Crawlspace Waterproofing – Myths about Sealed Crawlspaces, Detroit, MI
Crawlspace waterproofing is the process of protecting the crawl space under a home from moisture and water intrusion. This involves sealing off the crawl space from the outside air and moisture and installing a vapor barrier on the ground to prevent moisture from seeping up from the soil. The goal of crawlspace waterproofing is to prevent moisture from damaging the foundation, flooring, and structural integrity of a home, as well as to improve indoor air quality and energy efficiency. A properly waterproofed crawl space can also help to prevent pest infestations and reduce the risk of mold growth.
Is your crawlspace vented? Modern crawlspace waterproofing systems often involve completely sealing the crawlspace. This has been proven as one of the most effective ways to protect crawlspaces. However, there are still a few things that homeowners don’t understand about sealed crawlspaces.
These Crawlspaces are often overlooked areas of the home, but they can have a significant impact on the overall health and safety of your home. A damp, moldy crawlspace can lead to indoor air quality issues and structural problems that can be costly to repair. That’s why waterproofing your crawlspace is so important. However, there are several myths surrounding sealed crawlspaces that can mislead homeowners. In this article, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths about crawlspace waterproofing.
Myth 1: Most moisture in a crawlspace comes from vents and openings in the crawlspace
This is completely false. Any crawlspace waterproofing professional will tell you that most of the moisture in the crawlspace comes from the soil in the crawlspace. This is why sealing the vents in the crawlspace isn’t enough. It is still necessary to install a vapor barrier on the floor of the crawlspace to keep moisture from the soil within the crawlspace from entering the crawlspace.
One of the most common myths about crawlspaces is that most moisture in a crawlspace comes from vents and openings in the crawlspace. However, this is entirely false. Any crawlspace waterproofing professional will tell you that the majority of the moisture in the crawlspace comes from the soil in the crawlspace. The soil in the crawlspace absorbs moisture, and this moisture then evaporates into the air, causing the humidity levels to increase. This humidity can cause numerous problems, including mold growth, structural and water damage, and health issues.
The moisture in the soil can come from several sources, including rainwater, groundwater, and condensation. This is why sealing the vents in the crawlspace isn’t enough to prevent moisture from entering the crawlspace. Instead, a vapor barrier is needed to keep moisture from the soil within the crawlspace from entering the crawlspace.
A vapor barrier is a layer of plastic sheeting that is installed on the floor of the crawlspace. The plastic sheeting is taped and sealed at the seams and attached to the walls of the crawlspace to create a continuous barrier. The vapor barrier is essential because it prevents moisture from the soil below from entering the crawlspace. By reducing the amount of moisture in the crawlspace, the likelihood of mold growth, structural damage, and health issues is greatly reduced.
Another source of moisture in crawlspaces is the air that enters the crawlspace through the vents and openings. This air can be humid, and when it enters the crawlspace, it can cause the humidity levels to increase. This is why crawlspace waterproofing professionals recommend that homeowners have their crawlspace encapsulated. Encapsulation involves completely sealing the crawlspace, including the walls and floor, with a vapor barrier.
Encapsulation is one of the most effective ways to protect crawlspaces from moisture problems. By sealing the crawlspace, the amount of moisture that enters the crawlspace is greatly reduced. This can help to prevent mold growth, structural damage, and health issues.
In addition to encapsulation, homeowners can take other steps to prevent moisture from entering their crawlspaces. For example, they can make sure that their gutters and downspouts are functioning correctly, so water is directed away from the foundation of the home. They can also make sure that their yard slopes away from their home so that water does not pool near the foundation.
Overall, it’s essential for homeowners to understand that most moisture in a crawlspace comes from the soil, not from vents and openings. This is why sealing the crawlspace with a vapor barrier is crucial to protect crawlspaces from moisture problems. If you’re experiencing moisture problems in your crawlspace, it’s best to consult with a crawlspace waterproofing or installation professional to determine the best solution for your needs.
Myth 2: Encapsulating a crawlspace will keep out all the moisture
While encapsulating foundation walls of the crawlspace will reduce the volume of moisture entering the crawlspace significantly, it will not completely eliminate the entry of moisture. This is why crawlspace waterproofing contractors recommend that you have a dehumidifier installed in the crawlspace. The dehumidifier will help to get rid of moisture in the air within the crawlspace.
While encapsulating a crawlspace is an excellent way to control moisture and prevent mold growth, it will not eliminate moisture completely. Encapsulating a crawlspace involves sealing all vents, installing a vapor barrier on the ground, and insulating the walls with spray foam insulation. This process creates a barrier that helps prevent moisture from entering the crawlspace, but it is not 100% effective in keeping out moisture.
One source of moisture that your crawl space encapsulation can not control is groundwater. If your crawlspace is below the water table, water can seep through the walls and floor and create a damp environment. To prevent this, your crawlspace waterproofing professional may install a drainage system, such as a sump pump, to remove any water that enters the crawlspace.
Another source of moisture in crawl spaces that encapsulation cannot control is humidity. Encapsulated crawlspaces can still become humid if there is not adequate ventilation or if there are leaks in the plumbing or HVAC system. When the humidity level in a crawlspace is too high, it can lead to mold growth, wood rot, and other moisture-related problems.
