When it comes to fitting your crawl space with home waterproofing measures, you’ll have your choice of a wide variety of accessories. These can include crawl space drainage matting. Matting between a crawl space liner and your crawl space floor can help prevent water from catching in pockets. When do you need drainage matting, and will investing in it mean you may not need to install other crawl space waterproofing measures?
What Is Crawl Space Drainage Matting?
Crawl space drainage matting is, as its name suggests, a mat that you can place in your crawl space to help prevent water from lingering too long. Innovative Basement Authority’s CrawlSeal™ Drainage Matting has raised bumps all along its surface. You can fit this matting beneath your crawl space vapor barrier to keep it elevated and to prevent water from sticking to the liner in question. This way, that water can more readily make its way into your crawl space’s interior drainage system.
How Long Does It Take to Install Crawl Space Drainage Matting?
It doesn’t take long at all to install crawl space drainage matting into your crawl space. Ideally, you’ll want to install this accessory at the same time you install your crawl space vapor barrier system, interior drainage system, or other waterproofing measures. In less than a day, the team with Innovative Basement Authority can have your crawl space fitted and ready to take on any water or gaseous moisture that might make its way into your home.
Why Might You Need Crawl Space Drainage Matting?
Crawl space drainage matting and other crawl space waterproofing measures are designed to help keep your crawl space as watertight as possible. If your crawl space starts to take on unwanted water, you can start to see signs of damage crop up not only within the space but throughout the rest of your home.
This water or moisture can appear in your crawl space for a variety of reasons. The primary forces behind the majority of your crawl space’s water damage can include:
More often than not, you can blame hydrostatic pressure for the damage that’s appeared in your crawl space. This pressure starts to build up outside of your home when moisture, either in the form of rain, snow, or groundwater, comes into contact with the materials making up the exterior of your basement. As water presses up against those materials, it can cause them to change temperature and size.
The rapid changes in the size of your crawl space’s structural supports can cause those supports to start developing stress fractures. Unfortunately, those fractures tend to allow even more water into your home, lending to the damage that’s already arisen. The longer you let this kind of damage sit in your crawl space, the more likely it is that you’ll find yourself contending with signs of stress and strain throughout the rest of your space.
Moisture doesn’t just impact your home in its liquid and gaseous forms. When the weather starts to turn, freezing water can have an even more devastating impact on your crawl space’s structural integrity.
Consider this: As the moisture in your soil starts to freeze, it can expand in size by up to nine percent. That kind of expansion puts a significant amount of pressure on the materials that make up your crawl space’s walls and floor. The longer this damage sits, the more likely it is that it can impact the structural integrity of your foundation in addition to your crawl space. Sooner rather than later, you’re likely to find yourself contending with uneven floors or even foundation sinkage.
It is entirely possible for hydrostatic pressure to begin building up inside of your home, not just outside of it. The pipes that are in your crawl space can prove to be especially sensitive to damage if they are not actively protected. These pipes can give out and begin leaking to the point where the humidity in your crawl space may begin to noticeably rise. You may even have to contend with indoor flooding if you’re not careful. Not only can this flooding cause an immediate emergency for your family, but it can expose your crawl space to the same kind of damage that exterior freezes and moisture can.
Note that your HVAC system is a potential source of unwanted leaks throughout your crawl space. It is in your best interest, with this in mind, to try and schedule annual inspections of your pipes and your HVAC system to better preserve your crawl space’s health.
Termites and Other Pests
Animals and insects can have an equally devastating impact on the health of your crawl space. Wood-loving insects, for example, including termites and carpenter ants, can eat their way through your crawl space’s structural supports in a matter of weeks. If you give these critters time to settle in, your crawl space walls may begin to slump while your foundation gives out.
Burrowing animals may not deliberately attack your home, but their burrows can prove an immediate danger to the structural integrity of your crawl space. Rabbits and groundhogs, among other burrowing creatures, can leave burrows up to 45 feet long beneath your home. Your foundation can start to sink into these empty spaces, causing your crawl space to rapidly destabilize.
Last but not least, you may have to blame tree roots for the damage you’re seeing in your crawl space. Tree roots, like most burrowing animals, do not make a point of attacking your crawl space’s structural integrity, but instead can destabilize the soil beneath your crawl space. Gravity, in turn, will force your foundation to sink, taking your crawl space’s structural supports with it as it goes.
Tending to root-based crawl space damage isn’t always a straightforward process. If you can’t get ahead of unwanted root damage, then you’ll need to try and work with the professionals in your area to see what kind of removals or trimmings you can invest in after you’ve repaired the damage done to your home. Ideally, though, you’ll want to undertake this kind of work before your home starts to show any signs of damage. Try and keep all trees or larger bushes at least 20 feet away from the perimeter of your home. If a previous homeowner planted trees and bushes before you arrived, see what you can do to relocate those plantings or otherwise trim back their roots.
How Can You Tell When Your Crawl Space Is Leaking?
