Crawlspace waterproofing is a job that should be left to professional and experienced contractors. However, time and time again, homeowners are fooled into either hiring inexperienced and untrained contractors. The problem with this is that they are likely to engage in practices that will only make the situation worse.
The following are some of the most common crawlspace waterproofing practices that only make things worse.
- Installing fiberglass in a wet or humid crawlspace
Fiberglass consists of glass fibers that are woven together. It basically looks like wool. Many inexperienced people will have this installed in humid crawlspace before dealing with the water problems. Fiberglass absorbs moisture from the air in humid environments. The fiberglass will become heavy and is likely to fall out of its place eventually. You may also have a mold problem as a result of the absorption of water.
- Improper installation of the sump pump
A sump pump is a vital component in crawlspace waterproofing. It ensures that excess water is removed from the crawl space therefore preventing flooding. Installing a sump pump requires a lot of planning. Various factors must be considered including the layout of the crawlspace, the proper positioning of the valves and hoses as well as proper trenching to capture water. These are considerations that homeowners and inexperienced contractors fail to make. The sump pump system ends up being ineffective.
- Not installing a dehumidifier
Waterproofing crawl spaces often involves encapsulation of the crawl space. Many inexperienced people will leave it at that. However, moisture can still build up in the crawl space. Installing a dehumidifier will help to control the conditions in the crawl space and ensure that you avoid moisture problems.
- Not ventilating the crawl space
Building codes require that crawl spaces be ventilated. This may mean including a vent or mechanically ventilating the crawl space. This helps to deal with dangerous soil gases such as radon gas that may accumulate in the crawl space and contaminate the living space above.
Installing an active ventilation system will help to mitigate the accumulation of soil gases in the crawl space. It will also ensure that you meet the requirements of building codes.
- Using gravel in place of a vapor barrier
Many people assume that installing gravel on the crawl space floor is enough to prevent vapor from entering the crawl space. This isn’t true. A vapor barrier must be installed beneath the gravel. This will help to keep the crawl space dry.