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What Can Crawl Space Humidity Do to Your Home?

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Crawl spaces present many challenges for homeowners because the unfinished basement space is typically not heated or cooled in any way. This can result in humidity building up in the space. Unfortunately, excess humidity in the crawl space can present a problem that extends beyond this unfinished basement area and that causes issues in the rest of your home.

There are many different problems that crawl space humidity can cause in your space. One issue is that the humidity can create a musty smell that pervades the rest of your home. This is very unpleasant for those who live in or visit the space.

Another issue is that the humidity itself will seep into your living spaces, making them less comfortable and potentially doing damage to wood floors and crown molding and other wood products. Wood tends to expand and contract with humidity, which can result in unsightly cracking and damage.

Humidity in your crawl space can even cost you money. With the added humidity, your utility bills will cost more- a monthly expense you don’t need.

Instead of dealing with all of these problems, contact StayDry Waterproofing to learn about some good options for controlling humidity in your crawl space.

Seal your Crawl Space to Keep the Snow Out

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Crawl spaces are susceptible to moisture from a lot of sources, but unfortunately things in your crawl space can go from bad to worse during winter time. Snow can cause a number of problems, including exacerbating leaks and drainage problems in your crawl space as the snow melts. A damp crawl space is a draw for insects, mold and mildew and other unwelcome visitors in your house and fixing the crawl space should be a top priority to keep your home safe.

Fortunately, there is a way to keep the snow out of your crawl space and to help ensure that your crawl space stays dry no matter what the season. Using a crawl space vapor barrier is an important protection against the elements and not only helps to keep snow and other water from entering the crawl space but can also help to reduce your energy costs.

To get the benefits of a sealed crawl space, it is best to bring in the experts. Stay Dry Waterproofing is well-known for its skill in crawl space vapor barrier solutions and we can help keep the weather from impacting your space this winter season.

The Myth of the Breathing Crawlspace

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Every now and then, an age old idea that everyone had always adhered to turns out to completely false. For instance, remember how everyone thought the world was flat until Christopher Columbus made his voyage to discover the Americas? Well, such is the case with the idea of letting your crawlspace breathe. See, if you look around at older homes that have crawlspaces, you will notice that they typically have vents installed on all sides. The idea here was that air needed to blow through them to keep them properly function.

Wow, were we all wrong.

Luckily, now we know better. We know that those crawlspaces need to be sealed up to prevent everything from mold growth to big invasions to rotting of support beams. We also know that failing to seal up your crawlspace will invite all those problems in—and more—thanks to the moist air and never fully-drying soil.

But what about you? Are you still operating on outdated ideas? Are you letting your crawlspace breathe? Then call us now and let us bring you into the 21st century: 800-800-7073!

Crawlspace Vapor Barrier Fights Dampness

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A crawlspace vapor barrier is a great way to keep your crawlspace from becoming a damp or wet area. The crawl space provides an important structural foundation for the house, but it is also susceptible to water damage due to its underground location and the closeness of the surrounding soil. A wet crawlspace can provide a home to mold, mildew, bacteria and insects, so investing in a crawlspace vapor barrier to keep it dry is often a very wise choice.

A crawlspace vapor barrier involves using a 21 Mil membrane that is reinforced with fiber to assure the membrane is strong and impenetrable by water and damp. A properly installed crawlspace vapor barrier will work to keep water out of your underground space for a very long time- in most cases, for life. Not only does the membrane help to keep the crawlspace dry, but it also helps you to minimize energy loss as well. With both increased energy efficiency and increased peace of mind that comes with a dry basement, it is no wonder that so many people turn to the experts at StayDry Waterproofing for help installing a crawlspace vapor barrier in their homes.

Who Will Install Your Crawlspace Vapor Barrier?

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So you have finally decided to bite the bullet and encapsulate your crawlspace. Trust us when we say, you will not regret it. It’s a smart decision made by a savvy homeowner. You have realized that a home without a crawlspace vapor barrier is prone to:

  • Dirty, musty air
  • Insects and other pests drawn in by moisture
  • Mold and mildew
  • Structural damage

So now that you know you want a crawlspace vapor barrier, the question is: who is going to install it? Now at first you may be tempted to do the work yourself. After all, isn’t it just a tarp stapled to the sides of your crawlspace?