Investing in crawl space waterproofing measures is never a bad decision. Crawl space drainage matting, for example, keeps unwanted water flowing through your space and to your interior perimeter drainage system. However, you’ll still want to know what signs of water damage to keep an eye out for so you know when (or if) these kinds of protections have failed you. No waterproofing measure is going to last forever. Alternatively, if you’ve never installed waterproofing measures in your home, you may want to know when the right time comes to invest not only in protective measures but any necessary repairs as well.
Ideally, you’ll want to set up annual crawl space inspections with the professionals in your area. If you haven’t, however, you can keep an eye out for the following signs of damage in your crawl space and the rest of your home:
- Damp walls
- Bowing walls
- Sagging floors
- Rusting floor and rim joists
- Standing water or ice
- Mold growth
- Warping door frames
- Fogging windows
Unpleasant smells, too, can also indicate that something’s amiss in your crawl space. However, this and all of the aforementioned signs can also indicate that something’s wrong with your foundation. 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.
Homeowners concerned about their repair budgets may find themselves inclined to try their hand at a DIY crawl space waterproofing installation. While this drive is admirable, it can often turn out to be more difficult—and more expensive—than working with an experienced professional.
- DIY and Your Budget
Most homeowners want to experiment with DIY crawl space repair and waterproofing in an attempt to save money. While your crawl space may not take up a lot of your home’s square footage, it can still prove to be expensive to first repair and then protect. DIY crawl space waterproofing projects often require you not only to purchase the materials you need to complete your project but specialized single-use tools as well.
Professional contractors, on the other hand, already have the specialty tools and materials they need to waterproof your crawl space on hand. Not only can working with professionals save you money, but you won’t have to contend with the hassle of finding something to do with the specialty tools you bought solely to install crawl space drainage matting after your work is done.
- DIY and Additional Crawl Space Damage
You can also do serious damage to your crawl space while attempting to install a DIY waterproofing solution like drainage matting or even a vapor barrier. Installation damage can not only compromise your crawl space’s structural supports, but it can also cover up any signs of damage that might try to make themselves known to you in the future.
Mistakes made while trying to repair your crawl space on your own can turn out to be fairly costly in the long run. Not only can these mistakes cause you to overlook signs of damage, but they can also be expensive to tend to, should you need to eventually reach out to an area professional. Professionals, after all, will have to charge you not only for your necessary repairs but for the removal of the DIY solution you attempted to install.
If your crawl space is so small, it shouldn’t have such an impact on your home’s structural integrity, should it? Unfortunately, this small space plays a larger part in the health of your home than its size suggests. Even if you don’t find yourself contending with active flooding, a damaged crawl space can rapidly destabilize the rest of your home. Homes with flooded or otherwise damaged crawl spaces not only sell for less on the housing market but also actively endanger the lives of their residents.
- Water Damage and Your Home’s Market Value
Moisture, as mentioned, wreaks havoc on your crawl space’s structural supports. While crawl space and foundation damage may sound like minor inconveniences, they can disrupt your life in a big way if they get out of control. These conditions can force you to replace entire sections of your home to the point where you may have to invest not only in new floors but the excavation and restoration of your entire foundation.
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. The kind of damage a damp crawl space can foist upon you can cost you up to 30 percent of your home’s market value, especially if you opt to sell your property without first investing in repairs.
- Water Damage and Your Family’s Health
Moisture that originates in your crawl space but makes its way into the rest of your home can also put your family’s health at risk. Residents with allergies or respiratory issues can see their conditions rapidly worsen. Even family members without these conditions can see them develop over time, especially if you don’t make a point to attend to the damage that you’re facing.
All of these conditions can worsen before mold has a chance to take root in a damaged crawl space, too. If you find yourself contending with mold, you’ll want to do what you can to either tend to your crawl space or relocate your family as soon as possible. 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.
How Much Does It Cost to Install Crawl Space Drainage Matting?
Determining how much it might cost to install crawl space waterproofing measures isn’t a process that’s set in stone. However, you can often guess at the cost by taking the size of your home into account. In most cases, larger crawl spaces are going to cost more to waterproof than smaller ones simply due to the material cost of that installation. If your crawl space needs any additional repairs, then you can expect your eventual costs to run you more than they would if you installed waterproofing measures before that damage appeared.
For a more specific estimate, however, you can schedule a consultation with the professionals in your area. After a thorough home inspection, you can determine whether or not your crawl space is in need of any structural repairs. Then you can debate what kind of waterproofing measures might best suit your crawl space’s needs. At the end of the day, you’ll have the option to look over a free quote to determine what of the available installation methods, materials, and more you want to take advantage of while protecting your home.
Reach Out to Local Professionals for a Home Inspection and Services Quote
Crawl space drainage matting is designed to help you force unwanted water out from between your crawl space liner and your structural supports. If you’re interested in this or any other manner of crawl space waterproofing measure or accessory, you can reach out to the experts at Innovative Basement Authority for more information as well as a free inspection and repair quote.