An unsealed crawl space is a hotbed for all sorts of undesirable conditions. Left alone, such a crawl space can become your home’s worst nightmare. You have to act decisively. If you are a new homeowner, it is important that you understand and apply the right preventative measures to protect your home. Otherwise, you’ll be starting monumental structural repair problems in the future.
Seal Vents and Openings
It’s important to prevent outside air, water, and pests from coming inside to damage your crawl space and home. Open vents allow these nuisances inside to destroy this below-ground space, so be sure to seal the crawl space with durable, airtight vent covers and doors.
Also, make sure any cracks are sealed and repaired, as they can allow water inside as well as impact the structural integrity of your crawl space and home.
Address Groundwater with Drainage and a Sump Pump
During heavy rainfall, water quickly builds up in most crawl spaces. Many homeowners in Minneapolis, MN, protect their crawl spaces by installing drainage and a sump pump. Interior drainage channels will collect leaking water and direct it to a sump pump. A sump pump is an appliance that prevents water from pooling in your crawl space to cause water damage. When appropriately installed, a sump pump will reduce or eliminate water in your crawl space by pumping it out of and away from your home.
Encapsulate with a Plastic Vapor Barrier
The uncovered soil in your crawl space holds a lot of moisture. Over time, this moisture evaporates into your crawl space, causing wood rot and mold growth, among other problems. Installing a vapor barrier can adequately seal your crawl space and its dirt floor. We apply a thick sheet of plastic directly to the floor and walls to prevent moisture and groundwater from accumulating on wood surfaces.
Insulate the Crawl Space
If a vapor barrier and a waterproofing system aren’t enough to tame moisture problems, insulation provides an excellent alternative. Insulation is applied to the walls, paying attention to areas that seem susceptible to seepage or leakage. It provides an unbroken sheet that seals the walls of your crawl space from outside moisture and humidity permeation.
It also prevents termites, rodents, and radon gas from entering your home. The best part about crawl space insulation is that it can reduce your energy consumption and lower your utility bills.
Install a Dehumidifier
Even with proper insulation and sump pump installation, your Minneapolis, MN, home may still experience high moisture levels, especially during the warmer summer months. If left uncontrolled, high humidity in the crawl space can lead to rotting furniture, critters, mold, and mildew.
A dehumidifier ensures the air in the crawl space stays at a constant and acceptable humidity level. To effectively wring moisture out of your crawl space, choose a high-efficiency and high-capacity dehumidifier. Also, look for one with a thermostat that can automatically turn on at preset times to save energy. This way, the dehumidifier will keep your space dry, remove any musty smells, and prevent mold growth.
Grade Your Landscaping
It cannot be stressed enough how important a yard that slopes away from your home is in preventing crawl space and foundation damage. A properly sloped landscape prevents water from entering your home. If you have a poorly landscaped yard, the remedy is to build it up. Make sure your yard slopes at least six to eight inches away from the foundation walls.
Speak to a Crawl Space Expert Now!
Do not let a dirty, damp crawl space wreak havoc in your new home. If you are not sure about the state of your new crawl space, contact the experts at Innovative Basement Authority to request a free crawl space inspection and estimate today.