There’s a chill in the air and the seasons have changed. You winterize your car, your yard, and your house. But there’s one area of your dwelling that is of the utmost importance when it comes to prepping for winter. It’s your crawlspace. The winter is a very dangerous time for crawlspaces when it comes to moisture issues. The inclement weather that comes with winter is a real problem for basements and crawlspaces alike.
Some dangers of moisture in your crawlspace include household mold and mildew, damage to property, and most crucially damage to the structure and integrity of your home. Here are some ways to keep your crawlspace dry and clean.
Why is Moisture Protection Important During the Winter?
When snow falls, it can build up around your house. When that snow melts, the water runs wherever it needs to go. That will mean lots of water in your crawlspace unless it is protected and water resistant. Even if you live in an area where it doesn’t snow, heavy rains of winter can creep into your crawlspace and cause major issues.
Here are other sources of water in a crawlspace:
- Leaking pipes-sometimes pipes freeze and they can burst, causing leaks.
- Faulty or poorly installed sprinkler systems
- Leaky HVAC ducts
- Rising groundwater
Inspect Your Crawlspace
Tis the season to go inside, or better, hire someone to go inside your crawlspace and give it a full inspection. Here are some things to look for regarding moisture damage:
- Check any HVAC vents to make sure there is no leaking.
- Check for any plumbing components for leaks.
- Check for any holes or cracks. If there is even a tiny hole, a mouse or a crawling insect like a cockroach can enter and cause much damage to your crawlspace, foundation, and even your wiring.
Signs you have water damage in your crawlspace and may need a repair:
- Musty odor- If your house has a musty smell even just after you’ve thoroughly cleaned it, you may have crawlspace moisture.
- Streaking up your walls on the inside or outside of your house can mean you have excess moisture in your crawlspace and need a repair.
- Standing water in the crawlspace is a pretty obvious sign that you have issues with excess moisture in your crawlspace. That means it’s definitely time to contact a professional.
How Do We Protect Crawlspaces from Moisture?
Installing a moisture barrier or encapsulating your home is a solid way to keep moisture out. We install a thick sheet of plastic underneath your regular flooring or carpet. This helps to keep a moisture barrier between your home and your crawlspace and will protect your home from moisture years into the future.
Another way to keep moisture from damaging your home is by installing foundation insulation. This is similar to installing a moisture barrier under the carpet and floors, but it is done by installing an impenetrable barrier around the foundation itself and is an encapsulation of the walls and floor of the crawlspace.
Clean out the Gutters of your home
Keeping those gutters and downspouts nice and clean can help ensure that water is flowing away from your house instead of pooling up near the foundation. This will definitely help protect your foundation from water damage and help keep moisture out of your crawlspace.
Using a dehumidifier in the crawlspace is another method used to keep the area down there nice and dry. It’s not as effective as a complete moisture barrier or encapsulation, but it can help.
If you have a particularly challenging crawlspace situation that includes pooling water, you may want to install a sump pump. Even if you don’t have a challenging experience at the moment, one bad storm is all it takes to flood the area. If you have a sump pump installed, it will quickly and easily remove the water before it can do any real damage.
Preparing the Outside of the House
Other measures can be taken outside the home to make sure there isn’t excessive pooling of water in the crawlspace. Grading the turf around the house or digging a French drain can be ways of preventing water entry.
Close Your Vents
Open vents can be a way for pests, moisture, and other threats to come into your crawlspace. Keep those vents shut to keep these out.
Keeping moisture out of the crawlspace is an important pursuit. The best way to make sure you’re succeeding is to call the professionals.
Budget Basement Waterproofing, Inc. of Frederick and Montgomery County
Budget Basement Waterproofing has every solution you need when it comes to keeping your crawlspace or basement protected. From waterproofing your basement or crawlspace to fixing basement cracks to sump pump installations, Budget Basement Waterproofing can help. We particularly specialize in wet basement and wet crawlspace repair. If you are in the Frederick County area or the Montgomery County area, and you suspect you have issues with crawlspace or basement moisture, visit our website. You can also give us a call at (410) 648-2466 for a free estimate. No matter what, protecting your crawlspace from moisture damage is a great investment in the future of your home.