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Blunders When Waterproofing Crawl Spaces That You Should Avoid

Crawl spaces often serve as the foundation of a home and are typically located below the ground level. As a result, they are a common area for water intrusion. They can result in costly water damage if not correctly waterproofed.

Unfortunately, many homeowners make mistakes when waterproofing their crawl spaces, which can result in costly repairs.

In this blog, our water damage restoration experts will discuss some of the most common waterproofing mistakes in a crawl space and how to avoid them:

Mistake #1: Not Addressing the Source of Water Intrusion

One of the most common mistakes when waterproofing a crawl space is not addressing the source of water intrusion. Water can enter a crawl space from different sources, such as rain, snowmelt, plumbing leaks, or even poor surface drainage. 

It’s essential to identify and address the water source to prevent future water problems. A home inspector or contractor can help identify the source of the water and recommend solutions. This could include installing gutters to redirect water away from the home, repairing leaky pipes, or correcting surface drainage issues. 

Once the source of the water leak has been determined and addressed, waterproofing materials can be applied to keep the crawl space dry. 

Mistake #2: Not Installing a Vapor Barrier

A vapor barrier is an integral component of a crawl space waterproofing system. It’s a plastic or foil sheeting installed over the soil or gravel in the crawl space to prevent moisture from entering the area. Without a vapor barrier, moisture can seep through the ground and into the crawl space, leading to mold growth, wood rot, and other issues. Make sure to install a vapor barrier during the waterproofing process.

Mistake #3: Using the Wrong Type of Insulation

Insulation is another vital component of a crawl space waterproofing system. It helps keep the space dry and warm, preventing issues like mold growth and wood rot. That said, the use of the wrong type of insulation can do more harm than good. Fiberglass insulation, for example, can absorb moisture and promote mold growth. Instead, consider using rigid foam insulation or closed-cell spray foam insulation.

Mistake #4: Not Installing a Sump Pump

One of the most common waterproofing mistakes in a crawl space is not installing a sump pump. A sump pump collects water that has entered the crawl space and pumps it out to an external location, preventing water damage and mold growth. It is a critical component of any waterproofing system, as it is one of the best ways to ensure that water is removed from the space quickly and efficiently.

But the thing is, many homeowners make the mistake of not installing a sump pump. Without one, water can quickly accumulate and lead to serious damage to the property or even health issues from mold growth. To avoid this mistake, a sump pump should be installed during the waterproofing process. An experienced contractor will be able to install the sump pump and ensure it works correctly.

Mistake #5: Neglecting Regular Maintenance

Once your crawl space waterproofing system is installed, it’s essential to perform regular maintenance so that it continues to function correctly. This includes checking the sump pump, inspecting the vapor barrier, and ensuring the insulation is still in good condition. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to issues like clogged sump pumps, damaged vapor barriers, and ineffective insulation.


Water damage restoration can indeed be a costly and time-consuming process. By avoiding these common waterproofing mistakes in your crawl space, you can prevent water intrusion and protect your home from needing water damage restoration in the future. Remember to address the source of water intrusion, install a vapor barrier and proper insulation, use a sump pump, and perform regular maintenance to ensure your crawl space remains dry and free from water damage.

A+ Restoration Services is a family-owned and operated business in Indianapolis specializing in water damage restoration and cleanup. We are fully licensed and insured, too. Ask us for a free estimate today!

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