A damp crawl space is something most homeowners dread, but without proper precaution, your crawlspace could dampen easily. This post will explore how to dry out a damp crawl space and how to keep your crawl space moisture free. But first, what is a crawl space?
What Is a Crawl Space?
The hollow space between the ground and first floor of houses is called the crawl space. Not all houses have crawl space, but when they do, they are usually 1 to 4 feet high- just enough space for someone to crawl inside.
How to Keep Your Crawl Space Moisture Free
A damp crawl space can cause a variety of problems for your house, including the proliferation of mold and mildew and is also a great place for termites to set up camp. Apart from termites, crawl spaces with moisture are an inviting space for rats, snakes, and other vermin. If that’s not enough, a damp crawl space will decrease your home’s value by a significant margin.
That’s why it makes sense to wonder how to keep your crawl space moisture free at all time. Well, here are a few tips to do so.
1. Make Sure Your Foundation Is Insulated
Basement waterproofing should be the first step to take if you want to keep your crawl space moisture-free. Consider installing at least 1.5 inches of rigid waterproof membranes all-around your basement. Ensure you tape the seams, so no moisture or air passes through, or else the waterproof membrane won’t be as effective. Also, caulk the seams so that moisture-laden does not flow through and always remember to insulate the rim joists on your foundation too.
2. Get a Dehumidifier
A crawl space dehumidifier is always a good move when you want to dry out your crawl space. Make sure you get the dehumidifiers specially designed for crawl spaces and not the usual house dehumidifiers. But if your crawl space is not that wet, then you can use a normal dehumidifier, though it could run your electricity meter by quite a bit. Just plug your dehumidifier and leave it on for a few hours until your crawl space is moisture-free or until you think it’s okay.
3. Drain Your Crawl Space Better
The overall drainage condition of your house will determine just how to keep your crawl space moisture free because you will gauge how much moisture seeps into your crawl space. It is, therefore, good to have the proper grading so that rainwater flows away from the house and not into the crawl space. At least 5 inches per foot will suffice. You could also have a special crawl space drain system for severe cases. Just call your local contractor or plumber, and he/she can easily set you up with one for a reasonable price.
4. Cover the Floor of Your Crawl Space
It may seem pretty obvious but covering your crawl space’s floor works to prevent dampening of the crawlspace. There are special heavy-duty materials called crawl space vapor barriers that do a bang-up job of preventing moisture from getting into the crawl space. Laying the moisture barriers in continuous runs always works best, and don’t worry about any small punctures while laying out the barrier, they only let a negligible amount of moisture through.
5. Just Use a Fan
When your options are limited, an electric fan could work just as well as a dehumidifier. Similar to a dehumidifier, place the fan at the crawl space opening and leave it on for a few hours. Do this repeatedly for a few days, and you’ll notice a significant moisture reduction in your crawl space.
Keeping your crawl space moisture-free is a good practice for any homeowner keen on maintaining his/her house. These tips are essential to keeping your crawl space moisture free and drying out your crawl space too. You can find all the materials discussed in your local hardware stores or online for an even better deal. Remember, a moisture-free crawl space equals a safer home.