When it rains, it pours. The winter season is set to bring with it some of the worst humidity and frost you’ve dealt with yet. That’s nothing your crawl space vapor barrier can’t handle, right?
If you’re feeling a little less than enthused on the whole matter, don’t worry. Crawl space waterproofing is a simple series of steps that’ll save you a lot of trouble down the road. A flooded basement alone can set you back thousands of dollars, never mind the potential health hazards brought into the home through mold build-up. When you tack on stubborn leaks and frosted pipes? It’s all a recipe for disaster wrapped up on your front doorstep with a bow on top.
Don’t give bad weather the time of day. Learn more about how to keep your crawl space vapor barrier moisture free.
Basements Are Notorious For Flooding
Think your basement will be free from flood damage? Think again. Of all homes with basements in the United States, at least 95% of them will experience some form of water damage. That includes leaking, broken pipes, and outright flooding after a storm. Fortunately, over 25 million homes in the country have crawlspaces already ready to go. Getting them retrofitted for the upcoming wet season means becoming aware of what could happen if you don’t.
Mold Is Extremely Bad For Your Health
It’s not just gross. It’s deadly. According to the EPA (that’s the Environmental Protection Agency), 100% of all types of mold have the potential to cause short-term and long-term side-effects. The short-term includes chronic sinus infections (of which 90% are attributed to mold), while the long-term includes various types of cancer. Mold thrives in wet, cold environments and can grow right under your nose with you none the wiser.
You Can Lose More Than Just Furniture
What else can you lose besides furniture to a flood? Time and money. A single flood can completely decimate your basement and leave you in a bad position to save up for that homeowning project you’ve been looking forward to. The average claim for water damage has remained steady at $7,000, though this can be much higher depending on how much you keep in your basement. It’s important to clean up your home thoroughly and quickly within one to two days after a flood to prevent the onset of mold.
A Good Foundation Is Everything
Your foundation will make or break just how durable your home is to the onset of water damage. Your plants should be placed at a bare minimum of two feet from the foundation, low enough in the soil so you’re not accidentally sending water right back. Your wall-vented crawl spaces also can’t maintain a relative humidity below the 70% threshold, so double-checking this percentage will save you a lot of pain later on. To date, around 20% of new homes continue to be built over crawlspaces.
Fixing Your Moisture Barrier Now Will Pay Off Later
Now to learn about crawl space insulation and what else needs to be done. Mold removal is a time-consuming and frustrating process, so going out of your way to double-check the crawl space vapor barrier will be much less painful. Keep in mind your crawl space barrier protects you not just from moisture and mold, but from dirt, insects, and all sorts of debris that can potentially cause a clog. The first sign of rotted wood should also be fixed at the nearest opportunity, as it could be a sign of water damage or termites.
The winter season is a time of joy and good food…not mold build-up and basement cleaning projects! How will you prepare in advance this month?