Proudly serving Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan Counties
Friday, November 18th, 2016 by Chantele Machado
Step One: Fix the Ground Water Leakage
Most crawl spaces in the Pacific Northwest will encounter some form of leakage problem throughout its existence. The reason frequently being because our weather is often rainy basis and we have very clay-rich soil. This combination causes homes to easily experience the consequences of hydrostatic pressure. This pressure, however, can be alleviated by installing a drainage system that controls the groundwater leakage. A key component to an effective drainage system is a properly working sump pump, such as the TripleSafe. Each crawl space is different and depending on the severity of the moisture problems, drainage trenching and other products may also be recommended for fixing ground water leakage.
Step Two: Isolate the House from the Earth
It is important to isolate the home from the Earth by installing a high quality vapor barrier, such as CleanSpace. CleanSpace is a durable, 20-mil-thick lining made up of seven layers. This includes high density polyethylene, low density polyethylene and two layers of polyester cord reinforcement. It also has an antimicrobial additive manufactured right into the material, preventing mold and mildew from developing. CleanSpace is installed by attaching fasteners along the top edge of the foundation walls, preventing the liner from shifting around. As long as the home is standing, the CleanSpace lining will remain secure and effective, and it will greatly reduce the moisture and humidity levels.
Step Three: Seal Out Evil Outside Air
Once moisture is prevented from the ground, the next step is to prevent it from coming in through other openings such as your crawl space access, vents and little cracks and crevices. Air can hold an alarming amount of water in the form of moisture vapor, in some cases up to an entire pound per 1000 cubic feet, so it’s extremely important to seal off any ways for the outside air to get in. For openings, such as vents, CleanSpace Vent Covers make a great option. They are securely fastened to the foundation walls and have a foam insulation and gasket material that completely seal off the outside air. They are also made from a durable plastic that will never rust, rot or need new paint. The crawl space access should also have an airtight seal. Our EverLast Crawl space door is perfect for the job. It can be fitted to any doorway and is bordered by a heavy weatherseal strip. The crawl space door is made from completely inorganic material making it waterproof and unable to support the growth of mold, mildew or rust. Finally, all the small cracks and crevices need to be sealed. It’s common for there to be open gaps around wires and pipes that lead outside. Often in older homes, there is open space between the sill plate and the top of the foundation. These types of apertures can be sealed with products like caulk or spray foam.
Step Four: Keep your Crawl Space Air Dry
Even after these steps are finished, unfortunately some air will still seep into the crawl space. Air is a very little thing and crawl spaces draw that air in through the tiniest of places. For full control over the humidity of the crawl space, a dehumidifier should be installed. Many traditional dehumidifiers are inadequate; the fans are small, they have a small coverage area and they shut off when they are full. Our SaniDry Basement Air System outperforms traditional dehumidifiers. Using the same amount of energy as a traditional dehumidifier that removes only 40 pints a day, the SaniDry can remove up to 100 pints of water per day. The SaniDry is completely automatic and will power on and off in regards to the humidity of the crawl space. It also drains the removed water from the basic once its full, requiring little to no responsibility from the homeowner.