Professional Crawl Space Solutions
Moisture does not belong in any enclosed spaces in a home. No place is
this more apparent than in a crawl space.
While water can invade many parts of a house--attic, walls, basement,
you name it...the crawlspace is the number one place where moisture might
invade, because it has contact with the ground. In fact, it is the ground.
Reliable Basement Services has repaired thousands of crawl spaces and
basements, we can recommend a perfect solution for your crawl space.
Did you know that the air from your crawlspace may be making you and your
The problem with a dirt or vented concrete crawlspace is that as warm
air rises in your home, it brings up with it the air that was previously
in your crawlspace, including moisture and mold spores, as well as anything
else that may be airborne down there. Due to the "stack effect"
or air being drawn up from the crawlspace into the home up to 40% of the
air we breathe on the first floor of our home comes from the crawlspace.
Crawlspace moisture leads to mold growth, musty odors, and structural
damage. Insects and rodents love moist environments. Crawlspace moisture
and the mold and mildew that thrive in this environment affect not only
the floor system directly above, but also the entire house.
To avoid moisture's negative affects, a crawlspace should be completely
sealed and isolated from the ground and the humid outside air. The Crawlspace
Encapsulation System by Reliable Basement Services involves installing
a 16-mil barrier of polyethylene with polyestercord reinforcement on the
dirt or concrete floor that is fastened to the walls. Then, in some homes,
we look to introduce a heat source to the crawlspace to make it part of
the conditioned space. Keeping your crawlspace at a temperature of 55°
year round will make your 1st level floors comfortable to walk on.
Lower energy bills, resulting from reduced crawlspace humidity, translate
into comfort and savings year after year. The Healthy Crawl crawlspace
vapor barrier is tough enough for service people to crawl on and safe
enough for storage. Being bright white, our liner really brightens a crawlspace
too, making it a relatively pleasant storage place.
Crawl Space Waterproofing
To effectively insulate your crawlspace for energy efficiency and to create
a comfortable home, you need to properly control moisture in your crawlspace.
A crawlspace is susceptible to moisture and deterioration problems because
of contact with the earth. The best approaches for preventing these problems
will depend on the style of your home. However, the following are general
guidelines for creating a dry foundation system. These guidelines apply
to most crawl space designs.Keep all untreated wood materials away from
the earth.Damp proof the below-grade portion of the foundation wall to
prevent the wall from absorbing ground moisture by capillary action.Install
drainage plane material or gravel against the foundation wall to relieve
hydrostatic pressure and channel water to the foundation drain.Provide
a foundation drainage system at the footing when the foundation floor
(interior grade) is below the exterior grade. Surround the crawlspace
with a perforated drain tile system and gravel, and pitch to a sealed
sump pump system.Install 16-mil commercial grade reinforced vapor barrier
across the crawl space floor to prevent soil moisture from migrating into
the crawl space. Overlap and tape all seams by several inches. Seal completely
up the crawl space walls.
Symptoms of a Crawl Space Problem
- Drywall Cracks in the Interior
- Uneven FloorsFoul
- Odors in the Home
- Heightened Allergies or Asthma Symptoms
If you're having a problem with your crawl space, you've come to
the right place. At Reliable Basement Services, we specialize in
crawl space problems of all types. Whatever your issue, we have the products and experience
that you need to find the best solution.
Crawl space repair will help you avoid unnecessary repairs, create a healthier living space,
and save money on your utility bills. And once you've encapsulated
your crawl space with a vapor barrier, you've gained valuable storage
space in your home.
Why Waterproof Your Crawl Space?
Because your crawl space is underneath the house, this space is at a high
risk for water damage. It is a dark, often damp space that is easy susceptible
to moisture buildup. This dampness can lead to mold, termites and other
bugs, which then lead to an unhealthy environment for you and your family.
This is why it is extremely important to waterproof your crawl space,
including moisture barriers, to ensure it is completely sealed from outside elements.
The Causes of Wet, Damp, Crawl Spaces and Groundwater Seepage...
