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Crawl space moisture-proofing?

We need to address some moisture issues in our crawl space. Water isn't draining properly, and the pea gravel is pretty wet. Water is draining from the house ok, but the problem is ground water evaporating up, and sitting in the crawl (molding a little on the insulation that needs to get torn out!) and overall it's not good.

We had one company come out and try to sell us on the "encapsulation" method, where they put vapor barrier plastic along the bottom and sides of the crawl, close off the exterior vents, and put a vent on the furnace to pipe in conditioned air.

They'd also dig a trench along the bottom of the crawl space with piping to let the water reach the sump pump better.

All that for like $5,500. wheee.

The next company to come out says encapsulation is a bad idea, that it keeps moisture against the foundation without a way for it to really get out. They propose a similar trench/drain/pipe kind of thing along the crawl space perimiter, lining the floor with a vapor barrier, and installing a machine that will keep air moving and pump air out of the crawl. Still waiting on the final bid, but I'm sure it'll be up there, too.

Was curious -- if you have a crawl space, what is going on down there? Have you done any moisture-proofing remedies? What should I consider here?

Comments

  • I have a full unfinished basement not a crawl space but I have done a massive amount of exterior waterproofing. The water table by me is particularly high and my house is at the bottom of a hill. We have added gutters, use a dehumidifer in the basement, and last summer had heavy duty exterior drainage installed that ties in the downspouts and brings all the water out to the main near the street. I assume it would be pretty similar for your crawl space situation. That seems to have all done the trick and the basement is bone dry. The cost was a few grand but well worth the money spent, especially since we've had to bail out a flooded basement numerous times.
  • We had a quote for encapsulation too! Mine was like a $7k. Just not possible right now. My hubby did lots of research and that seemed to be the best solution so be decided he would try to do it himself a little later.
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