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Why Coastal Homes Especially Need Crawl Space Waterproofing

A crawl space provides easy access to plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems installed beneath your home. The problem is that moisture can negatively affect wood structures in the crawl space, especially in humid regions. This is why coastal homes especially need crawl space waterproofing and encapsulation services.

Why Are Coastal Homes Most at Risk?

Crawl spaces can develop moisture problems no matter where you live, but homes in Wilmington, NC, and other coastal regions have a higher risk than most places. Here’s why.

Hot, Humid Weather & Air Conditioning

Coastal air in southern parts of the United States tends to be hot and humid. At the same time, crawl space air tends to be cool. After all, the space is underground, which naturally keeps it cooler. Plus, air conditioning in the living area above tends to cool the crawl space even more, especially if uninsulated ductwork runs through it.

A vented crawl space allows heat and humidity to get under your home. Since cool air can’t hold as much moisture, condensation occurs. This leads to numerous problems, including fungus and mold growth, wood rot, and pest infestations. If left unaddressed, a wet crawl space could threaten your home’s structural integrity and indoor air quality.

High Flooding Risk

When it rains in Wilmington, NC, it pours. It’s not uncommon for heavy rain to stick around for several days, causing the ground to become saturated. If the rain continues, the groundwater starts to rise. Since coastal cities sit at sea level, the high water table doesn’t allow the ground to soak up tropical rainstorms. As a result, several inches of water may seep up from the crawl space floor, causing flood damage.

Soil type is a significant factor in determining flood risk. Sandy soil drains fairly quickly, while rocky and clay soils are more prone to flooding. In addition, if the soil slopes toward your property, the runoff will flow directly into your crawl space.

How To Protect the Crawl Space in Your Coastal Home

As a coastal homeowner, you must take action to protect your crawl space from water damage and preserve your home’s structural integrity in the process. Here are some of your options:

  • Raised slab: Consider constructing a raised slab foundation when building a new house. No crawl space means no moisture problems.
  • Soil grading: You have no control over the soil type on your property, but you can improve the grading to direct rainwater away from your crawl space.
  • Vapor barrier: Cover the dirt floor with a vapor barrier to help control moisture evaporating from the soil.
  • Crawl space encapsulation: Extend the vapor barrier to the walls and support columns. Then, cover all vents, holes, and cracks to seal the crawl space from the outside completely.
  • Sump pump and venting: Install a sump pump and perforated PVC pipe under the encapsulation system if rising groundwater is an issue in your coastal home.
  • Spray foam insulation: Add this high-quality insulation to keep heat and humidity from the crawl space.
  • Air conditioning insulation: Insulate all ductwork and other AC components running through the crawl space to help prevent condensation.
  • Dehumidification: Run a dehumidifier to remove any moisture that makes it past the other prevention methods listed here.

Call the Carolinas’ Waterproofing Specialist

Don’t wait until your crawl space sustains water damage — protect it now with help from Carolina Foundation Solutions. We are the Carolinas’ trusted source for crawl space waterproofing and encapsulation. Our team can pinpoint the problem, repair the damage, and prevent future issues. Take advantage of our same-as-cash financing options to help you fit crawl space waterproofing into your budget.

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