Crawlspace Waterproofing: Protect Your Home From Damage

Crawlspace foundations are common in California, and many homeowners never think twice about this area of their home. However, without proper crawlspace waterproofing, you may begin to notice signs of water or moisture damage throughout your home. Hiring a waterproofing company to encapsulate your crawlspace is an excellent way to prevent many common problems related to crawlspaces. Let’s dive in and take a look at this type of foundation and how the team at Thome Waterproofing can help protect this area, and, ultimately, the entire structure of your home.

Types Of House Foundations

In general, there are three types of foundations – basement, slab and crawlspace foundations. In California, we rarely see basement foundations in residential properties. These typically are more likely to be seen in large commercial structures. If you do have a basement, we can provide you with basement waterproofing.

With slab foundations, the home is built on top of a concrete slab, and this is quite common in California because they tend to be relatively inexpensive and, because our temperatures rarely drop below freezing, this can be a good option although it does make life more difficult if you need to access plumbing lines, as these are typically buried beneath. Crawlspace foundations have a few key advantages over slab foundations. For instance, you have easier access to plumbing. Houses with crawlspace foundations tend to handle earthquakes better than homes with slab foundations or basements. Crawlspace foundations also are the best option for a sloping lot, and if properly sealed, you can use this space for extra storage.

Signs You Need Waterproofing

Many homeowners never think about their crawl space until they begin to notice common signs that indicate the crawl space has not been waterproofed correctly. Here are a few signs that indicate you probably need better waterproofing.

  1. Water Accumulation: If you notice standing water or consistent moisture in your crawlspace, it’s a clear sign that waterproofing is needed.
  2. Mold & Mildew Growth: The presence of mold or mildew, especially on the floor joists or subfloor, is a sign of excessive moisture and potential water damage.
  3. Musty Odors: A musty or moldy smell emanating from the crawlspace is often due to dampness and mold growth, indicating a need for waterproofing.
  4. Increased Humidity: High humidity levels in your home can be a result of moisture from an unsealed crawlspace.
  5. Wood Rot: Wood rot in the crawlspace structure, such as in joists and beams, is a serious sign of water damage.
  6. Pest Infestations: Pests like termites, ants, and rodents are attracted to damp crawlspaces, indicating a potential moisture problem.
  7. Deteriorating Insulation: Wet or damp insulation in the crawlspace is ineffective and suggests moisture issues.
  8. Visible Efflorescence: White, powdery residue on crawlspace walls is a sign of efflorescence, caused by water seeping through concrete or masonry.
  9. Cracks in Foundation Walls: Cracks or fissures in the foundation walls can allow water to seep into the crawlspace.
  10. Buckling Hardwood Floors: Excess moisture from below can cause hardwood floors above the crawlspace to warp or buckle.

Crawl space waterproofing is essential for maintaining the structural integrity of your house and ensuring a healthy living environment. Addressing these issues promptly through proper waterproofing can prevent more serious damage to your home and improve indoor air quality.

The Waterproofing Process

There are several different levels of waterproofing homeowners can consider, but when it comes to protecting your home from water damage, crawl space encapsulation is typically your best bet.

Often, homeowners opt for vapor barrier installation, which covers the floor and walls with a water-resistant plastic sheet. This certainly will reduce the moisture, but it’s really not enough to truly prevent serious problems and it often doesn’t address issues such as pests accessing your crawl space.

Encapsulation involves covering the entire crawlspace – floors, walls, and sometimes even the ceiling – with a heavy-duty polyethylene barrier. This method effectively seals the crawlspace from external moisture and pests.

In many cases, we also add a sump pump or a dehumidifier to further prevent water damage and moisture. Of course, we also seal off the vents which prevents critters as well as prohibiting moist air from entering the space. Adding insulation to the crawlspace also can be a good idea as this can help you maintain more regular temperatures in your home.

In addition to encapsulation, it’s important that homeowners also ensure that the entire perimeter of their home has proper drainage. Installing French drains and other drains around your home and ensuring that gutters and downspouts are clean and clear can go a long way toward preventing water damage in your home.

While encapsulation is the most expensive option, it’s important to keep in mind that proper waterproofing can prevent costly damage to your home. Waterproofing will always be less expensive and less cumbersome than repairing water damage, and waterproofing can greatly improve the air quality in your home.

Contact Thome Waterproofing Today

At Thome Waterproofing, our waterproofing contractors have years of experience providing high-quality crawlspace waterproofing and crawl space repair. Additionally, we can provide many other waterproofing services including planter waterproofing, balcony waterproofing, waterproof deck coatings, concrete pool deck coating and more. We service the entire Los Angeles metro area, so give us a call and we can provide you with a free estimate for our services.