If you are experiencing moisture problems in your crawl space or basement, know that you are not alone. According to studies, over 95% of homes in the United States with a crawl space or basement experience flooding and other water-related problems.
Water problems in the crawl space or basement is a serious problem that needs to be properly dealt with. If left unaddressed, the standing water or excessive moisture inside the crawl space or basement can encourage the growth of molds and mildew, invite pests, affect the overall quality of indoor air, and damage the structure of your home. When they get more serious, moisture-related problems can be very costly to repair.
Crawl space/basement waterproofing is critical to ensuring the structural stability of your home. While they seem to be just the same, the process of waterproofing the basement may be different from waterproofing the crawl space.
Basement Waterproofing Techniques
- Interior basement waterproofing
Interior basement waterproofing includes sealing off holes and cracks in the floors, walls, doors, or windows of the basement. These cracks and holes may serve as a pathway that allows the water from the outside of your home to enter the basement. This can be done by applying waterproof sealants in the walls and floors of your basement.
- Exterior basement waterproofing
While it is possible to prevent condensation and to keep the humidity levels in your basement at a minimum level, it is not enough to simply do interior waterproofing. Most of the time, the bigger problem is caused by exterior factors. Unlike interior waterproofing, exterior basement waterproofing is a more complicated, costly, time-consuming, and labor-intensive process. This method includes:
- Applying polymer base waterproof sealant to the exterior walls.
- Excavation of the soil around the foundation.
- Repairing poorly functioning or creating a new drainage system.
- Installing or fixing the gutters.
- Keeping the ground surrounding the foundation slope away from your home.
Crawl Space Waterproofing Techniques
There are four ways to eliminatewater in the crawl space. These are the following:
- Vapor Barrier
Installing a vapor barrier directly to the crawl space floor can prevent moisture and groundwater from getting into the surface and from accumulating and condensing on the walls, ceilings, and other wood surfaces in the area.
Installing a ventilator can help regulate the air and temperature inside the crawl space. It can likewise help bring down the humidity levels in the crawl space, thus, helping prevent moisture-related issues. To make it effective, though, you must use a ventilator that automatically opens and closes based on the temperature.
Encapsulation is a way of completely sealing off the crawl space to avoid moisture build-up and prevent the groundwater from accumulating in the surface area. It involves covering the ground, ceilings, supports, and walls of the crawl space with high-density impervious liners like heavy-duty polyethylene barrier or swimming pool liner.
- Rat Slab
A rat slab is a three to four inches thick concrete poured over the ground of a dirt crawl space. It serves as a concrete barrier between your house and the ground that prevents ground-water from sipping into the crawl space. Unlike other crawl space waterproofing methods, installing a rat slab offers a permanent and lasting solution not only to different moisture-related issues but also to other crawl space problems like pest infestation. To make the rat slab more effective in waterproofing your crawl space, you may use a reliable dehumidifier. The dehumidifier will help regulate the environment inside the crawl space, making it drier and cleaner. Apart from these four, you can also further waterproof your crawl space by using the exterior basement waterproofing method.