The crawlspace under your home can provide extra storage space, an area to shelter HVAC and plumbing, and a source of fresh air for your home above the crawlspace. – OR – The crawlspace can be a source of constant problems, from damp, mildew-filled air to an inviting home for insects and small animals.
These problems are especially prevalent in crawlspaces with dirt floors.
This is a good reason to consider upgrading the floor of your crawlspace. And you have a few options.
Gravel and Stone
When a new home is built, it’s common to cut costs by leaving the floor of the crawlspace with only exposed dirt. An option that doesn’t add great cost is putting down a 6 mil. vapor barrier and covering it with at least 3 inches of gravel and stone. The vapor barrier will reduce the chances of moisture seeping into the crawlspace and decrease the risk of radon gas coming into your home’s breathing air. Gravel and stone add a layer of insulation while also holding down the vapor barrier and allowing work to be done in the crawlspace without damaging the barrier.
A better choice is pouring a concrete floor for the crawlspace. If this wasn’t done as the house was being built, it can be slightly more complicated but still quite doable. The first step in this process is putting down a 6 mil. vapor barrier as you would with a gravel and stone floor. The difference is that this vapor barrier is the base level before pouring concrete. It is also reasonable to add a layer of stone and gravel before installing the vapor barrier. Once the bottom layers are in, concrete can be poured into the crawlspace and leveled. If your home has already experienced moisture and water seepage, you may want to consider also installing a French drain and sump pump to move underground water away from the home.
If you want to provide your home and your family with the greatest protection from a wet crawlspace and possible insect and animal visitors, then crawlspace encapsulation is your best choice. With crawlspace encapsulation, the vents will be sealed, walls will be insulated and sealed, and a heavy vapor barrier will cover the dirt floor and overlap the side wall insulation. A French drain and sump pump system may also be installed.
The professionals at Columbia CrawlSpace are experts in crawlspace repair and protection. Whether you are considering gravel and stone flooring, a concrete floor, or encapsulation and waterproofing. After a free inspection, we can give you recommendations and a free estimate on protecting your crawlspace, home, and family.