Crawl spaces are typically “out of sight; out of mind”, so it’s no wonder many homeowners never notice when there’s a puddle of water in the corner or along a back wall. If your home is built on a crawl space, try to inspect it periodically. Look for mold, musty odors, pest infestations, and of course, pooled water.
Repairing a wet crawl space is essentially the same as waterproofing a wet basement: install a PRS (pressure relief system). This involves cutting a trench in the floor around the perimeter of the basement, next to the foundation walls. The trench must be excavated down to the footings and in it a system of drain tiles laid. The system must be adequately sized so that it can carry off all the water to a sump pump or drain for removal from the house. After the lines are installed, the trench must be filled with gravel.
Since many crawl spaces have dirt floors, a jack hammer would probably not be required to dig the trench. However, since the height of the crawl space may not allow this kind of indoor excavation, exterior waterproofing may be the best solution.
There are several ways of waterproofing a crawl space from the outside, depending upon the severity of the water problem. If the problem is minimal, a waterproofing membrane can be installed. This involves excavating the foundation down to the footings and applying a layer of mortar, then a thick coat of asphalt-modified polyurethane to seal the foundation. An exterior PRS, involving a trench, a sump pump, and a system for moving the water away from the house, can also be installed.
The professionals at Main Line Waterproofing have years of experience in waterproofing crawl spaces. They can correctly diagnose your problem and devise the best, most effective solution.