You’re coming home from a long trip. You’ve had your proverbial breather away from the drudgery of the work week and are feeling refreshed in more ways than one. After opening the door and entering your home you notice something smells…off. You fear you left something on the counter. Perhaps a mouse died or there’s been mold build-up where you least expected it. After a little digging you head downstairs and realize your basement has flooded. This is a tale far too many American homeowners are familiar with, all the worse because of how easily it can be avoided with a little preparation.
Basement waterproofing will keep you from being yet another cautionary tale. Let’s see what a crawl space vapor barrier can do for your peace-of-mind.
Did you know flood damage is one of the most common homeowner insurance claims? There’s no reason to think your home is immune from this devastating incident, most of all if you live in an area with a strong cold season or heavy precipitation. Of all homes with basements it’s estimated over 95% will experience some form of water damage. This can be as minor as a leak that won’t stop dripping to something as major as the entire area being flooded with multiple feet of water. Not only this is frustrating to clean up…it’s expensive.
Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars can be lost after a single flooding. You can lose your furniture, priceless belongings and see the foundation of your home warped from exposure. Mold is another hazardous element that erupts from water damage, even minor leaks, and should be taken seriously to avoid harming you and your family. The EPA (short for Environmental Protection Agency) has estimated 100% of all types of mold having the potential to cause serious health effects. Just like water damage, it can range from minor irritation to far more severe consequences.
People with breathing difficulties (such as asthma) or sensitive constitutions can find themselves regularly getting sick from exposure to mold. The Mayo Clinic has estimated a stunning 90% of all chronic sinus infections being attributed to mold. These mimic a cold and include symptoms of stuffiness, headaches, fatigue, chest pain and nausea. When it comes to the worst case scenario? Prolonged exposure to mold can kill. Don’t take chances when it comes to your home’s safety and consider installing a crawl space vapor barrier to keep your basement from flooding.
Over 27 million homes in the United States have crawlspaces. Even if you’re sure your crawl space vapor barrier is up to snuff, double-checking will ensure you won’t have to start off 2018 by filing an insurance claim for flood damage. Wall-vented crawl spaces, unfortunately, aren’t able to maintain a relative humidity below the 70% threshold. This leaves them in a much worse position to fend off condensation and the eventual onset of mold growth. Crawl space moisture removal may be your end result if you don’t look into a more updated crawl space vapor barrier designed to encourage air flow.
These tips will make sure your crawl spaces won’t end up yet another project for mold removal or sump pump installation. Your plants should be placed at a bare minimum of two feet from the foundation as well as low enough in the soil so water isn’t pushed toward your home. Around 20% of new homes are still built over crawl spaces, putting them in a bad position to do their jobs. If you still find a leak it’s suggested you clean and dry up your home as thoroughly as possible. The quicker the better, as mold doesn’t take very long at all to start forming and can start showing up in a day or two.
Rethinking your crawl space vapor barrier? You’re already off to a great start this year.