How often do you check your crawl space? If you are like most homeowners in the Cincinnati area, not often. While homeowners who have basements frequently use this space for storage and even turn it into a living space, an owner of a house with a crawl space does not have that luxury.
A crawl space is great for running your plumbing lines and electrical wires through it, and you can store small items in there, but you cannot turn it into a fan cave, a home gym, or a spare bedroom. Also, you cannot place big items you no longer use down there, such as an old wardrobe or a crib. Therefore, it is not a part of your home you will often use.
This can be a problem because even though it has so many upsides, the crawl space has one major flaw – it is prone to moisture. And unless you check it regularly, problems caused by moisture can quickly escalate and turn your cozy home into an uncomfortable living environment. For example, pests such as rodents are drawn to moist and dark places, which makes a humid crawl space an ideal home for them.
Luckily, with some waterproofing measures, such issues can be avoided.
When a couple from Cincinnati, OH, called us about their crawl space, they had been dealing with moisture issues for some time. They looked at the possible solutions online and decided that hiring a professional waterproofing company was the best option. Apart from being concerned about the level of humidity under their house, they also reported that the crawl space needed more support. Since problems like this can easily spiral, it was important to repair the crawl space and implement necessary repair and waterproofing measures as soon as possible.
Meeting the Homeowners
After we got the call from homeowners in Cincinnati, OH, about their crawl space, we went to meet with them and see what the problem was. Their home was built in the 1980s, and the crawl space was not in good condition. The owners have been living there for more than a decade and were familiar with all the problems, which was very helpful during the initial inspection. Although at first glance the home seemed stable, as soon as we walked inside, we realized that the floors were uneven. The high level of moisture in the crawl space was not a good sign and it was clear to us that this was not going to be a small repair project.
Our Initial Inspection
During the initial inspection, our inspector noticed that the existing insulation was failing. The crawl space was filled with debris including wet and drooping insulation, and the moisture damage was obvious. In order to restore the house to its former glory, we needed to approach the problem from several angles. The crawl space was humid, the structural integrity of the house was compromised, and the home was completely exposed to moisture. Upon inspection, we explained to the homeowners that we would need to use a wide variety of solutions to make their place dry and safe again. The customers gladly agreed with our suggestions as they wanted these problems gone for good.
Repairing the Damage
Our crew was able to complete the project in eight days. During that period, we used interior crawl space drainage, drainage matting, a sump pump, a dehumidifier, and encapsulation with a vapor barrier to dry out the crawl space and prevent moisture from re-entering this area. Our team also used support jacks and support beams to ensure the structural stability of the house.
Since the crawl space was full of old and damaged insulation, the first thing we did was clear it out. When every bit of trash was removed, we were able to install ExTremeBloc™ wall insulation panels. This insulation product is moisture-resistant so it won’t get moldy. It is also integrated with a termiticide and will make it more difficult for pests to get inside the crawl space. We also spray foamed the rim joist to completely insulate them.
Since the floor joists were in a bad shape, we used multiple IntelliJack™ stabilizers to stabilize the floors and help return them to their original position. Because IntelliJack™ stabilizers are made of galvanized steel, they will be able to support this home for a very long time and corrosion will never be an issue. Additionally, we identified and repaired several damaged joists and installed supplemental beams.
To keep the crawl space safe from water damage, we used several waterproofing solutions. Our crew dug out the interior perimeter in order to install the drainage system and a sump pump to keep water out of this space.
Because during the winter the exterior discharge lines can freeze, clog, and cause water to back up, we installed FreezeGuard™ attachments. These allow water to escape from sump pump discharge lines even if pipes freeze or become clogged. This way potential problems such as overflows or pump burnouts will be averted and the homeowners can be at ease knowing that the pump will discharge the excess water even during low temperatures.
As part of the waterproofing project, we also encapsulated the crawl space with a CrawlSeal™ 20-mil vapor barrier and used vent covers to seal the vents. However, before laying down the vapor barrier, we placed drainage matting on the floor. This product will improve drainage and enhance the life span of the vapor barrier. In addition, a dehumidifier was installed to keep the moisture levels under control at all times.
With all these measures, homeowners could finally relax knowing that their crawl space was moisture-free.
This type of work should always be done by professionals, or something could easily go south. If you wish to install waterproofing solutions in your crawl space or if it needs to be repaired, do not hesitate to contact the expert contractors at Ohio Basement Authority and schedule a free estimate.