Tag Archives: crawl space sealing

Have Water In Crawlspace after Heavy Rain?

Having a damp or wet crawlspace is never a good thing, especially after heavy rain. After all, water in a crawlspace can only lead to more severe issues if the problem is not taken care of in a timely manner. For instance, water in a crawlspace can cause mold and mildew issues, a decrease in air quality, structural crack issues, leaning walls, and other foundation-related issues. Understanding what solutions are available when water seeps into your crawlspace is very important to the overall structure of your home.

waterproofing in Virginia with sump pump installation and red Virginia map

Crawlspace Water Solutions

Let’s start with the bad news: water in a crawlspace. This is an annoyance, there is no way to get around this. However, the good news is that there are plenty of solutions available to you in Virginia. For instance, installing a quality sump pump and an efficient sump pit goes a long way when trying to prevent a wet basement or crawlspace. In addition, there are various interior and exterior drainage systems that professionals can install to prevent further water issues.

Other vital services include controlling poor moisture control which can be remedied with crawlspace encapsulation. This process involves inserting vapor barriers that keep heavy-duty moisture out of your space. Additionally, encapsulation includes sealing vents, and other porous structures, and insulating walls to reduce moisture issues. However, it is important to make sure the crawl space is sealable before starting the process. This is why it is vital to contact an experienced contractor. Many times, installing a home de-humidifier in the crawlspace is the final element to preventing water in your crawlspace. Please discuss these issues with your trusted waterproofing expert. They are there to help!

In Virginia? Get A Free Estimate

At Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, we service much of Virginia, parts of North Carolina, Maryland, and Delaware. Check out our service area map. Ultimately, our waterproofing services include about a 100-mile radius around Richmond, Virginia. Please reach out to us today for a free estimate on all waterproofing problems and inquiries. Call us at 804-674-0273.

Virginia waterproofing service area map
Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry Service Area

Preventing Frozen Pipes in VA

Problems with Frozen Pipes during VA Winters

water shut-off valve, frozen pipes, water leaks Richmond

Did you have a problem with frozen pipes or broken pipes last winter? Each winter, thousands of homeowners in Virginia lose water service due to frozen and broken pipes and water meters. It’s not too soon to start thinking about how to prevent problems this winter.

Repairing and replacing frozen pipes and water-damaged walls, floors, and items on the floors can be expensive and time-consuming. The homeowner has a further expense by being responsible for paying for water that leaks from a broken pipe. It can cost more than $100 to replace a broken water meter. The following article explains ways of preventing frozen pipes in VA and what to do when a pipe does become frozen.

What can I do now to prevent pipes and meters from freezing?

There are several things you should do before the weather gets below freezing again:

  • Find the location of your main water shut-off valve. If a pipe freezes or breaks, you’ll know where to shut it off immediately.
  • Identify which areas of your home are most vulnerable to frozen pipes, including basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms, and outside walls.
  • Insulate your pipes and water meter. By wrapping exposed pipes with insulation or electrical heating wires, you will protect your pipes from freezing. If you do it yourself, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid a fire hazard.
  • Eliminate sources of cold air sources near water pipes by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, sealing crawl spaces and preventing drafts near doors.  Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry offers services in both crawl space sealing and foundation repair to avoid problems with freezing.
  • Disconnect hoses from outside faucets and, if possible, shut off outside water valves.
  • For outside meters, make sure the lid to the meter is closed tightly. If snow falls on top of it, don’t worry because snow acts as a good insulator.

What should I do when it gets below freezing?

When the outside temperature is consistently below freezing, there are a few precautions that you can take to prevent water pipes from breaking.

  • At night, when it is coldest, turn on a small trickle of water from both your cold and hot water faucets. The cost of the extra water is minimal compared to the cost of repairing a broken pipe. If you don’t want to waste water, collect it in a bowl for feeding pets or watering plants.
  • Leave open cabinet doors, even just a crack, to expose pipes to the warmer air in the room.

What if I’m going to be gone for more than a few days?

If you plan to leave your home for more than a few days, it is wise to take a few extra precautions.

