Many Maryland homes were built with an open space beneath their first floor and the soil beneath, called a crawl space. This tight space is ideal for accessing floor joists, wiring, and pipes for repairs, but many homeowners overlook this area of their home until a serious issue arises. These small spaces can have a large impact on an entire home and without proper upkeep can affect a home’s comfort and indoor air quality.
Moisture is one of the biggest issues within a crawl space. Often the floor is made of soil which retains moisture which can cause mold. Even with a concrete floor, water can seep in through the foundation walls and cause excess moisture problems.
This extra moisture can lead to:
- Severe water damage
- Rot that can impact the structural stability of your home
- Pests that can eat away at your floor joists
- Mold that can affect your home’s air quality
It is important for homeowners to work to resolve and prevent water issues in their crawl space by draining and waterproofing the space. At East Coast Mold Remediation, we offer a variety of solutions for preventing excess water and moisture in your crawl space.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
There are two methods to improving a crawl space: insulation and encapsulation. Encapsulation deals with the excess moisture and insulation warms up the cold floor and pipes, adding an extra protective layer. They are often installed together and help keep your home safe and healthy.
You should consider crawl space encapsulation if you have noticed:
- severe problems with your foundation
- issues with bulk water
- a surplus of moisture-related problems
- signs of mold or mildew
- a difference in the air quality of your home
Encapsulation involves the installation of a moisture and vapor barrier. A plastic liner is installed along the floor of the crawl space and fitted to any pipes or mechanical outcroppings to create a seal that locks out moisture, dust, external air and pests. Spray foam insulation is applied to the crawl space ceiling (the joists of the first floor) to seal the space.
Crawl Space Drainage Systems
Oftentimes water can pool in a crawl space after a heavy rain. If you notice this happening beneath your home, it is important to consider installing a crawl space drainage system to prevent this water buildup before completing the encapsulation process.
A sump pump is a water removal device created to detect leaks and collect and drain water from your crawl space, preventing the water from rising and damaging any important components beneath your home. When installing a crawl space drainage system, a sump pump is placed in the lowest area of the crawl space so water will drain into it and be pumped to the drainpipe and away from your foundation.
A French drain is an effective drainage option to address a wet crawl space. This traditional, reliable, cost-effective drainage system has been widely used by farmers, gardeners, and construction workers for over 150 years. It is a trench lined with sand or gravel, often containing a perforated pipe, that redirects water out of your crawl space. French drains are sometimes called “perimeter drains” because they are often built at the edges of a crawl space, allowing the drain to collect water that seeps up through the floor and walls.
The final step in helping to reduce moisture from your crawl space is to install a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier’s purpose is to lower the humidity of your crawl space to keep the space drier, cleaner, healthier, and more energy efficient. Since a crawl space is non-conditioned, it is at the mercy of the climate, so when moisture builds up from duct-work condensation, ground moisture evaporation, and high outdoor humidity, the dehumidifier is needed to consistently keep the humidity at a healthy level.
We Are Here to Help
Taking the time to ensure your crawl space is protected from the elements will not only give you and your family peace of mind but a more energy efficient and comfortable home to enjoy.
At East Coast Mold Remediation, our dedicated, expert team is ready to answer your crawl space questions and help you determine which services would be best for your home. We take pride in helping our Baltimore community and building their trust with our quality workmanship and customer service. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you update your crawl space with our crawl space services.