that ejects water quickly.
3) Crawl Space Encapsulation
No crawl space waterproofing method does a better job of protecting the crawl space than encapsulation. It will lock out moisture, pests, and keep the low space under your home dry. Ask your contractor to assess the crawl space and see if it’s ready for encapsulation. Expect some cleaning and slight repairs before sealing starts. Your contractor will line your crawl space walls and floor with a thick 20-mil plastic vapor barrier, then double tape it at the seams. It will go right to the top of the block walls and leave space for inspectors like pest control specialists. With a barrier this thick firmly in place, your crawl space can withstand whatever weather comes its way, including routine inspections without getting torn.
4) Insulate the Crawl Space
If you have an old home (built before the 90s), there’s a chance it’s lacking insulation, an important element in your crawl space. Insulation prevents interior air from coming into contact with cold crawl space surfaces. We normally use non-water sensitive ExTremeBloc™ foam board insulation panels on the walls and spray foam insulation in the rim joists.
5) Get a Dehumidifier
You’d expect that your moisture issues would be over by the time you’re sealing the crawl space. Not so. Sealing only locks out moisture from the outside. What about the internal moisture hovering around the crawl space air? If you don’t deal with it, it will come to haunt you. Yes, internal moisture will always remain a threat to your crawl space. The only way to tame it is to install an energy-efficient, self-draining dehumidifier that will clean and filter the air, control moisture and humidity, eliminate odors, and prevent mold growth.
6) Look at Your Landscaping
Your yard could be the weakest link in your quest to waterproof the crawl space from the outside. If the gutters and downspouts are intact but the landscape slopes toward the crawl space, your efforts are all in vain. Water will flow right back into the crawl space and not away as you intend. Ask your local landscaping contractor to work on the yard so water can flow away. This way, you won’t have to worry about backflows whenever there’s a heavy downpour. Have an exposed, vented, or damaged crawl space? Talk to the crawl space professionals at Mount Valley Foundation Services. We’re happy to provide you with a free crawl space repair inspection and quote in Charlotte, NC. Once we understand what issues you’re facing, we’ll apply an appropriate fix.