Dealing with a wet crawlspace can be frustrating. It’s a relief for many homeowners to discover that they are not alone in the fight. More than 90% of homes in the US experience moisture problems in their basements or crawl spaces. You’re not the first and probably won’t be the last to experience a wet crawl space.
This doesn’t mean that you should accept it as the norm to have a damp crawl space. Crawlspace waterproofing is absolutely necessary if you want to have a healthy home environment. It is also beneficial for the improvement of energy efficiency in the home.
Sources of water in crawl spaces
Before you decide whether to go forward with crawlspace waterproofing, it is important to determine the source of the water in your crawl space. This will help ensure that you deal with the problem and therefore have better results from your waterproofing. The following are some of the most common sources of leaks in crawl spaces.
- Clay bowl effect
After the construction of a foundation, the soil is backfilled. If it is not compacted properly, the house will push on the soil and settle into the void created. Water is likely to collect around the foundation and leak into the crawl space.
- Poor drainage
If your gutters are not discharging water far away enough from the foundation, the soil around the foundation will become saturated with water. This will result in increased pressure on the foundation and eventual flooding.
- Hydrostatic pressure
Floods and continuous rain can reign havoc on a foundation. They will cause the ground to become saturated. This results in high hydrostatic pressure being exerted on the walls of the foundation and pooling of water in the crawl space.
- Poor grading of the landscape
If the landscape slopes towards your foundation, runoff and water absorbed into the soil will flow in the direction of your foundation causing moisture problems and leaks in your crawl space.
- Defective windows and window wells
Do you have windows in your crawl space? They may be poorly designed or installed incorrectly. This can result in the funneling of water into the crawl space when it rains.
The first step to effective crawlspace waterproofing is determining the source of leaks in the crawl space. A professional contractor will help you identify any flaws in design or construction of your crawl space and guide the waterproofing process to solve them.