Protecting your crawlspace to prevent water damage

Posted by Matt Buchanan

At RestorationEze, we see water damage occur in every part of the home. From the very top parts of the attic down to the foundation of the basement and everything in between. And while some areas of the home are more inclined to flood, there truly is no safe place when it comes to your home and water damage. And when it comes to your crawl space, that is especially true!

Crawlspace areas are typically ignored until a problem surfaces. And while crawlspaces can flood for any number of reasons, including nasty sewage damage from a busted pipe, in this blog article we’ll focus on the effects of cold weather in a crawlspace. If you’ve ever built up the nerves to crawl down there, you know it’s an unsightly place. But if it’s well protected from the elements, it does its job well: protects various systems that are vital to your home functioning correctly. However, skimp on those protections and you could end up with a big mess on your hands.

 

Protecting a crawlspace is very important

 

Don’t believe us? How about we let a couple of pictures do the talking. Which do you think is going to keep your home and family safe?

 

Exhibit A

crawl-space-bad

Exhibit B

crawl-space-good

 

Hmmmm, that should be a pretty easy answer. But for a lot of folks, they just don’t care what condition their crawlspace is in until the decay causes problems.  For people that visit our water damage blog often, you know we spend most of our time trying to help people avoid our services instead of tooting our own horn perpetually. That might seem counterintuitive, but we believe if we can help someone that it will come back around to us someday. So please read carefully: if you haven’t insulated and waterproofed your crawlspace, you could very well end up needing us to provide very expensive water damage restoration services.

 

Insulating & Waterproofing a Crawlspace

 

All of the same principles that apply to protecting your basement also apply to your crawlspace. That means that you should weight the risks of water damage against the costs associated with preventing a flood scenario from happening. For the purposes of this blog post, we’ll address 2 scenarios:

 

Groundwater seepage into the crawlspace

If you live in an area with a high water table, or in a flood plain, waterproofing your crawlspace is very important. There is a wide range of things you can do, from very cost-effective efforts to much more cost intensive efforts. Again, you have to weigh the risks for your crawlspace with your budget for fixing potential issues and decide what steps you should take. If unsure, consult with a waterproofing company (or two) to get their thoughts.

 

Pipes bursting due to freezing

If you live in the North (or even in the South during a particularly bad cold snap), insulating your crawlspace walls as well as the ceiling are vital. If you don’t do this and temperatures plummet, any pipes in your crawlspace that aren’t insulated are now completely exposed to the cold weather. When that happens, the water flowing within those pipes can freeze and expand. Expand enough and the pipe will snap. When that happens, you’ve got a lot of flood damage on your hands in a hurry.

 

 

About Matt Buchanan

I grew up in Irving, TX and left for Nashville, TN for college. After college I lived in Washington, DC and then in Cairo, Egypt. After coming back to the states, I spent a couple of years back in Dallas before moving with my wife to Denver!
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