Please, do not make this mistake.

A crawlspace vapor barrier is much more than a simple tarp. And it requires much more care than simply stapling it in place. What you need is someone like Stay Dry Waterproofing to come in and make sure you have the right materials properly installed. Only then can you rest assured that your crawlspace vapor barrier will keep the moisture out.

Crawl Space Waterproofing – Why?

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It’s important to make sure that your crawl space is sealed from the elements. Why?

By protecting your crawl space, you are protecting your whole house. Crawl spaces breed mold and mildew. These spores grow and spread into your house if left unchecked. 

While crawl space waterproofing is not a job you would want to take on yourself, you will find that hiring a qualified professional to hand it can prove fairly reasonable, financially speaking. 

More Reasons Supporting Crawl Space Waterproofing 

Moisture can also damage the walls of your home. Keep in mind, the only way it gets into your house is by coming through unsealed walls or cracks. Where are most of these cracks found? In between the floor of your home and the crawl space. So if your crawl space is wet—well good luck controlling the climate in your home. 

What should you do? Where should you turn? Simply pick up the phone and call Stay Dry Waterproofing right now!

Crawl Space Waterproofing—The Big Choice

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If you have a damp crawl space, you are presented with a big choice. You can either obtain crawl space waterproofing from a licensed, experienced professional or you can just ignore it and move on.

Now pay careful attention and understand when we tell you that this choice is more important than you might think. Let us examine the outcome of each decision.

The results of obtaining crawl space waterproofing

  • Increased home value
  • Lowered future maintenance costs
  • Easy to access crawl space
  • Lowered energy bills

The consequences of foregoing crawl space waterproofing

  • Possible rotting support systems
  • Insect breeding grounds and invasion
  • Breathing unclean air in your home
  • Mildew and risk of mold

After reading the above list, anyone can see that obtaining crawl space waterproofing is a smart decision. And finding someone to do the job is simple. Just search the web for “crawl space waterproofing” in your local area and you’ll find plenty of options. Or get over to and save yourself the hassle.

Indicators That You Need Crawl Space Repair

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Living in a moist area such as Michigan, Indiana, or Ohio can spell disaster for the crawl space beneath your home. Failing to keep your crawl space dry and conditioned can eventually destroy your home and pose risks to your family’s health. While every home without a basement foundation can benefit from crawl space waterproofing, the following indicators demand your immediate attention.

  • Sagging floors– If you notice your floors randomly sagging, the cause might not be so random. Extended exposure to water can rot the wooden floor joists underneath your home. As a result, your floors will become uneven over time. Crawl space waterproofing can prevent moisture damage to your floor joists.
  • Musty odor in your home– Are you greeted with a stale stench upon entering your front door? That smell doesn’t just come out of thin air- it’s caused by moisture. As soon as you notice a damp or musty smell in your house, you need to find the source of the problem. When searching, don’t rule out the possibility that your crawl space could be the culprit. Due to a phenomenon called the stack effect, your home draws air up from your crawl space as part of the ongoing airflow. If you have a wet crawl space, your home is sucking up damp air, which can cause the musty odor.
  • Allergy problems– Do you find yourself sneezing often at home or rubbing your nose and eyes? This is probably due to allergies. If you have a damp crawl space under your home (and especially if you notice the musty smell inside), chances are you have mold growing. Because mold spores travel by air, the air being sucked up into your home is bound to carry minute particles of mold, not to mention other allergens. A home suffering from this problem may cause occupants to suffer from allergies while inside, but clear up when they leave the house for a few hours.  
  • High electricity bills– Rising electricity costs may indicate that your crawl space air is invading your home, causing your air conditioner or heater to run less efficiently. In this situation, homeowners traditionally point fingers at poor attic insulation and outdated single-paned windows. However, having established that your unsealed crawl space delivers air to the inside of your home, it’s logical to conclude that this may also lead to higher energy consumption. Crawl space waterproofing and conditioning will seal the walls and vents of your crawl space and will in turn cause your air conditioning or heating system to run more effectively. 
  • Insect invasion– Insects such as spiders, slugs and roaches thrive in humid areas, including under your home. These insects have a way of finding passage into your house where they wreak havoc. Before calling an exterminator, consider crawl space waterproofing and conditioning. Doing so might stop an insect invasion from below your home. 
  • Visual crawlspace damage– The primary indicators that you need crawl space repair are the visual signs beneath your home. Of course, this requires you getting on your hands and knees and venturing into the darkness of your crawl space. Once under your home, first look for standing water. If you find water, you likely have a problem. Next, look for any signs of wood rot. Also search for moldy spots and insect infestation. Any of these may signify your need for crawlspace repair. 