  • Don’t turn your thermostat down below 50 degrees. It is important to keep a minimal level of heat inside the house.
  • Ask a neighbor, friend, or relative to check your home occasionally to make sure the heat is working and pipes aren’t frozen.
  • Consider purchasing a freeze alarm, which costs less than $100. It will call any specified number if the indoor temperature drops below 45 degrees.

What should I do if my pipes do freeze?

If you do have the misfortune of a frozen pipe, there are certain steps you should take first.

  • Turn your water off immediately at the shut-off valve. Freezing may have caused the pipes to crack, and thawing them without turning off the water may cause them to leak through undetected cracks.
  • Apply heat to the frozen pipe by either warming the air around it by raising the room temperature or using a space heater. You can also apply heat directly to the pipe with a hairdryer or hot water. For safety purposes, keep an eye on space heaters and avoid the use of kerosene heaters or open flames.
  • When the pipes are thawed, turn on the water gradually and check for any cracks or leaks.
  • If you do have a cracked or broken pipe, your only choice is to a plumber to repair it before you turn the water back on.

These simple measures can assure that you won’t have a problem with frozen pipes or water meters next year. Contact us if you have further questions about how to insulate your crawl space and repair problems with your masonry or foundation wall to avoid frozen pipes.

Crawl Space Sealing

 

seal your crawl spaceWe’ve written about crawl spaces from time to time, but we’re pretty passionate about making sure your home and your family are protected from the dangers of an open crawl space.

Over half of the air we breathe in our homes comes from the crawl space underneath. Even with a concrete slab, you still have water, pests, and mold spores in the crawl space, contaminating the air that you breathe. If your crawl space has a dirt floor, it’s even worse.

As the air rises from the crawl space and fills the rest of your house, it is replaced with air that comes in through open vents and cracks in your foundation. This circulation of air is called a “stack effect” and is what you see when a chimney pulls the smoke up and out of the house, instead of filling the room.

So, you can see that whatever is in the air in your crawl space will eventually end up in the air throughout the house. If your crawl space is not sealed, you will be dealing with excess moisture, insects, critters, and more. The dirt floor may even be dusty, but if you dig down a little bit, you’ll hit wet earth which is evaporating into the crawl space’s air.

Seal Off Your Crawl Space

The only way to manage the humidity level of your crawl space is to seal it off with a vapor barrier. Crawl space encapsulation is one of the best ways to keep water, bugs, and mold out of your home. Don’t be tempted to run to the local hardware store and pick up a sheet of vinyl to do it yourself. The sheeting is probably not thick enough and you won’t be able to close off every opening in your crawl space.

A professional installer, like those at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, will use professional-grade encapsulation material and will make sure to seal off doors, vents, pipes, walls, and more. They’re trained and have the right tools, products, and knowledge to do the job right.

crawl space sealedKeeping the crawl space dry will prevent musty odors, mold growth, and pest infestations. In addition to possibly making you and your family ill, these problems can also attack the structural integrity of your home or office. They can cause wood to rot and metal parts to rust. Mold and insects may eat the wooden materials holding your house up and animals can tear up the foundation, die, or leave waste material.

If the humidity in the crawl space is high, the floor above can weaken, causing problems throughout the house. In addition to the destruction that can occur, your energy bills may rise. Having a drier crawl space can help keep those costs in check. If there is a lot of humidity in your home’s air, your air conditioning will have to work harder to cool the house. Studies have shown that you can save 15-25% on your electric bill by taking care of crawl space dampness.

The Right Way to Seal Your Crawl Space

If you want to protect your home and family, make sure your crawl space is sealed and dry with professional crawl space encapsulation by someone like Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. The area should be completely sealed off from the outside air. A thick vinyl sheeting will be installed, covering the floors and walls. The thickness of the sheeting will allow people to walk on it to service equipment, store items, and install a dehumidifier.

You can find out more information at this website put together by the Department of Energy, Dominion Power, and Advanced Energy.

Let Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry make sure your home is dry and safe. We care about your family and your home. Contact us to learn more.