A wet crawl space can pose big problems for your home. If the area is damp for prolonged periods, mold can become a big issue. The dampness may attract bugs and rodents. Your home might even sustain water damage that is expensive to repair. Dampness in the crawl space doesn't stay confined to that area; the musty odors and bugs will eventually affect the rest of your home, too. Even if you never go into your crawl space and you don't use it for anything, you'll want to have the water problem fixed and the space waterproofed. Here are some options you may have.
Install A Sump Pump
The first step is to figure out why there is water in your crawl space. The fix might be something you've overlooked, such as a broken downspout that pours water under your house. If you can't find an obvious fix, then installing a sump pump could be the answer. This involves burying a drain around the perimeter of the crawl space that collects the water and sends it to a well to be pumped out. You can have a pump installed with a battery backup that keeps the pump working even if the power goes out during a heavy rainstorm.
Use A Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier alone won't do much good if water pools in your crawl space. When used along with encapsulation or a sump pump, a dehumidifier will keep excess humidity under control. Standing water should be removed first, and then a dehumidifier will pull moisture out of the air so the crawl space stays dry. This helps keep down musty odors, too.
Apply A Moisture Barrier
Another thing that helps control moisture and humidity is to cover the floor with a moisture barrier. The mat is designed to allow water to drain underneath it to be pumped out, and it also blocks water vapor from seeping into the air. If your crawl space has a dirt floor, water vapor constantly rises into the air. Putting down a vapor barrier is an important step in solving this problem.
Encapsulate The Crawl Space
Crawl space encapsulation is one efficient way to put an end to water problems and address crawl space waterproofing. The entire crawl space is covered in plastic to keep dampness out. Plastic sheets are placed on the walls and a vapor barrier is placed on the floor. Insulation is usually added, too. Spray foam or rigid board insulation might be used. Once that's done, the air inside is kept dry with a dehumidifier. Encapsulation transforms a wet crawl space into a dry area that can be used for storage.
You may need to combine two or more waterproofing methods to get your crawl space dry and keep it that way. The effort and expense is worth it because the air quality in your home will improve and you'll avoid serious damage to the structure of your home.