As the snow starts to settle in and temperatures start to drop, you have to contend with the changes winter forces on your home. If you don’t make a point of protecting your crawl space, for instance, you may find yourself contending with a litany of problems both in the crawl space itself and throughout the rest of your home.
Colder winter temperatures can cause your pipes to burst, your walls to freeze, and your structural supports to crack. When you work with area professionals, though, you can winterize your home before the worst of the cold weather sets in. This way, you can avoid the kind of damage that will make your home less comfortable to be in throughout the whole of the winter.
Protecting Your Crawl Space
Many homeowners aren’t as worried about their crawl spaces as they are about the rest of their home. Your crawl space, however, can more readily fall victim to moisture damage than much of your home throughout the better part of the year. Come winter, any exposed pipes in your crawl space are more likely to burst. Similarly, any moisture that makes its way indoors can find itself pressed up into the rest of your home courtesy of the stack effect.
Under most circumstances, hotter air in your home moves to the upper levels of your home. That air tends to rise because it is not as dense as cooler air. However, as moisture settles in your crawl space, the amount of cool air in your home can create a pressure difference between the lower floors and the upper ones. As such, that moisture can more readily make its way into your upper levels as your home attempts to re-stabilize. That transfer, directly related to the aforementioned pressure imbalance, is known as the stack effect, and it can prove just as dangerous to your home’s structural integrity as standard hydrostatic pressure.
When it comes to preventing the kind of imbalance that spreads moist air through your home, you have a few options available to you. You can collaborate with the professionals in your area to determine which may suit your needs best.
Signs of Potential Crawl Space Damage
While it’s never a bad idea to winterize your crawl space, you may find yourself more inclined to consider your options if you believe your crawl space has already suffered due to the presence of unwanted moisture. Being as sensitive as it is, your crawl space will let you know almost immediately if something is wrong with the humidity levels in the air. You’ll need to make sure that you’re inspecting your crawl space at least once a year, if not once a season, so that you can keep an eye out for these types of signs.
When you’re looking for water damage in your crawl space, watch for problem signs including:
- Damp walls
- Sagging floors
- Rusting floor and rim joists
- Standing water or ice
- Mold growths
- Warping door frames
- Fogging windows
- Unpleasant smells
All of the aforementioned symptoms can also indicate that your foundation has suffered from some manner of water damage. While you can keep an eye out for unwanted moisture yourself, you can reach out to area professionals for help if you’re not sure where that damage originates.
Our repairs solve your cold weather problems:
- Cold floors above the crawl space.
- Cold drafts coming up from the crawl space.
- High heating bills.
- Cold crawl space ductwork that cools the heated air from your furnace.
- Frozen pipes due to inadequate insulation.
Crawl Space Winterization Solutions
Once you’re committed to winterizing your crawl space, you’ll want to determine what solutions may best
suit your home. Our professionals can help you seal up your space by helping you:
Seal Your Rim Joist
Your crawl space connects to your home’s foundation courtesy of your rim joist. That joist needs to be well sealed throughout the year if you want to avoid unexpected leaks or damage. Come winter, an ill-fitting rim joist can not only allow moisture into your home, but it can also force warm air outdoors. In that same breath, cooler air can more readily fill up your crawl space and make your home less pleasant to stay in.
While winterizing your crawl space, the professionals at Innovative Basement Authority can help you determine whether or not your rim joist still connects well with the rest of your foundation. If there are any problems, we can re-seal that gap for you. Our foam insulation can fill any cracks or breaks between your rim joist and foundation, reducing conductive heat loss all the while.
Insulate Your Crawl Space
One of the easiest ways to prevent your crawl space from taking on unwanted water damage is to ensure that it is insulated. If you haven’t replaced or installed insulation in your crawl space recently, then it’s possible that your walls may have started to weaken. When you install insulation, you can not only keep warmer air inside of your home throughout the coldest months of the year, but you can also create a physical and chemical waterproofing barrier between your crawl space and the outdoors.
It isn’t just your walls that can crack and leak this winter. Your floor, sealed or not, can allow moisture and cooler air into your home all the way through spring. Our team works to anticipate trouble with your flooring. To get ahead of the worst of your space’s potential damage, we can install ExTremeBloc™ rigid foam insulation. This foam insulation will provide more comprehensive coverage for your crawl space than traditional fiberglass insulation, which can suffer almost immediate damage when exposed to unwanted moisture. Comparatively, ExTremeBloc™ does not lose its R-value over time, and it will not absorb the moisture that more readily damages fiberglass insulation.
Address the Vent Problem
If your crawl space happens to have vents, it’s likely that you’ve already encountered a variety of problems with moisture. A crawl space with open vents allows moisture and standing water into your home even when your crawl space is undamaged. Come winter, vents that are open or unsealed can continue to let that unwanted moisture indoors, be it in the form of rain, snow, or ice melt. Luckily, the professionals we have on staff are prepared to contend with vent problems throughout your crawl space. If you have open vents, you can team up with our contractors to close and seal them with airtight vent covers before the worst of the winter precipitation settles in. If you’ve closed your vents but are still seeing lower temperatures and higher humidity levels in your home than you’d like, there are solutions available to you, as well. We also can encapsulate your crawl space and place a physical vapor barrier on the crawl space floor and walls.
