The Importance of Crawl Space Waterproofing
Crawl spaces are dark and damp with humidity levels ranging from 50%-90% which provide the ideal environment for mold growth, mildew, insects and rodents. If left untreated, these problems can be difficult to eradicate, causing damage to the property and posing a serious health threat.
Engineers and building experts recommend that crawl spaces be encapsulated and waterproofed. This will increase energy efficiency in the home and eliminate problems with moisture, mold and insects.
A little over 50% of the air in a typical home originates from the basement or crawl space. In addition to the environmental pollutants that may enter a living space, water below a home and humidity in the crawl space will evaporate into vapor and spread throughout the upper floors through a process called the stack effect which pulls damp air from the lower levels to the upper levels of a house.
Crawl Space Waterproofing Methods
- An Interior Drain System uses pipe installed below floor level to direct water to a sump pit with a sump pump. The water is discharged out of the crawl space and away from the home’s foundation to prevent further damage. A battery backup can be added to ensure operation during power outages.
- A Encapsulation/Vapor Barrier System will seal off the crawl space and protect against incoming moisture, insects, and rodents while adding visual appeal with its bright white color.
- A Crawlspace dehumidifier will reduce humidity levels to a safe range. It also includes an optional air exchange system to improve indoor air quality throughout the home and reduce energy costs.
Crawl Space waterproofing and encapsulation is an effective home improvement investment which will improve indoor air quality, save energy, deter pests, create extra storage space and increase the value of your home. Call the experts at Vulcan Basement Waterproofing for a free on-site evaluation.
Have you noticed a musty odor or mold growth in your crawl space? Often these odors are also noticeable in your living space.
These are signs of high humidity. One way to prevent moisture in a crawl space is to install a whole-home dehumidifier.
Causes of Excess Moisture in a Crawl Space
Excess crawl space moisture can be caused by:
Standing water caused by poor drainage, a leak or condensation on pipes.
Moisture evaporating directly from the ground.
Outdoor air coming in through crawl space vents. Relative humidity (RH) is dependent upon the temperature, so RH might be closer to the saturation point indoors at cooler temperatures.
It’s Important to Remove Excess Moisture in a Crawl Space
High humidity in your crawl space can damage items you store there, cause structural damage and affect the indoor air quality of your entire home.
Too much humidity can cause:
Mold and mildew growth: These types of fungi cause a musty smell and ruin items like clothing, furniture, books and more. Mold can also cause wood to rot, resulting in structural damage. Airborne mold and mildew spores can cause a host of health problems, such as asthma, allergies and sinus infections.
Dust mites: These microscopic creatures can also cause asthma flare-ups as well as eczema.
Rust: The metal on your tools, appliances and other items may rust faster.
“Elevated relative humidity at a surface—70 percent or higher—can lead to problems with mold, corrosion, decay and other moisture related deterioration…An elevated relative humidity in carpet and within fabrics can lead to dust mite infestation and mildew.”
–U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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