One big problem in many crawl spaces is high moisture levels. This can cause smells, dry rot, mold, and also promote the activities of insects. One preventative measure is a crawl space moisture barrier. If you have an earthen crawl space, or one which is below the water line, then you will need a device to keep your space dry. The barrier will help to prevent moisture from entering your crawl space.
How Moisture Barriers Work
A moisture barrier, also known as a vapor barrier, prevents water from traveling up from the soil, and from there onto the walls or ceilings of the crawl space. While the material stops moisture from reaching the walls, it also encourages it to drain into the soil, so there is not a layer of water trapped just below your crawl space for long periods of time.
Types of Moisture Barrier
In order to keep the moisture from penetrating through to the surface of the crawl space, it is necessary to have a barrier around 2 inches thick. While some people choose to use a concrete floor as their barrier, others use a vapor liner, which keeps the moisture below a sheet of plastic. Choosing the right type of crawl space moisture barrier can save you time and money in mold cleaning and wood joist repair.
A basement vapor barrier can also be installed in a crawl space. The barrier keeps mositure from reaching the walls. It is usually made of a plastic sheet which is fitted to the area.
A dehumidifier can also be used in the crawl space to prevent mold and mildew. When purchasing a dehumidifier for the area, make sure it has a large enough capacity to service the entire space.
If your crawl space already has a small amount of water in it, you can install a sump pump to move the water away from your home. If the crawl space has a large amount of water, you may need to repair the exterior footings of your home before installing a sump pump.