We get asked all the time about crawlspace and basement waterproofing systems. Maybe you saw a waterproofing project on TV or heard an advertisement on the radio and it piqued your interest. So, what does waterproofing actually mean, how much does it cost and is waterproofing a good idea in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area?
What Is Crawl Space Waterproofing? Crawl Space waterproofing (also called “Crawl Space Encapsulation”) has some variations, but a typical system consists of trenching and drainage to allow moisture to be collected into a sump pump and discharged out of the space.
As a crawl space contractor in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area, we get a lot of questions about vapor barriers. Many times when a customer calls in, it is generally one of the questions below. If you have questions regarding vapor barriers (also called “moisture barrier”, please take a look at these questions and if you don’t see what you are looking for, please feel free to give us a call.
What Does A Vapor Barrier Actually Do?
Here in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area, we live in a very wet place. Our homes are pummeled with rain throughout the year and, unfortunately, some of that water sticks around. Water accumulation in the crawl space underneath our homes is a major concern that can wreak extensive damage to the structural components of your house. As a drainage contractor in the Portland Metro area, I see homes all the time that have serious issues with standing water and design drainage systems to rectify these issues.
A vapor barrier (also called a “moisture barrier”) serves an important purpose underneath your home. A crawl space is a damp, dark place that provides the perfect setting for moisture related problems to arise. This is especially true in the Pacific Northwest where we get such an excessive amount of rain throughout the year. As a drainage contractor serving the Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA area, we get a lot of questions regarding the installation of vapor barriers. Here are some commonly asked questions if you are considering having this service done.
How Much Does It Cost To Have A Vapor Barrier Installed?
When you step into your crawl space, you expect to see the usual things. Some spider webs, darkness and all the rest, but you would never expect to see what one of our customers saw. As he opened his crawl space hatch, he saw hot steaming water about a foot deep in his crawl space. What prompted this visit to the crawl space was the soaring water bill costs. He assumed that maybe a water pipe was leaking, but he didn’t expect to find a hot water pipe completely burst open, filling his crawl space with hot water.
Of course, the consequences were disastrous. Insulation was ruined, duct work was ruined, and the hot water created a mold creating factory down there. It was a mess that nobody wants to have to deal with and it all could have been avoided.
Now, this example is the extreme, but it is not uncommon to have standing water in the crawl space wreak havoc. Normally, it is a process that happens over time as water slowly accumulates, but regarless of how it gets there, it is important to have a system in place that will move it out of there.
Your crawl space is a really important part of your home. You might not realize this because you probably spend very little time down there. It is dark, damp and even a little creepy, but it houses the most important elements of your home. Your plumbing pipes, air ducts and even the structural integrity of your home depend on the crawl space being in good shape in order for your home to stay healthy. Since this area of the home is so crucial, you should probably be aware of what factors can ruin it.
Animals Can Make Your Crawl Space A Very Unhealthy Place
We go into a lot of crawl spaces and see all sorts of things that can really make for an unhealthy environment, but probably the most common is an animal infestation.