The main goal of waterproofing is to ensure there is no standing or pooling water in the crawl space. In the South, the ground consists of hard red clay. When they build a home, they make a large trench and pour a concrete footer in the trench, and then they lay the brick or block on top of this footer. Once that is complete, the trench is backfilled, usually with loose topsoil.
What is one thing we know about water? It always takes the path of least resistance! What this means is when it rains, the water will find its way into the crawl space by seeping down the outside of the backfilled dirt, under the footer, and back up the other side, inside of the crawl space. This means installing a drain line along the inside of the crawl space wall.
To do this, a trench is dug down to the footer adjustment with the interior crawl space wall. Then a gravel base is laid in the trench, next a 4-inch perforated pipe is installed on top of the gravel base and lastly, the pipe is covered with gravel on top, all the way up to floor level. This drain is gravity fed to the lowest corner in the crawl space, where a sump pump is installed to collect all the water. This sump pump has a float (like a toilet) that floats up and kicks on the pump once the basin is full. A discharge line will carry the water from the pump, up and out of the crawl space.
This is the tried and true method to permanently waterproof your crawl space. Crawl Space Brothers stand behind all their crawl space waterproofing and drain work with a Lifetime Transferable Warranty. Waterproofing work accounts for HALF the installations we do at Crawl Space Brothers, and we are really good at it! Just read our Google reviews!
The cost of crawl space waterproofing can vary depending on the scope of work. Every tried to hand dig a trench in hard red clay or drag bags of gravel through a tight crawl space? Not the easiest! Waterproofing can be simple yet very labor-intensive. Most waterproofing jobs that fix standing water in a crawl space range from $1,500 up to $5,000. The average is usually around $3,000. Some of the variables are the amount of gravel and drain, the size of the crawl space, if a certified electrician is required, etc. As with any other crawl space project, getting a free assessment is always a good idea.
Quick answer: Very Important! Having a healthy foundation/crawl space under your home is one of the most important parts of homeownership. A healthy foundation protects the biggest investment in your life, your home. It can also protect any additional upgrades you make inside the home. For example, we see a lot of customers who install new hardwood floors, cabinets, and countertops. But due to a foundation/crawl space issue, the new interior upgrades warp, bend, or crack. At Crawl Space Brothers, we always say, “the most expensive home improvement is the one you have to do more than once”! It’s never fun to spend money on something you can’t see (crawl space foundation repair), but it is always a wise choice to protect everything else in the home.
Foundation and crawl space repair is also important if you ever plan on selling the home. In today’s real estate market, home inspectors are trained in detail to look for any standing water or high humidity, leading to foundation issues such as sagging floor joist, weak support piers, and foundation/footer wall cracks. It’s always better to be proactive with any foundation or crawl space repair work, especially if you are planning to sell your home!
The average cost of encapsulation is usually around $5,000. Add in a commercial-grade Aprilaire dehumidifier and electric outlet, and it is closer to $7,000. Crawl Space Brothers has done encapsulation installs from $3 thousand up to $15 thousand depending on the situation (insulation, mold, debris), materials (15 mil woven vapor barrier or 23 mil), and crawl space size (large home footprint or short crawl space). Not to be repetitive, BUT there are SO many different variables to consider when encapsulating a crawl space that it is imperative to have an expert assessment and quote. Crawl Space Brothers offers prompt, detail-oriented, and professional assessments for FREE!