If you’re building a home or planning to buy a new house that also has a crawl space, you should also take waterproofing into consideration. In this guide, we’ll give you an overview of the costs.
What is a crawl space?
A crawl space is an area under your house that’s roughly 3 feet high. This hollow area contains all the plumbing pipes, electric wiring cables, as well as heating and cooling lines of your house.
How much does it cost to waterproof a crawl space?
Waterproofing a crawl space costs between $,3,000 and $15,000 depending on the size of the crawl space and the materials your use. If any repairs are necessary, such as fixing cracks, or adding additional drains, pipes, and cables, expect to pay between $7,000 and $20,000.
Indeed, waterproofing your crawl space is not cheap. Sometimes people choose a less expensive method to cut down on costs. However, this solution is efficient only in the short term.
If you use second-hand or cheap materials, and the handyman does not have much experience, this may end up costing more in the long run.
You might need to repair certain things from time to time.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Crawl Space?
Aside from hosting all the guts of your house, a crawl space plays an important part in elevating your home off the ground.
In this manner, you’ll prevent moisture from penetrating your home’s structure.
A crawl space is a very useful addition to your house, especially if you live in a coastal sandy area where water might seep through your basement walls.
At the same time, it also offers you quick access to your plumbing, electrical wiring, heating, and cooling lines.
If you need to repair them, you can simply enter the crawl space and replace the faulty system elements without excavating dirt.
It is worth mentioning that building a crawl space is much cheaper than building a basement.
As a matter of fact, the costs are ten times higher for a basement.
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Should I Waterproof My Crawl Space?
You should definitely waterproof your crawl space to prevent the stack effect and protect the structural integrity of your home.
If the crawl space is not kept dry and well-ventilated, moisture from the ground can seep through the cracks in the floor and breed mold in your house.
Keep in mind that concrete allows moisture to pass through. Therefore, it’s important to buy a house that already has a waterproof crawl space or take care of this matter as soon as you’ve built your house.
I agree, nobody spends a lot of time in the crawl space. As a result, many people think that waterproofing this area is not necessary.
However, you’ll end up coughing up more money repairing the damage caused by moisture and water than you would have spent on making your crawl space waterproof.
Clean Your Crawl Space Before Waterproofing It
Before starting the waterproofing work, you need to first clean up your crawl space and repair any moisture damage. This is the element that often triggers cost spikes.
Sometimes, if moisture damage is severe, this may even double the final costs.
Sinking or mold issues are among the most severe and expensive problems to fix.
Unfortunately, these are common issues, so expect to pay more for the job than you first thought.
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This Is a Job for Professionals
As much as you like tinkering around the house, please leave this task to a professional.
If your crawl space is affected by mold, pests, or other damage, you need to have someone assess the issue and establish a clear action plan.
Professionals will quickly assess your home and decide what waterproofing materials are best for your needs and budget.
How Do I Stop My Crawl Space From Flooding?
To stop your crawl space from flooding, keep water away from your home’s foundation by installing gutters.
Next, install a sump pump to pump the water out of the area, and put in a vapor barrier to prevent damage to the building fabric in case your crawl space does get flooded.
After heavy rain episodes, rainwater may end up pooling near the foundation of your house.
While much of it will soak into the ground, some may seep through your foundation walls, potentially flooding your crawlspace.
Therefore, ensure that rainwater flows away from your house to prevent it from pooling near the foundation.
Is It Normal to Have Water in a Crawl Space?
Having standing water in your crawl space is not normal. While there is indeed moisture in most crawl spaces, there should be absolutely no accumulated water.
If this is the case, you can use a sump pump to pump the water out of your crawl space.
Is It Normal for a Crawl Space to Flood?
A flooded crawl space is not normal and water should be pumped out as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Then assess all the items to check for signs of water damage.
What Is the Cause of Water in a Crawl Space?
Standing water may appear in your crawl space after the soil soaked up too much water due to heavy rain.
Broken water lines may also cause major flooding problems as many of them pass through the crawl space.
You need to pump water out as soon as possible to avoid water damage.
Will a Crawl Space Dry Out on Its Own?
If the moisture is due to a temporary issue like a small water leak or condensation, it may dry out naturally once the source of moisture is fixed, and the area is adequately ventilated.
However, if the crawl space has chronic moisture problems, such as poor drainage, high groundwater levels, or inadequate ventilation, it is unlikely to dry out on its own.
How Often Should You Check Your Crawl Space?
Inspect your crawl space at least twice a year, ideally during the spring and fall seasons.
Regular inspections can help identify any potential problems early on, allowing you to address them before they escalate into more significant issues.
However, if you live in an area prone to heavy rainfall, have experienced crawl space problems before, or notice any signs of moisture or pests, more frequent checks, even quarterly, may be advisable.
On average, waterproofing a crawl space costs between $,3,000 and $15,000, depending on the size of the crawl space and the materials your use. Waterproofing your crawl space is necessary to protect the structural integrity of your home, and prevent the stack effect.
There you go, now you know why you should waterproof your crawl space and how much you can expect to pay for this job.
If you already waterproofed your crawl space, do drop a comment below and tell us more about your experience.
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- HOW MUCH WILL YOU PAY FOR CRAWL SPACE WATERPROOFING? COSTS AND COMPONENTS TO CONSIDER, AccuLevel.
- HOW MUCH DOES CRAWL SPACE WATERPROOFING COST, AFS Repair.
Last updated in July 2023 to add additional information.