What is a Crawl Space?
A crawl space is a small room or passage on the basement level of a house. Sometimes a crawl space is seen in houses which have no basements. On houses with basements, a wall may separate the crawl space from the main basement. Sometimes a crawl space can be accessed from the outside of the house. If you are not sure if your house has a crawl space, ask a plumbing, electrical, or basement-work company to check for you.
What is the Crawl Space There For?
A crawl space, which usually has a dirt floor, is not meant to be a living space, and is not safe as such. You may wonder, then, about the purpose of this small "room." Crawl spaces let plumbers and electricians access things more easily when they come for work. Pipes and such can be reached easily via the crawl space. Another purpose of a crawl space is to help air circulate through the home. According to one article, some people use these spaces for storage. However, this may result in those items being ruined by mold or moisture.
Reasons to Waterproof
Speaking of mold and moisture, that relates directly to our next discussion. Many companies offer crawlspace waterproofing. But why is this a good idea? Provided below are four reasons to consider waterproofing your crawl space.
1. Prevent Damage
Crawl spaces are often cool, wet habitats where mold grows well. Widespread mold infestation can damage the house and may even cause health problems. Making the crawl space drier fixes that risk and has other benefits. When it rains a lot, the water may enter the crawl space, eventually damaging the home's foundation. In addition, there may be pipe leaks in the crawl space causing extra wetness. In either case, damage can be prevented by waterproofing the crawl space.
2. Make the Air Quality Better
In many houses, crawl spaces allow cool air to come from the basement into the house, keeping things more comfortable in warm months. When the crawl space is waterproofed, there will be less moisture. Naturally, less mold will grow there. A good result of this is that the air circulating through the house will be clean instead of containing mold spores and humidity.
3. Control Pests: Waterproof plus Sealing
If the crawl space remains wet, it may attract pests like termites, which like to eat into wet wood. Waterproofing a crawl space often includes the additional benefit of crawl space encapsulation, or proper sealing. When properly sealed, pest animals like mice and chipmunks will not be able to enter the crawls space anymore. Without such sealing, pests may become a problem. The author's house had significantly fewer pests reaching the basement living areas after the encapsulation of the crawl space.
4. Increase Home Value
On a final note, keep in mind the selling value of your house. When it is time to move, there are many things you can do to add to the property value. Waterproofing the crawl space and the basement are excellent examples of this. As you can see, there are multiple solid reasons why waterproofing your house's crawlspace is a great investment.