|Water, water everywhere|
Julie Garton-Good, GRI, DREI
If you're like many homeowners, keeping water and moisture
out of a crawl space (especially during certain times of the year) can be a
problem. In fact, water buildup is the second most common problem for
homeowners, second only to leaking roofs.
Besides proper grading around the house and drains to divert
the water away from the foundation, what else can you do to keep your home dry?
You could seal the foundation from the outside. While more expensive than
applying coatings on the interior of the foundation, it provides a more
long-term, permanent solution.
But not all coating systems are made equal. In fact, they
are categorized by whether they provide "damp-proofing" or "water-proofing."
Damp-proofing only resists the passage of water. Most homes, even new ones,
receive only damp-proofing usually with an asphalt emulsion. Water-proofing, on
the other hand, actually resists water flow under pressure (such as hydrostatic
or ground water pressure, which can often be very forceful as well as damaging.)
Materials used for water-proofing include cement coatings and polymer modified
asphalts and are, of course, more expensive than those used for damp-proofing.
How do you know which material and application will best
suit your foundation moisture problems? The answers lie in the severity of the
problem, the depth of the water table as well as whether you're seeking a short-
or long-term solution. Consult with several contractors before deciding on a