How Does Crawl Space Waterproofing Work?

Posted on: 4 September 2020

Not every home has a crawl space, but for those that do, it's an integral part of the structure of your house. The crawl space is the area created when your house is lifted off the ground. Houses can be lifted to promote a level foundation and to protect them from the elements.

If the crawl space under your home becomes saturated with water, it can warp the foundation and baseboards of your house. Fortunately, crawl space waterproofing can prevent this catastrophe. Here are four things that will happen when you hire a contractor to waterproof your crawl space.

1. Exterior Waterproofing

Exterior waterproofing is important if you live in a place with a wet climate. Adequate gutter systems will divert water away from your home, but they may not be enough. Exterior waterproofing places a barrier between water and your crawl space. To install a waterproof membrane, your contractor will need to dig along the perimeter of your house. The process can be quite invasive, so make sure you're prepared for the disturbance around your house. Exterior waterproofing can keep rainwater away from your home.

2. Encapsulation

Crawl space encapsulation is a method for waterproofing the interior of your crawl space. During the encapsulation process, your contractor will install plastic sheeting or other physical barriers to prevent water vapor from entering the space. These vapor barriers will be placed along the walls and floor of the space beneath your house. You won't be able to access your crawl space after encapsulation. However, many people find the minor inconvenience of a sealed crawl space well worth it. An encapsulated crawl space will not grow mold or mildew. It is also more resistant to termites, rats, and other pets.

3. Dehumidification

To ensure your crawl space is properly waterproofed, your contractor will dehumidify it after installing the vapor barrier. Commercial dehumidifiers are used for this process. Water vapor is removed from the air, ensuring your crawl space is as dry as possible. Dehumidification is necessary to prevent mold spores from taking root in your closed crawl space.

4. Plumbing Repairs

Occasionally, a damp crawl space is caused by a leaking pipe. Some pipes aren't visible from inside your house due to their placement. However, pipes beneath your floor can easily create water damage in your crawl space. If necessary, a plumbing contractor can handle the repairs. Stopping a leak at the source will help keep your crawl space dry.

To learn more, contact a crawl space waterproofing contractor.