To combat high humidity levels, your crawlspace waterproofing professional may recommend installing a dehumidifier per crawl well. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air and helps maintain the ideal humidity level in your crawlspace.
It’s important to note that encapsulating your crawlspace alone is not a complete solution for moisture control. You should also address any drainage or plumbing issues, maintain proper ventilation, and monitor the humidity levels in your crawlspace. By taking a comprehensive approach to crawlspace waterproofing, you can ensure that your crawlspace stays dry and free of mold and other moisture-related problems.
In summary, while encapsulating a crawlspace is an effective way to control moisture, it cannot keep out all moisture. To fully protect your basement or crawlspace, it is important to address all sources of moisture, including groundwater and humidity, and install a comprehensive waterproofing system that includes drainage, insulation, and ventilation.
Myth 3: You can improve the air quality in your living space by running a duct to the crawlspace from your HVAC system
Running a duct to the crawlspace from the living area above will result in the creation of negative pressure within the living area. This will in turn result in air moving from the outside of the home through spaces such as cracks, windows, and doors into the living and crawl space below. This air comes with contaminants from the outdoors.
Another disadvantage of running a duct to the crawlspace is the increase in utility bills. As cold or hot air from the external environment is drawn into the interior of the home, the HVAC system will have to work harder to create a comfortable indoor environment. This will mean using more energy and thus higher energy bills.
Myth 3 suggests that running a duct from your HVAC system to your crawlspace can improve the air quality in your living space. However, this is not true. In fact, doing so can actually compromise the air quality in your living space.
When a duct is run from the HVAC system to the crawlspace, it creates negative pressure in the living space above. Negative pressure occurs when there is a difference in air pressure between the inside and outside of a structure, and in this case, it’s because the air in the crawlspace is being drawn into the living space. This negative pressure causes air to be drawn from outside the home through any gaps, such as cracks, windows, and doors, into the living space. This air can contain contaminants from the outdoors, such as pollen, dust, and other allergens, which can cause health problems for those who are sensitive to them.
Instead of running a duct to the crawlspace, it’s recommended to seal and encapsulate the crawlspace. This will prevent moisture from entering the crawlspace and provide a barrier against the growth of mold and mildew. Additionally, a dehumidifier can be installed to remove any excess moisture from the air within the crawlspace. This will help to improve the air quality within the crawlspace and prevent any potential health problems associated with poor air quality.
It’s important to note that the air quality in your living space can also be affected by other factors, such as the presence of indoor pollutants and the level and efficiency of ventilation in the home. If you’re concerned about the air quality in your living space, it’s recommended to consult with an indoor air quality specialist who can evaluate your home and recommend ways to improve the air quality.
Talk to a crawlspace waterproofing contractor
Having your crawlspace sealed is an effective way to protect your crawlspace and your home in general. Get in touch with us to speak with a crawlspace waterproofing professional and get a better understanding of how crawl space waterproofing works. We will provide you with a waterproofing system designed to meet your specific needs and requirements.
If you are experiencing issues with your crawlspace, it is best to talk to a crawlspace waterproofing contractor. A professional will help you to understand the various options available and the best solution for your particular situation.
A crawlspace waterproofing contractor will assess the condition of your crawlspace and recommend the most appropriate waterproofing system. The waterproofing system they recommend will depend on factors such as the size of the crawlspace, the extent of moisture infiltration, and the foundation type. They will also help you understand the maintenance requirements for your specific waterproof and system.
When choosing a crawlspace waterproofing contractor, consider their experience, reputation, and credentials. Ensure that they are licensed and insured and that they offer warranties for their work and services.
During your consultation with a crawlspace waterproofing contractor, asking questions and expressing your concerns is important. Some of the questions you can ask include:
- What is the recommended waterproofing system for my crawlspace?
- What is the estimated cost of the waterproofing system?
- How long will the waterproofing process take?
- What kind of warranty does your company offer?
- What kind of maintenance will the system require?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Can you provide references from previous clients?
By getting answers to these questions, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision about the best crawlspace waterproofing solution for your home.
In conclusion, a sealed crawlspace is an effective way to protect your home from moisture infiltration. However, there are common myths that homeowners believe about sealed crawlspaces. It is important to understand that most of the moisture in a crawlspace comes from the soil in the crawlspace, encapsulating a crawlspace will not keep out all the moisture, and running a duct to the crawlspace from your HVAC system will not improve the air quality in a crawl space waterproofed in your living space. By talking to a crawlspace waterproofing contractor, you can get a better understanding of the most effective crawlspace waterproofing solutions and ensure that your home is protected.
Contact the Professionals at Everdry Waterproofing of S.E. Michigan Today! (586) 698-3030
Jeff’s passion for basement waterproofing can be traced back to his early days at Everdry Waterproofing. He spent significant time working in every department not only to learn and improve but to help those who worked with him advance both personally and professionally.
Jeff has worked in the Waterproofing industry for 35 years, gaining experience in marketing, sales, service, and installations. As a seasoned basement waterproofing professional, he is passionate about advancing his knowledge in waterproofing and developing his team. In addition to basement waterproofing, he is also a board member for a non profit that educates and protects consumers against unethical business practices. Outside of the office, Jeff enjoys travel, music, and time with his wife of 36 years and his two sons.