This is how it works. Warm air from within your home rises and exits through the chimney or the attic. As it exits, it also creates a force that pulls the cool air up. Open vents and cracks allow more air to be drawn into your crawl spaces. If you crawl space has mold or humidity, they are also sucked in with the air.
What causes crawl space problems?
Most of the problems in crawl spaces are related to water. High humidity levels facilitate the growth of mold, mildew, insects, and wood rot. A short rain spell or a hot summer day is enough to bring the humidity levels to over 50%, which makes it easy for these problems to develop.
The mold and fecal material from insects and dust mites can cause respiratory illnesses like asthma. The only way to stop this problem is to get rid of the moisture content in the crawl space. That is why it is very necessary to waterproof your crawl space.
How crawl space waterproofing can help
Firstly, it is important to identify the ways in which moisture can enter the crawl space. It can enter through cracks in the floor, wall, or mortar joints. It can even enter over or below the footer. Crawl space waterproofing provides very reliable solution to these problems.
Encapsulation of crawl space is a method in which thick polythene film is used to cover the dirt floor and foundation walls. This helps in sealing the moisture and gases from the soil out of the enclosure. Ensure that you hire an experienced contractor to carry out this process. This process normally takes just one day to complete.
Another way of keeping moisture out of your crawl space is by the crawl space vapor barrier method. This, as the name itself suggests, is acts as a barrier to water vapor that can enter the crawl space. Polyethylene plastic sheets are usually used in this method. The thickness of these sheets is generally 4mm to 10 mm. This method does not protect from water seepage but only from vapor or moisture problems.
Which method should you opt for?
A vapor barrier is not as effective as the crawl space encapsulation method. In any case, you must remember that any leakage problem in your crawl space must be dealt with before installing the vapor barrier or the encapsulation techniques. Not following this order can worsen your crawl space problems.
When looking for solution, just remember that a good crawl space waterproofing method should stop the means by which water enters your crawl space. The effects of the waterproofing method must last a lifetime or else, spending your hard earned money on repairing it does not make any sense.
Donovan is a home repair and DIY expert who can advise on how to keep your home in top shape throughout the winter and summer storms, rain or snow.