Keeping your crawl space dry

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With all the rain we have been having here in Olympia and the rest of Thurston County I wanted to give our readers a few tips on how to keep a crawlspace dry during the Thurston County wet months. One of the main things to install or repair is a vapor barrier in the crawl space of your home. A vapor barrier is a  6-mil non-UV resistant plastic liner that should be installed over all the exposed soil under your house. The vapor barrier should be over lapped by 12 inches with a 6 inch overlap along stem walls. I would suggest using small stakes to anchor the vapor barrier in place.  This will help hold the vapor barrier in place as you are moving around in the crawlspace.

Another check is to ensure the gutters are clean with splash blocks in place at all downspouts or that they are connected properly to the drain lines.  Next, the soil around your home should slope away from the house.  A proper slope would be at a 5% grade for at least 5 feet sloping away from your house, meaning at a minimum of 5 feet you should have a slope 3 inches high.  The last step that most people do not take, but is important, is to cover any exposed masonry surfaces on the interior of the crawlspace with a protective membrane.  This will help keep moisture out of the porous surface of the masonry.

The above are a few simple ideas to keep the underside of your home dry thus minimizing the water and rain impact of the Pacific North West. If you have further questions or ideas regarding best practices to keep your homes crawl space dry during the winter months give me a call.

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