Whether you find any of the aforementioned symptoms or not, any home with a crawl space can benefit from crawl space waterproofing. By installing a crawl space vapor barrier, you insure a high quality of air in your home. Encapsulation also keeps your crawl space free from water and the damage it causes. Electronic humidity control systems also exist to regulate the level of moisture in the air beneath your home. 

If you notice any of the indicators listed above, or maybe you want to avoid them in the future, call a licensed crawl space repair contractor to inspect underneath your home. After a careful, free examination, they can provide you with a plan for your crawl space needs.

All About Crawl Space Waterproofing

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Why It’s Important

Everyone knows that water penetration will destroy your home. But did you know that water in your crawl space can also affect the inside of your home? Here’s a brief rundown of resulting problems:

  • The joists under your home may rot, resulting in sagging floors and eventual collapse.
  • The damp areas in your crawl space provide the perfect habitat for insects such as spiders and cockroaches, which inevitably enter your home.
  • The damp air negatively affects the air quality inside your home, causing your family to inhale dust, soil gases, and possibly mold spores.
  • Your family may develop allergy and other respiratory problems from breathing musty air.
  • The air intrusion from your crawl space causes your cooling and heating systems to work less efficiently, raising your monthly bills.

 While the above list only scratches the surface of what a damp crawl space can cause, it’s undeniable- a wet crawl space will only lead to trouble. Fortunately, crawl space waterproofing and conditioning can help mitigate all the potential risks.

What Not to Do

Traditionally, experts thought your crawl space needed to breathe. Therefore homes commonly came equipped with vents in the crawl space. However, contrary to popular belief and older building code recommendations, recent studies show this line of logic to be flawed. The fact is, vents allow humid and moist air to flow into your crawl space which first causes humidity fluctuation and then condensation on air ducts and floor joists. This can eventually create structural problems and also a number of air quality problems, including mold and mildew. Venting of the crawl space is now known to be very detrimental to solving a moisture problem.

The Stack Effect

The stack effect is the process of constant air circulation throughout your home. Basically, as hot air in your home rises, cool air rushes in through your crawl space vents. Your house then sucks the cool, damp air up inside through various cracks and crevices. Unfortunately, the air from your crawl space isn’t pure. Instead it’s likely packed with soil gases, dust, allergens, and maybe even mold. In order to prevent your family from breathing the impurities, you need to condition and control the humidity and moisture in your crawl space.

Crawl space Vapor Barrier

In order to properly condition your crawl space you need to have a professional install a crawl space vapor barrier (sometimes referred to as a vapor diffusion retarder) to encapsulate the area underneath your house. Using a thick, fiber-reinforced material, unlike the thin plastic Visqueen used very often, minimizes the amount of water vapor that finds its way into your home. However, the vapor barrier will not serve its purpose unless it is properly installed. Correct installation includes multiple strategically placed fasteners and overlapping seams to ensure that the crawl space is completely sealed off from the soil underneath. That said, it’s probably not a good idea to take crawl space vapor barrier installation on as your next do-it-yourself home improvement project.  

Electronic Humidity Control Systems

An electronic humidity control system can be installed to regulate the quality of air in your crawl space. It works by first expelling the damp air from underneath your home and then reclaiming the warm air that has risen into the upper levels. This warmer air gets repurposed to dry out your crawl space. The end result is a home that is dry from top to bottom, with clean, comfortable air that won’t put your family at risk.

