A crawl space is an unoccupied, unfinished, narrow space within a building, or home, between the ground and the first floor. It normally houses access to plumbing and wiring and can be damp, dark, and have a musty smell. If your crawl space has any standing water, or isn’t encapsulated, it can cause mold issues and bad air quality in your home.
Why is mold bad in a crawl space?
When your crawl space isn’t encapsulated – which includes adding a heavy-duty moisture barrier to the floor of your crawl space, sealing foundation vents, insulating walls, and adding a crawl space dehumidifier – mold can start to grow. If your crawl space humidity gets to about 70%, then you will have mold growth, which can be very concerning for you or your family’s health. If you allow water to build up in the crawl space, your home might start to smell musty. In addition, if there is hot, humid air in this space, it can travel upwards into your home and increase the humidity of your home.
What else can happen if you don’t get your crawl space encapsulated?
A wet crawl space can damage wood joists and beams, which will compromise the integrity of your home. If water is present in the crawl space area for too long, it can cause the wood to rot and crumble. Moisture and water can buckle, warp, and bend expensive hardwood flooring. Insects also love standing water, so if you allow the moisture to build up in your crawl space, you will most likely see an influx of bugs.
What is a crawl space encapsulation?
As stated above, encapsulating a crawl space includes adding a heavy-duty moisture barrier to the floor of your crawl space area, sealing foundation vents, insulating walls, and can also include adding a crawl space dehumidifier. A vapor barrier, or moisture barrier, is puncture-resistant and is made of durable, leak-proof polyethylene sheeting. The vapor barrier blocks moisture from penetrating your crawl space, keeps humidity to a minimum, and safeguards any unprotected wood. The barrier isn’t that thick, it’s just 10 to 20 millimeters, so it won’t take up too much space in your crawl space area. You also gain storage space by adding a vapor barrier. Adding this vapor barrier can allow you more storage space to safely store things that are of value to you. Many studies have demonstrated that a sealed crawl space helps make your home more energy-efficient and creates a more stable environment due to the elimination of humidity fluctuations.
Why seal crawl space vents and add a dehumidifier?
Crawl space vents are typically put in to allow air to flow under your flooring. However, these vents make moisture buildup worse. In the summer, the warm air from these vents can cause exposed floorboards, beams, and joist to rot. In the winter, cold air coming into the crawl space from the vents can cause exposed water pipes to crack and condensation to build up on the walls. Therefore, we at Schmitt Waterproofing recommend sealing all crawl space vents. If you end up closing your crawl space vents, it can be effective to get a dehumidifier to put in your crawl space as well. The dehumidifier has a fan and will be able to circulate clean, dry air throughout your crawl space, which in turn will keep the humidity levels down.
Why add a drainage system and sump pump if you have flooding?
Is your crawl space flooding? If so, you might consider adding a drainage system and crawl space sump pump. A drainage system gathers groundwater that builds up inside your crawl space and then carries the water that it has gathered to the sump pit. Once the water in your sump pit reaches a particular level, the sump pump will expel the water it’s gathered using discharge lines. If you integrate a drain tile system, sump pump, and vapor barrier together, you’ll be able to keep water out of your crawl space altogether.
If you’re interested in getting a free estimate for encapsulating your crawl space, sealing crawl space vents, adding a drain-tile system, adding a sump pump, and/or adding a dehumidifier to your crawl space, please contact Schmitt Waterproofing today. Schmitt Waterproofing serves Georgia homeowners in parts of Buford, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Flowery Branch, Cumming, Gainesville, Alpharetta, Milton, Johns Creek, Duluth, Dawsonville, Canton, and Ball Ground. We have years of experience and are waterproofing experts. Please contact us online or by phone by calling 404-268-1040. To see more information about us follow us on Facebook.