Crawl space foundations are built into shallow holes dug out of primarily
clay soils creating “clay bowls”. These “clay bowls”
hold water much like a pond holds water. Even after the foundation is
back filled, this bowl that the basement was built in will still hold
water, because the back filled soil is much less dense than the untouched
soil around it. Water percolates through the soil and saturates the area
in the bowl, and around the foundation. The result: a wet basement and/or
To prevent water from building around the foundation and getting into
the crawl space, the builder installs a drainage system around the perimeter
at the base, and seals the walls before back filling. However, sometime
after construction, the water brings dissolved soil and sediment into
the original drainage system and the drainage system begins to clog. Once
this clogging process occurs, water builds around the foundation and hydrostatic
pressure is created, forcing the water into the crawl space through weak
points where the wall and floor meet, as well as through cracks in the
walls and floor.
Many crawl spaces have dirt floors. If water is building around the foundation,
a dirt floor makes it even easier for water to move in. Muddy crawl space
dirt floors easily allow excess moisture to move upwards into the floor
joists, flooring, and insulation above.
Vapor Transmission and Condensation in a Crawl- Space
Other forms of moisture penetration are much more difficult to see. Vapor
Transmission is a process where water molecules move through masonry foundations
from the exterior to the interior even in areas where air cannot penetrate!
Also, warm, humid air moves into cooler crawl space environments in the
summer. This warm air cools and shrinks. As this happens, the relative
humidity rises, and water condenses onto cooler surfaces like cold water
pipes, cold air returns, and foundation walls and floors. In the winter,
warm air in the basement can condense onto cooler basement walls and floors.
The moisture from groundwater seepage and saturated air is evaporated
into the crawl space environment. Once the amount of moisture entering
the crawl space exceeds the its ability to evaporate it, signs of moisture
begin to accumulate on the walls and floor.
Crawl Space Ventilation
Most crawl spaces contain vents that were installed to allow air to circulate
in and out of the crawl space. The unforeseen problem is that it is not
always a good idea to circulate air in and out of the crawl space. Warm,
humid air in the summer can create high humidity in the crawl space environment
increasing the relative humidity. As the warm, moist air cools once inside
the cooler crawl environment, condensation can occur. That moist air is
absorbed by the wood and insulation above, creating conditions for basement
mold growth and structural concerns.
Healthycrawl Crawl Space Encapsulation
Because the distance between a crawl space floor, dirt or concrete, and
the ceiling (the flooring and joists of the first floor above) is much
less than that of a full size basement, there is not as much cubic footage
to allow evaporation. The best way to eliminate moisture problems and
basement mold is to separate the crawl space from the flooring above by
encapsulating the walls and floors of the crawl space with Healthy Crawl.
Healthy Crawl is thick, tough liner (think of a swimming pool liner in
white), that completely covers the crawl space walls and floors. Moisture
is unable to penetrate the barrier, and therefore unable to reach the
areas that can create problems. Vents in the crawl space are also covered
and sealed to keep unwanted humid or cold air out of the crawl space.
Now that the moisture from the ground below and the vents above are cut
off, the relative humidity in the crawl space is maintained at a level
below that at which basement mold can grow below 50% with the Healthy
Crawl install a Santa Fe Dehumidifier System. This system will dry and
clean up to 2500 square feet of crawl space, it is fully automatic no
buckets to empty, contains a two stage air purification system, and in
energy star rated!
Crawl Spaces with Water Seepage
If actual water seepage is present in the crawl space, additional measures
need to be taken before the Healthy Crawl System is installed. A
drain tile drainage system would be installed first. A draintile system is specifically
designed to drain water from crawl spaces in one of 3 ways—either
a perimeter system (in the case where there is a concrete floor), a drainage
matt (where there is a level dirt floor), or “finger” drains
(in cases where there is an uneven dirt floor). The idea is to drain the
water to a sump basin where, where it is pumped out away from the crawl
Exterior Crawl Space Excavation
Exterior Excavation simply means wet basement and wet crawl space remediation
by reinstalling the same drainage system that was originally put into
place by the builder (this is not the same as a system of French drains).
The exterior of the home is excavated all the way to the bottom of the
wall. A new drainage system is installed to correct the wet basement or
crawlspace. The walls are re-sealed, and the area is back filled.
Interior Crawl Space Drain Tile System
Interior drain tile is a drainage system installed along the interior side
of the wet basement or wet crawlspace footing. A 12” wide trench
is excavated around the interior perimeter of the cawlspace floor alongside
the crawlspace walls. A drainage system is installed in the trench and
run to a perforated 4” PVC pipe and connected to a sump basin, with
a sump pump or battery back up sump pump installed to discharge the water.
