5 Ways to Protect Your Crawlspace
A crawlspace is the narrow area between the ground and the first floor of a home. Crawlspaces are preferable to basements in homes located in damp environments that need to be vented. These areas usually experience a lot of rain, and homes in this area are more prone to mold and termites. This space provides support for the living areas above and acts as a buffer between the house and the ground below.
By protecting your crawlspace, you can protect your home from mold, improve air quality, and reduce energy costs. If your crawlspace is not properly protected, it can become a breeding ground for pests, such as termites and other insects. Even worse, it can cause serious structural damage to your home.
Read on to discover five ways you can protect your crawlspace from harm!
Install Vapor Barriers
A vapor barrier is any material used for damp proofing. Vapor barriers made from materials like plastic or foil sheets can prevent ground moisture from entering the space. Moisture and vapor barriers provide thick plastic encapsulation for your crawlspace. These moisture and vapor barriers can keep moisture out of your home, eliminate water damage, block radon gas, and can make the space less attractive to pests that prefer damp climates.
To ensure that your crawlspace is properly protected, make sure to include crawlspace walls, floors, and vents in your vapor barriers.
Clean Your Crawlspace
Even if you love washing the dishes, laundry, and sweeping, cleaning a crawlspace is a very different type of cleaning. Even so, a clean and disinfected crawlspace is so much more useable, safe, and healthy. This is the first step to identifying what is really going on down there, as well as what the best solutions are for your house.
When you clean your crawlspace, you’ll want to make sure that you remove all the pests, standing water, and insect colonies. You’ll also want to replace any old insulation, seal air leaks, and maintain your vapor barriers.
Cleaning your crawlspace can be messy work. If you don’t feel confident doing it yourself, don’t be shy about passing it along to a team of professionals!
Utilize French Drains
French drains are pipes that collect and redirect water. A drain in the ground collects any excess water and drains it away from the affected areas. French drains are a great way to direct unwanted water away from your foundation walls without looking ugly.
There are several variations of French drains, including grated pipes and gravel-covered ditches. While the classic French drain utilizes a pipe underground to divert excess water, a gravel-covered ditch must be connected to a local storm sewer or other waterway to direct water away from the site. The type of French drain your home requires may depend on where your home is located, as well as what sewers and waterways you have available.
Inspect Exterior Gutters
Exterior gutters can protect the foundation and crawlspace of your home by collecting rainwater and diverting that water away from your house. One of the top reasons for foundation erosion and crawlspace leaks is clogged, broken, or missing gutters on the exterior of your home. If you are wary of spending money on preserving your home or just want it to last a lot longer, start by inspecting your gutters.
When inspecting your gutters, you should remove any debris, check for standing water, and identify seams, ends, and other parts of the gutter where sealant is missing, or leaks are observed. By catching and remedying these issues early, you can prevent foundation erosion and leaks in your crawlspace.
Ensure Proper Grading and Drainage Around the Perimeter of Your Home
Hard rains can really add a lot of pressure to your foundation walls. When it rains, the soil around your home absorbs the water. If there is more water in the ground than the soil can manage, oversaturation occurs, and the excess will push against anything in its path. When the water presses against the foundation of your home, it is called hydrostatic pressure. Because your foundation is not a dam designed to hold back this water, the pressure can cause cracks to form in the walls or floor, leading to a weakened foundation.
Grading and drainage play a major role in where excess water ends up on your property. Unless you are directing this away appropriately, it will crack and cave in your foundation walls. Once this happens, your whole home can become a pile of rubble.
To avoid this, you should make sure that the areas around your home are properly graded and have proper drainage points. Your goal should be to have all the water that falls on your house and property to run away from the house and to drains. Make sure that any water that falls within ten feet of your home has a clear path away from your home without ponding.
How Can We Help?
A properly maintained crawlspace will protect your home from damage, whereas a poorly maintained crawlspace can be a clear indicator of more serious damage to come.
Here at Coastal Property Inspections, we offer crawlspace inspections to ensure that your home purchase is worry-free. With experience, training, standard procedures, and clear reports, you can count on us to provide accurate and thorough results to protect you and your family.
Ready to schedule your inspection? Schedule online or give us a call at (252) 670-8599.
Ready to schedule your inspection?
Schedule online or give us a call 252-670-8599