Your crawl space isn’t impregnable. During winter, it could come under assault from freezing cold, snow, and melt-offs. All these have the potential to damage it. The situation could be much worse if there are holes or cracks on your walls or other issues. To stop water damage and mold growth, here’s what you need to do to protect this area of your home and why waterproofing your crawl space is so important.
Block Crawl Space Vents
If your crawl space has vents, you have to seal them up before you attempt any waterproofing. These openings allow air to flow in and out of crawl space continuously. If they stay open, you’re going to find it difficult to tame moisture. Crawl space vent covers are your answer to this problem. They’re installed right on top of the vents, cutting off outside air, water, and pests.
Install Interior Drainage
Next, you need to have a way to keep out water that can leak in tough other means like through wall cracks or the ground. An interior drainage system intercepts this water and redirects it to a sump pump so it will not collect and wreak havoc on the space.
Install a Crawl Space Sump Pump
Fluctuating temperatures in St. Louis, MO means ice could thaw and refreeze. Any melt-off has the potential to release huge amounts of water into your crawl space. To protect this area and beat back the water, get a sump pump and install it at the lowest point in the crawl space. What this device does is eject water that is collected by the interior drainage system before it causes damage.
Insulate Your Crawl Space
Your crawl space will feel unusually cold during this time. This might force you to run your heater for long hours just to raise the temperatures. Installing crawl space insulation can help create a warm and energy-efficient interior. Your insulation is placed on walls and on the rim joists, two areas that allow heat to escape the most. As well as retaining heat, the insulation will hold back moisture from the walls. Best of all, it also helps protect water supply lines that run through the crawl space from cold air that could cause them to freeze and burst.
Encapsulate Your Crawl Space
One of the smartest ways of protecting the crawl space is by encapsulating it. This exercise entails covering the floor and walls with a heavy-duty 20-mil plastic vapor barrier. It’s secured at about six inches up the wall. Seams are made to overlap them and are taped for maximum protection. Once in place, this liner isolates the crawl space from the earth and keeps water vapor, mold, and pests out of your crawl space. Floors will feel warmer and the air will become healthy.
Get a Dehumidifier
Whether you have a concrete floor or a dirt one, your crawl space is prone to water damage from moisture and seepage. These can lead to mold growth and poor air quality. We can help you install a self-draining, energy-efficient dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. Our system comes with a filter that keeps debris and other objects out.
Re-grade the Yard
While a lot of the waterproofing happens on the interior, you shouldn’t forget that water comes from the outside. Check the grading of your yard. If it slopes inwards or it’s flat, you’ll want to re-grade it so water flows out and away from the crawl space.
Fix Gutters and Downspouts
Winter rain and melt-off from snow on the roof are other risks that threaten the crawl space. Make sure the gutters and downspouts are functional and strong to channel any water that’s coming from the roof away from your home’s perimeter. Don’t let winter weather, especially snow and melt-off, ruin your crawl space. Get in touch with Foundation Recovery Systems for a free inspection and repair quote. Our experts will assess your crawl space and recommend waterproofing solutions that will keep moisture and water out for good.