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What are the Best Tips for Crawl Space Repair?

Article Details
  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 15 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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The primary concern when considering crawl space repair is to keep the area dry at all times. This is the area located beneath the home, framed by the foundational walls. Any moisture allowed to remain in it can create a large number of problems for the home, in both short and long-term scenarios. Effective crawl space repair can reduce home energy costs by helping to maintain a consistent temperature. It can also preserve the framework and structure of the home by preventing mold and rot from growing in its wood and concrete.

Before beginning any type of crawl space repair, ensure that water is draining away from the home properly. The primary tool used in draining water away from the foundation of the home is typically the gutter system that runs along the edge of the roof. Gutters should not have any leaks or blockages due to leaves and tree debris. Clogged and leaking gutters may allow rainwater to run down the side of the house and collect beneath the foundation.

The land around the home may also need to be graded away from the foundation. This landscape should gradually slope downward from the foundation on all sides. High areas may need to be graded into a drainage ditch that runs away from the home in areas where the overall lawn cannot be changed.

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Once water is flowing away from the home, any remaining moisture issues in the crawl space can be addressed. If water tends to collect beneath the home regardless of any measures taken to regrade the lawn and improve the gutters, a sump pump may need to be installed. This should be placed into the ground in the crawl space at the lowest area, where the water tends to collect the most. The pump will then remove any excess water and drain it to a predetermined location.

After addressing existing standing water problems, the next step in crawl space repair is to install a vapor barrier. These barriers are typically made of plastic and are commonly available for sale, by the roll, at home improvement stores or over the Internet. Overlap the vapor barrier up to one inch (2.54 cm) and tape it together securely with duct tape. This will prevent moisture from leeching out of the soil and into the foundational timbers of the home.

Close any existing ventilation systems located along the walls of the crawl space that allow outside air into the area. These vents allow humidity to enter the space and can cause mold to grow in the wood of the home. If possible, allow controlled, conditioned air to flow into the crawl space from the existing duct work to maintain a dry climate.

Effective crawl space repair can reduce energy costs within the home by helping to maintain a consistent temperature. It can also preserve the framework and structure of the home by preventing mold and rot from forming in wood and concrete. Preventing such problems is often more affordable than removing them once they exist.

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