A rat slab is a thin layer of concrete, usually at least 3 inches thick, that is poured over a dirt crawl space or basement. As its name suggests, a rat slab is primarily installed to prevent and get rid of rats, rodents, small reptiles, wood-destroying organisms, subterranean termites, and other pests from infesting into the basement or crawl space of a building or house. By covering the dirt crawl space or basement with concrete, you can prevent different kinds of pests from burrowing into the crawl space. It can serve as a solid barrier that hinders pests from penetrating into the house. But the benefits of rat slab is not only limited to the prevention of pest infestation.
A rat slab can also help improve the foundation of the building. It makes the foundation firmer and in place and it also helps prevent potential foundation and structural issues from occurring like sinking or settling, foundation cracking, uneven or sagging floor, deteriorating surface, and rotting wood floor joints. It also makes the basement or crawl space less prone to damage during building construction. Not only that, but a rat slab can likewise make the crawl space or basement clean, healthy, easy to manage, and accessible.
Different Water Issues in Crawl Spaces and Basements
Uncovered basement and crawl space floors are subject to different kinds of water-related problems.
- Water leakage
Underground springs, rainwater, or water from the ground can seep into the basement or crawl space through leaks or cracks in the soil or the foundation of the house.
- Water drainage issues
Improperly installed, or damaged downspout or gutter system can cause rainwater and wastewater to flow into the crawl space or basement.
The sudden erosion of the support surface or soft soil in the crawl space can lead to a washout. It usually happens when there is a flash flood or heavy downpour of rain. If the soil that supports the foundation is washed away, the foundation and the entire building will likely experience different structural problems like foundation settlement, uneven or unleveled floors, drywall cracks, and sinking.
Water drainage issues, heavy rain, and water leakage can cause flooding in the crawl space, which can lead to water-related problems.
Solving Water-Related Issues With a Rat Slab
An exposed basement or dirt crawl space can become one of the primary causes of water and moisture problems which can lead to major structural problems. Left uncovered, a moist dirt crawl space or basement can become a breeding ground for different kinds of pests, molds, and mildews which can not only adversely affect the structure but also cause comfort and health issues to the occupants.
There are different ways to solve water issues in crawl spaces. The most effective and efficient long-term basement or crawl space waterproofing solution, however, is to install a rat slab.
A rat slab can seal off and waterproof the surface of the crawl space. By pouring at least 3 inches concrete into the floor of the basement or crawl space, you can prevent the groundwater from seeping into the surface. It also helps avoid washout during heavy rainfall, thus helping prevent structural problems caused by foundation sinking or settling. Installing a rat slab also makes water drainage more effective. It likewise avoids floodwater from sitting in the area.
Water problems on the basements and crawl spaces are not only a major annoyance, but they also pose danger to the structural condition of the property, encourage the growth of molds, and affect the air quality and environment inside the house. This is why it is critical to fix water problems as quickly as possible. Or better yet, prevent them from occurring in the first place.