Where to Begin- Free Inspection

It’s easy to get started. Simply find an experienced contractor with ample references to visit your home and give you a free inspection. Then you’ll know exactly what you need and how much it will cost. Don’t let dollar signs scare you off- a quality crawl space repair company offers convenient financing options, making it affordable for any budget. And don’t worry; finding the right contractor means you’ll never have to worry about your crawl space again because they offer warranties.

So don’t hesitate, call a professional for crawl space repair today.

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Perform Your Own Crawl Space Repair

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Painting your bedroom, refinishing kitchen cabinets, planting a flower bed- these are a few home improvement projects you might consider taking on by yourself one weekend when you’re feeling productive. However, when it comes to something as important and involved as crawl space repair, you should consider finding a reputable contractor to do the hard work for you. Of course, the thought may cross your mind that you could save your hard earned cash by squeezing under your house and sealing it yourself. The following should convince you otherwise.

1.       You might miss bigger problems- If water has stood under your house for long periods of time, installing a crawl space vapor barrier might only mask the problem.  Before engaging in crawl space waterproofing, it’s important to inspect your crawl space for signs of damage. You may find that the water has rotted the joists that support your entire home, requiring you to replace some of them. Another serious problem you could overlook is mold. Mold spores love damp areas such as your crawl space. Crawl space waterproofing alone will not rid your crawl space of mold. Before installing a vapor barrier, proper drying and cleanup must occur. Luckily, a professional will crawl under your house and thoroughly examine the area before beginning your project.

2.       Proper Materials- A professional crawl space waterproofing company will have the proper materials and products to permanently seal, waterproof and condition your crawl space. Most do it yourself homeowners use thin plastic Visqueen to line the ground of their crawl space thinking that they are doing it right. Professional crawl space waterproofing companies now use thick 16 – 21 mil fiber reinforced vapor barriers to properly seal the crawl space floor and walls from the home above. These vapor barriers are held in place with heavy duty 4 inch nylon tape, glue and nylon fasteners. To properly waterproof a crawl space sometime a drain tile system is buried along the walls of a crawl space and a sump pump and crock is installed. Do you have all these materials to do the job right? 

3.       It’s difficult- Have you ever actually crawled under your home? With only a few feet of room to maneuver, you’re not exactly free to move around as you wish. With so little room to work, crawl space repair proves a difficult and time-consuming task especially when digging and installing a drain tile system. Besides the limited work space, it’s important to properly set up, seal and secure your crawl space vapor barrier so it doesn’t leak. And you certainly don’t want to accidentally tear your new vapor barrier along the way. Do you really want to take a chance on spending days getting a stiff neck under your house only to find out that you didn’t do it correctly and it is still wet?  

4.       You have no guarantee- Imagine this scenario: 5 or 6 years after you sealed your own crawl space, you notice your living room floor sagging in several spots. The problem continues to grow worse and finally you break down and bring in a contractor. Almost immediately, the contractor diagnoses your problem as rotten support beams caused by prolonged exposure to moisture. Maybe you sealed your crawl space correctly- maybe you didn’t. Maybe you failed to dry it properly before you closed it up, or maybe you failed to replace joists that were already rotting. At any rate, you’re now looking at tearing out all your hard work, and having someone rebuild your support system. Not to mention the interior floor work you’ll need to repair cracked wood or tile. Think this scenario doesn’t occur in real life? Think again. But if you hire a reputable crawl space repair company, you’ll get a warranty, typically for 25 years. Also that warranty is transferable to the new owner if you should ever sell the home. That means once you pay your contractor, you’re secure for the long-term that your crawl space will be moisture free and sealed tight.  

5.       It’s not that expensive- Maybe money is holding you back. Don’t let it. The right crawl space waterproofing company will surprise you with how inexpensive the job actually is. Of course you don’t want to hire the cheapest guy on the block because the quality of work will probably drop with the price, but you don’t have to spend your life savings either. And if you find you can’t come up with the money right away, never fear. Reasonable financing options exist that can spread out your payments over 6 – 12 months with no interest.

With so much at risk, don’t take such an important job into your own inexperienced hands. Call a professional for a free estimate today.