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What is Crawlspace Waterproofing in Champaign and Why is it Needed? | A Homeowner’s Guide

Crawlspace waterproofing for Champaign, IL, properties is an excellent investment for any homeowner! Waterproofing offers many benefits for your house and is well worth its cost, but is also a job best left to the professionals.

If your home has a pier and beam foundation with a crawlspace, note some vital information about encapsulation, vapor barriers, and other waterproofing options.

image - What is Crawlspace Waterproofing in Champaign and Why is it Needed? | A Homeowner’s Guide
What is Crawlspace Waterproofing in Champaign and Why is it Needed? | A Homeowner’s Guide

This will ensure you’re doing everything possible to protect your home over the years while keeping interior spaces clean, dry, and comfortable. Your foundation contractor at Champaign Foundation Repair Experts

(champaignfoundationrepairexperts.com) can help you with whatever crawlspace waterproofing needs you may have.

Why Does My Property Need Crawlspace Waterproofing in Champaign?

To better understand the benefits of crawlspace waterproofing for Champaign properties, first, note how pier and beam foundation function.

Concrete foundations use poured slabs or basement walls to hold up a structure, while pier and beam foundations start with wood, metal, or concrete piers inserted into the ground.

These piers typically “jut” out of the ground several inches or even a few feet, and are then attached to beams that run underneath the length of a structure. The gap formed between the structure and the ground by those piers is called a crawlspace.

Why your Home Needs Waterproofing

While pier and beam foundations are considered very sturdy, a crawlspace can trap moisture and humidity, either from surrounding air or from condensation coming up from the ground.

Wood and concrete piers and beams absorb that moisture, risking cracks and weakening. Steel piers and beams can also rust, becoming weak and structurally unstable.

Waterproofing solutions protect those foundation pieces from damage, preventing wood rot, softening concrete, rust, and corrosion. This can mean less risk of foundation damage, as well as secondary damage such as wall and ceiling cracks or gaps forming around doors and windows.

Protecting More Than the Foundation!

Crawlspace waterproofing for Champaign properties also protects other exposed building materials inside that area. For example, many homes with pier and beam foundations have exposed plumbing pipes and electrical wiring running along a home’s underside. Moisture trapped in the crawlspace can risk damaging these pieces, while waterproofing can reduce that risk.

Waterproofing also helps keep the crawlspace clean and dry, and free of insects, stagnant water, and unpleasant odors! Homeowners often use the crawlspace for storage and contractors might need to access pipes and wiring in the crawlspace. Waterproofing protects stored items and can mean easier, safer access to the home’s underside.

Which is the Best Champaign Crawlspace Waterproofing Option?

You have a few options for waterproofing a crawlspace underneath your home. Check out a few details about those choices and then discuss them with a foundation repair contractor in Champaign, as he or she can also offer some suggestions for what would work best for your home.

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Encapsulation glues a plastic sheeting along the surfaces of a crawlspace, creating a fully enclosed or protected space. Encapsulation blocks moisture from the ground, while plastic sheeting also makes a poor host for airborne moisture.

Crawlspace encapsulation typically provides the most waterproofing for the space, preventing water damage and mold under the home. The plastic sheeting also provides a clean, dry surface for storage or for accessing the space under the home.

Vapor barriers

Vapor barriers are plastic liners that only cover the dirt “floor” of a crawlspace rather than all the exposed surfaces. Vapor barriers block vapors coming up from the ground while also making the space less hospitable to insects and rodents.

While vapor barriers might not offer the same level of waterproofing as encapsulation, they can keep the crawlspace clean and dry. The plastic sheeting also offers a more stable surface for accessing the home’s underside.

Sump Pumps, French Drains

Sump pumps can be installed on the property to collect moisture at a certain point and then pump that moisture away from the crawlspace.

Not only do sump pumps keep moisture from collecting in the crawlspace but they’re also useful if a property should flood, redirecting those floodwaters away from the home.

French drains are a series of PVC pipes buried underground. These pipes also collect moisture from the soil and direct it to a nearby drain, or to a different area of the property. For example, the French drain system can direct moisture to a landscaping feature or garden, keeping it watered while keeping the home’s foundation dry.


Dehumidifiers designed for crawlspaces are an excellent choice for removing airborne moisture, and for keeping the space dry and stable. As with interior dehumidifiers, a crawlspace dehumidifier helps evaporate moisture from the air.

Many will then have an attached drain hose or pipe that drains that moisture away from the property, so you don’t need to empty a basin or pan over time.

Property Grading

Property or soil grading refers to creating a somewhat downward slant, away from the home and toward a street or drain. Every residential property should be graded slightly, to keep moisture from collecting around a home’s foundation.

However, over time soil can begin to collect around the home’s foundation and bring added moisture with it.

If your property is not graded properly, this can let moisture in the soil begin to pool around the foundation, risking water damage. Better grading can ensure moisture underneath the soil surface can run away from the structure and drain as it should.

How Do You Know If Your House Needs Crawlspace Waterproofing?

Every home with a crawlspace needs waterproofing! It’s especially vital to invest in encapsulation or a vapor barrier if you use that space for storage, to protect those items from damage.

It’s also time to schedule crawlspace waterproofing if you notice a musty smell under your home or in various interior rooms. Mold growing underneath your home is also a sign of trapped moisture; ensure you schedule mold cleanup and then waterproofing, for maximum protection.

Premature foundation damage can also indicate trapped moisture under a home. If your home’s foundation shows cracks, chips, or weakening before the end of its expected lifespan, invest in needed repairs and then crawlspace waterproofing for a Champaign property. This will protect those repairs and ensure your new foundation lasts as long as possible.