Any crawl space with an exposed dirt floor is a hotbed for moisture. Underground water and moisture-laden air can get in and cause problems. Because it’s unsealed, it’s going to attract mold and deteriorate, lowering the structural integrity and value of your property. This is why it is critical to invest in crawl space waterproofing to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.
Waterproofing a Dirt Crawl Space
While there are some crawl spaces with concrete floors, dirt crawl spaces are the most common. You might think this area works against you and your quest for a healthy living environment. But it doesn’t have to. That’s why it’s important to find the right waterproofing measures to protect your crawl space. The solutions we at Ohio Basement Authority install in crawl spaces every day are specifically designed to meet the challenges of this space of your home, as well as your unique repair needs.
Seal Off All Vents and Openings to the Outdoors
Open vents allow humid outdoor air to enter your crawl space, leaving it damp and prone to wood rot and mold growth. One way to prevent moisture buildup in your dirt crawl space is by sealing off all vents with airtight vent covers. Similarly, seal off any cracks and gaps including, those between the crawl space and the floor above it.
Install Interior Drainage
Next, create a drainage trench along the perimeter of your interior crawl space walls. These trenches help capture and direct water from your crawl space dirt floor to a sump pump. To avoid clogging from the soil in the dirt floor, invest in a drainage system that features a filter fabric with holes on the front to filter out dirt.
You never know when torrential rains in Cincinnati, OH, will inundate your crawl space. So, it’s a good idea to also invest in a sump pump. This device drains any water that enters your crawl space. For best performance, install it at the lowest point in your crawl space floor with the drainage system pitched at a downward slope toward it.
Insulate the Crawl Space
Materials like fiberglass insulation can easily fail and harbor pests and mold. Instead, install a waterproof, mold and pest-resistant system like ExTremeBloc™. These rigid, expanded foam panels have superior R-rating, and will keep warmth in and cold out of the crawl space.
Encapsulate the Crawl Space
A dirt floor absorbs moisture from the outdoors and releases it into your crawl space, leading to high humidity levels. To protect your crawl space from water damage, completely encapsulate it. Contractors typically use a heavy-duty 20-mil polyethylene plastic vapor barrier that deflects water from the ground rather than absorbing it. The liner covers your dirt floor and goes up the walls to keep moisture out of your crawl space.
Condition Your Crawl Space Air
Even after waterproofing your crawl space, dampness can still collect in the space. A dehumidifier provides the perfect final line of defense against any potential humidity in your crawl space. This device dries out a damp crawl space and automatically maintains a pre-set humidity level.
Crawl Space Waterproofing Benefits
Once your crawl space has been properly waterproofed and sealed, it will be a safe, dry, and healthy area that you can actually use! While it doesn’t meet code requirements for a living space, you can use your functional crawl space as a storage area for things like clothes, seasonal items, and other belongings without having to worry about loss or damage.
Want to prevent moisture issues that degrade the crawl space? Get in touch with the waterproofing experts at Ohio Basement Authority to schedule a free crawl space inspection and repair estimate today. We take time to determine the source of the water in your Cincinnati, OH, home before implementing the necessary solutions.