When it comes to resolving crawl space leaks, some people think simple waterproofing solutions will do the trick. Wall painting and applying epoxy will only mask the signs for a while, but they do nothing to stop leaks or water problems.
We’re not talking about the occasional swing in temperature that accompanies seasonal changes. Rather, persistent moisture issues and water problems that threaten the structural integrity of your building or the sanctity of the home. What you need are proven waterproofing solutions that last!
When Should I Revamp the Crawl Space?
Just because your crawl space is damp doesn’t mean time is up to revamp it. Talk to your crawl space repair contractor to see what’s due for repairs. Here are a few scenarios where a complete makeover or restoration is inevitable.
Leaks and fungus can set the stage for wood rot, a common problem in non-encapsulated homes across Indianapolis, IN. Excessive moisture will attack wood beams, floor joists, and even girders around the home. After some time, your crawl space may start to buckle as the wooden structures can no longer support the weight over your home.
To stop moisture buildup, seal off all the vents and install a thick durable plastic vapor barrier around the floor and walls. With moisture from the outside now locked out, you’re only left with internal moisture. You can eject this easily using a dehumidifier.
Because of its location and the fact that it’s wet, the crawl space is a top destination for pests and insects escaping the outdoor weather. Termites, rats, and mice will all come in to quench their thirst and get nourishment to sustain them. Since nothing bothers them down there, they will multiply and take over the crawl space. Your biggest worry shouldn’t just be stinking urine or fecal matter they leave behind, but also their voracious appetite for wood and their inclination to damage insulation material.
In an area where weather-related flooding rarely occurs, crawl space floods may be the least of your concerns. But you’re forgetting that rainwater isn’t the only thing that causes a flooded crawl space. Leaky pipes and sewer backups can inundate the crawl space too, damaging insulation and compromising underlying structures that support your home. Unless you deal with the root issues, it’s almost certain that flooding will recur.
Crawl Space Repairs after a Leakage
Drying out the crawl space is the first step in restoring this water-damaged area after leakage. Depending on the amount of water, you can mop up the floor or install a sump pump to eject the water. You’ll also have to remove debris if you intend to encapsulate this space as it could puncture the plastic vapor barrier.
The next thing you’d want to do is repair rotten wooden beams and joists. Because of their condition, they may not be able to support the weight of your home. You can replace them with new beams. What if the crawl space floor sinks? Don’t fret. You can use IntelliJacks™ to firm it up and even restore the floor to its original level. It can lift your sagging floors back up and stabilize beams.
With structural issues out of the way, you can now focus on fixing the other problems. Inspect the crawl space walls and seal any cracks. A wall crack repair system will come handy here. Replace or repair any burst pipe to prevent further seepage.
And then there’s the issue of running water. To stop water from building momentum and flowing across the crawl space, we strongly advise you to install an interior drainage system. It’s a sub-surface drainage solution that arrests water and channels it to a sump pump, where it’s ejected outside.
By now, it’s highly likely that moisture levels will have gone up because of evaporation. Get a hygrometer and test the humidity levels. If levels are above 50%, you should think about investing in a dehumidifier. It will help you remove water from the atmosphere. And in so doing, it will forestall secondary damage.
Leaks from burst pipes aren’t the only thing that’s going to send water into your crawl space. Moist subterranean soil, faulty gutters, and moist air from the outside can all make your crawl space wet. It’s best if you go for crawl space encapsulation, a solution that involves the use of a tough and durable plastic vapor barrier.
Should I Fix Leaks On My Own?
Our answer is an emphatic no. There’s more to revamping a leaky crawl space than removing puddles of water from the floor. Attempting a DIY crawl space repair isn’t the right way to approach crawl space issues. Proper remediation and water removal require specialized equipment and expert knowledge. Plus, it’s good to handle the situation properly the first time so crawl space moisture issues won’t recur. Only experts can do a perfect job the first time around. In short, crawl space restoration isn’t something you’d want to mess up. Focus on letting trusted experts handle due repairs and renovation.
For expert guidance or help, schedule a free crawl space repair inspection and get answers to your pressing crawl space questions plus a free quote along with solid recommendations to fix your leaky crawl space.