If you try to repair your own crawl space or hire an unprofessional team, the mistakes made to your crawl space wind up costing thousands of dollars to re-repair. The heart of the problem is there are no standardized practices for repairing crawl spaces. Crawl space encapsulation is an excellent way to make your crawl space and the rest of your home dry, clean, and healthy but, first, your basement moisture problems need to be taken care of.
The following list is a few of the biggest crawl space repair mistakes. If the company you plan to hire recommends doing these, or you are planning to go it alone, make sure you get another opinion so you don't waste your time and money.
4 Crawl Space Repair Mistakes
Not Removing Moldy Insulation
You cannot be sure that any mold issues were addressed if the insulation has not been removed. Mold can grow anywhere that traps moisture and batting insulation can keep moisture in behind the vapor barrier. It doesn't matter what kind of material is used as the insulation, the nature of it means it will trap moisture and cause mold if you allow those conditions to persist. As well as mold, insulation can hold dead insects, mice, and critter feces which also contribute to mold growth.
Thinking the Dehumidifier Kills Mold
Mold cannot be killed by removing the water, moisture, and humidity. A dehumidifier is vital to prevent future mold from returning and lessening symptoms do to mold allergies, but it will not get rid of the problem. The only sure-fire ways to address mold are with a disinfectant, soda blasting, and completely removing the affected area. If the subflooring and joists are too wet they need to be dried before removing the mold.
Adding More Ventilation
Old building codes and bad advice have caused homeowners to add more vents to their crawl space in order to dry the high moisture content. Back then they thought that outside air circulation would force the moisture in the crawl space's air outside. However, as you can guess, warm, humid outdoor air brought into the crawl space through foundation vents during the summer leads to much higher moisture levels.You might also be familiar with the Stack Effect (you probably learned something similar way back in school.) The Stack Effect draws air inward from all vents and up into the living space of the home, not helping the crawl space at all. The first step to vents issues is to have vent covers installed, then you can move onto mold and moisture removal and encapsulation.
Incorrect Drainage System
Plenty of crawl spaces tend to have standing water after heavy rains. There are many reasons why and how water enters the area and there are several solutions that prevent or remove standing water. The worst solution is to ignore this problem or repair the problem with only a pit and pump. A sump pump alone can't pump all the water that pools in a crawl space; a perimeter drain is sometimes necessary to facilitate the pump. Investing in a drainage system that is meant for a crawl space will help massively in keeping your crawl space clean and dry.
These are far from the only problems that can worsen your crawl space issues but they are some of the biggest, as making the above mistakes worsen mold and wood rot problems. You and your family's safety should be the top priority and having a dangerous crawl space is no way to live.