Budgeting for Your Crawl Space Winterization
If you haven’t had the need to repair or waterproof your crawl space before, you might not know what to expect from the process. Many homeowners, in fact, are reluctant to take on winterization efforts for fear of how much they might cost.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to present an average estimate when it comes to the cost of crawl space repairs and winterization. Every home is different, both in terms of size and in terms of the damage that they might suffer.
Most of the time, you can anticipate what professional contractors may have to do in your home after a thorough inspection. Of course, you can always request a free service quote before you ever consider what waterproofing measures or repairs you want to invest in. Our professionals can walk through your home with you and help you determine how you may be able to fit any necessary repairs into your set budget.
Crawl Space Winterization
Your crawl space is one of the most sensitive parts of your home. Come the winter season, it can fall victim to all manner of water damage, even as the rain in your area turns into snow. Protecting your crawl space means warding off that damage and protecting your home’s value, not to mention your family’s health.
- Water Damage and Your Home’s Market Value
If moisture can make its way into your crawl space, it can pose a threat to the whole of your home’s structural integrity. That moisture can damage the structural supports in your crawl space while also making your home uncomfortable to live in. The stack effect, specifically, can direct unwanted moisture residing in your crawl space throughout the rest of your home and can, in turn, put the structural supports in other parts of your home at risk.
If you want to put your home on the market at some point in the near future, you’ll want to make sure you’ve done as much as you can to keep that unwanted moisture out of your crawl space. If you let water damage spread over an extended period of time, then you risk losing up to 30 percent of your home’s market value, especially if you don’t choose to invest in repairs.
- Water Damage and Your Family’s Health
The same stack effect can put your family’s health at risk. Unwanted moisture throughout your home can aggravate some pre-existing conditions, eliciting allergic reactions or respiratory issues. Even folks without pre-existing conditions can develop allergies or related conditions if exposed to crawl space moisture for an extended period of time.
These conditions can all pop up even without the presence of mold in your crawl space. If any mold spores manage to take root, you may find yourself facing health problems that are even more serious. Most types of mold, if allowed to flourish in your home, can cause health problems ranging from a persistent cough to long-term lung damage. The faster, then, you can work to prevent moisture from settling in your home, the better off you and your family will be.
Winterizing your crawl space takes time and thought. It’s always in your best interest, though, to try and set up the safety measures that can help you keep your home in tip-top shape during the coldest months of the year.
- Crawl Space Repairs
If you think that your crawl space may have suffered damage during the spring, summer, or fall, you’ll need to act quickly. Patching up this type of damage can save you a lot of grief in the winter.
If you leave cracks to fester without repair during the coldest months of the year, your crawl space and the rest of your home will be more vulnerable to all manner of water damage. These cracks can widen and worsen with the freezing weather, destabilizing both your crawl space and your foundation to the detriment of the rest of your home.
- Crawl Space Waterproofing
It’s never a bad idea to waterproof your crawl space, even if you don’t have damage to worry about. The different crawl space waterproofing solutions available to you are straightforward to install with a professional’s guidance. These can include:
- Interior drainage systems
- Sump pumps
- Encapsulation with a vapor barrier
- Waterproof insulation
You can install waterproofing measures in your crawl space no matter what time of year it is. The professionals at Innovative Basement Authority can inspect your crawl space and help you determine which of the solutions in their catalog can help you best seal away your space from the worst of the winter weather.
If you’re concerned about the cost of repairing your home, you may consider exploring alternative means of repairing or sealing your crawl space. While some DIY home repair solutions can serve you well, there’s no guarantee they’ll do a service to your home.
- DIY and Your Budget
Your crawl space may not take up much of your home’s square footage, but that doesn’t mean repairing it can’t cost you a pretty penny. Your expenses can run even higher if you try to take on your crawl space repairs and sealing on your own.
Consider this: Professional contractors already have the special tools and connections they need to seal your crawl space this winter. If you opt to try and find these tools on your own, you may have to commit to single-use tool purchases. You won’t be able to benefit from a contractor’s material deals, meaning you may unbalance your repair budget before even starting on the repairs themselves.
- DIY and Additional Crawl Space Damage
There’s always a chance that you may do more damage to your crawl space when attempting a DIY home solution. If you don’t have any experience working in home repair, then you may inappropriately remove old and ineffective waterproofing measures. Alternatively, you may think that you’ve appropriately sealed your crawl space up, when in reality you may have improperly installed protective measures.
These kinds of mistakes can cost you a fair amount of money in your tenure as a homeowner. If you’re not careful, you may cover up the signs of home water damage that might otherwise let you know that your crawl space is in need of repair. When you work with professionals, you can rest assured knowing that parties with years of experience are working with you to protect your home from the worst of the winter damage.
Winterize Your Crawl Space with Innovative Basement Authority Professionals
With winter on the way, you’ll want to make sure that your crawl space is safely sealed up. When you have the right protective measures in place, you can work to avoid the kind of damage that might raise your electric bills or compromise the overall structural integrity of your home.
Luckily, the professionals in your area can help you prepare your home for the coldest months of the year. After a home inspection, you can look over a free services quote from the Innovative Basement Authority team to determine what repairs or waterproofing measures you might need.
Get ahead of this year’s bad weather. You can discuss the best sealing measures for your crawl space with an experienced professional.
View more crawl space solutions