Gravel is used to back fill the trench, and the area is re-cemented or
backfilled. This method of waterproofing will correct many types of wet
Multiple Crawl Space Drains
Multiple Drainage systems basically mean that a second, exterior surface
drain or French Drain is added to the Interior Channel system described
above. The exterior earth areas around the home are dug 18” to 36”
deep. A drainage system is installed into the trench and run to a sloped
grade, or attached to a storm drain. These exterior surface drainage systems
are generally hand dug, so there is no need for heavy equipment. This
method of waterproofing but will correct many types of wet basement and
crawl space issues.
Crawl space is traditionally the most misunderstood part of your home.
It encompasses many crucial building components of the foundation. A compromised
crawl space endangers the structural integrity of the foundation system.
Damage occurs when the environment is moist, exposing joists, sill plate,
support beams, subfloor, piers, block foundation walls, etcetera, to undesirable
temperatures and water vapor levels. Groundwater levels differ according
to the amount of rain and snow received. These fluctuating levels are
the crux of crawl space moisture problems. If the groundwater level remains
near the crawl space grade, water levels can range from complete flooding
to smaller areas of standing water. However, crawl spaces can remain moist
and damp without appearing muddy or wet due to a number of factors. The
enclosed environment of the subsurface soil base, open-earth evaporation,
elevation, topography, and exterior perimeter drainage, all contribute
to the crawl space becoming very susceptible to mold, mildew, fungus,
insect infestations, wildlife shelter, and other microorganisms.
Light bright storage space is made available for your valuables which will
not be damaged by moisture. Prevent the growth of mold and mildew preventing
unpleasant odors throughout the house Protect your homes framing from
high levels of moisture which will destroy the very foundation of your
How HealthyCrawl Works:
HealthyCrawl Barrier System encapulates the entire crawl space not allowing
moisture and gas to permeate through the concrete into your home. We do
this using a white, 10-mil, triple ply, extrusion coated, virgin polyethylene
membrane. It is manufactured using high-density fibers yielding the highest
strength to weight ratio, tensile strength, tear resistance. bursting
strength and puncture resistance of any product produced of it's kind.
What this means for you is a long lasting durable solution to your crawlspace
problem. HealthyCrawl Barrier System is white in color providing a very
bright area to store your valuables in and it's easy to clean.
Sealing a crawl space is a really good idea. Here are ways it saves you money:
1. In the winter, a sealed crawlspace blocks out cold winter air. This
air is then kept away from your hot water pipes, your water heater, your
furnace, air ducts, and any other utilities kept below. It also stops
cold air from making the floor above cold.
2. How air moves upwards in your home, passing out the roof and upper
levels. In the summer, this means a vacuum is created on the lower levels,
and some of the air is pulled up from the crawl space. If your crawl space
is vented or allows in outside air, it will pull new air from the outside.
Summer air is humid, and when it cools in the crawl space, its relative
- Humid air is more expensive to cool than dry air. Your air conditioners
will have to dehumidify the air as it cools it.
- Humidity in the crawl space will lead to more rot, mold, mildew, etc.
in the future. The floor above will eventually sag and decompose. Hiring
a contractor to crawl into your dank crawl space, rip out the moldy lumber
and install new lumber in the crawl space is not cheap.
Crawl Space Solution Cost
How much does it cost to repair a crawl space? The price can range from as little as $300 to as much as $8,000, depending
on the repairs the crawl space needs. The
crawl space waterproofing cost will depend on the extent of foundation repairs needed, can be anywhere
from a simple
foundation crack repair,
sump pump installation,
interior drain tile system,
crawl space encapsulation or even
exterior drain tile systems.
There are many crawl space contractors that figure out the problem and
do the work for you. Be certain the company gives you a written assessment
of the problem and how it will be fixed. There should be a written estimate
for the cost, estimated start date and time, how long it will take to
complete, and the length of warranty. Estimates can run from $300 to $8,000
depending on the work to be done, so get more than one. The cost of
waterpoofing a crawl space or
repairing a crawl space simply depends on the problem.