Crawl Space Waterproofing – The Miniature Basement

A crawl space is a type of basement in which one cannot stand up and the surface is often soil.  It is typically small enough that you need to actually crawl into it, hence the name.  These miniature basements offer a convenient access to pipes, substructures and a variety of other areas that may be difficult or expensive to access otherwise. Storage is the most common use of a crawl space.

Crawl spaces are made in similar ways to regular basements.  Being much smaller, however, they have several advantages over full-size basements and slabs:

The home is raised due to the crawl space lifting it off the ground (especially important in damp or termite-prone areas).

It is a lot less expensive than a basement and comparable in price to a slab.

Duct work and plumbing can run in the crawl space, meaning that they are easy to service and move over the lifetime of the house.

Crawl space

How to Waterproof a Crawl Space?

Crawl space waterproofing is just as important as waterproofing a basement.  If there is standing water in the crawlspace, this will cause mold and rot, wreaking havoc to the structure of your house if left alone.  Water can also damage the floor joists which could cause your floor to collapse. Waterproofing will prevent floods, mold, mildew and insect infestation.

French Drains are also an important factor.  Installation options include exterior or interior French drain system. The interior drainage systems can work well to keep the crawl space dry and drained if any water does come in. Exterior French drains are designed to catch the water and divert it before it comes into the crawl space.  Sump pumps are also commonly installed if you have a concrete floor.

Often used, are heavy-duty plastic liners.  The plastic sheet material promotes good drainage over the entire floor.

Installing a dehumidifier will also help to dry out a damp crawl space and automatically maintain a pre-set humidity level. By controlling humidity, you create conditions that are hostile to mold and mildew.


Whether you have a miniature basement or a full-size, waterproofing is necessary for a safe and healthy home.