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Why Should You Install Retractable Screen Doors in Your Crawl Spaces?

By Beni Restea | April 25, 2024

Are you thinking about whether investing in retractable screen doors after waterproofing your crawl space would be valuable or not? Indeed, retractables add great value to your home, which reduces humidity levels in your crawl spaces. Moreover, you can easily open the retractable screen doors whenever you want and close them off during extreme weather conditions. If you can easily access the crawl spaces from your living area, these retractable screens fend off insects breeding in the crawl area.  

Read on to explore some more benefits of pairing retractables with waterproofing on your overlooked crawl space. 

Sources of Water in Your Crawl Space

Even though crawl spaces are small and rest below the home's surface, water issues may occur repeatedly. However, you definitely want to keep these areas dry, as they are an important part of your home that enhances your foundation's strength. When water invades, it can create multiple problems, like mold growth, pest infestation, increased electricity bills, and wood rot, which can be severe if not treated on time. 

Below is a list of some of the possible sources of water in your crawl space that require professional intervention. 

  • Clogged gutters or short downspouts
  • Foundation cracks and gaps
  • Malfunctioning sewer line
  • Clogged drains
  • Improperly graded yard
  • Flood prone area
  • Leaking plumbing system
  • Broken pipes
  • Lack of ventilation
  • Groundwater

What are the Factors that Determine the Cost of Crawl Space Repair and Waterproofing? 

Waterproofing costs depend on multiple factors. They may start at a few hundred dollars and may even go up to thousands, depending on your crawl space conditions. You can hire an expert who will inspect your crawl space, suggest waterproofing solutions, and help you understand the cost breakdown.

Here is a list of factors that affect the cost of waterproofing your crawl space:

Crawl space size

Evidently, you need to spend more if you own a house with large crawl spaces, as waterproofing a large space requires more time, materials, and labor than waterproofing a small one. 

Crawl space repairs 

Before waterproofing your crawl space, your contractor must fix damages like foundation cracks, holes, broken pipes, or a faulty drainage system to prevent future seepage. Thus, all the involved repair costs will add up and increase your total cost of crawl space waterproofing

Drainage system

An effective drainage system is important to ensure moisture-free crawl spaces. One of the many ways to drain water out of crawl spaces is to add sump pumps. So, the cost of installing the pumps also affects the price of waterproofing. However, if you install other drainage methods, the costs vary accordingly. 

Vapor barriers 

A vapor barrier is an important addition to your crawl space that helps control moisture. Vapor barriers are thick polyethylene plastic sheets used to create layers on the crawlspace walls to prevent water intrusion. The price of the barrier depends on the thickness of the plastic. The thicker the plastic sheets, the higher the price. Thus, your waterproofing project depends on such additional costs. 

Mistakes to Avoid During Crawl Space Waterproofing

Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid while doing crawl space waterproofing

  • Using only paint for waterproofing: Simply applying waterproofing paint over crawl space walls and floors without treating underlying water concerns does not necessarily mean that you have completely sealed your crawl space. Just painting the walls will aggravate moisture issues in your crawl space. So, you must hire professionals to treat the root cause of water damage before applying the paint. 
  • No check valve in your sump pump: You should be careful about properly fitting in check valves after installing the sump pump. The check valves prevent the backflow of water into your crawl space even when your sump pump is switched off. 
  • No vapor barriers on the crawl space walls: If you do not include vapor barriers in your waterproofing project, you are not sealing your crawl space enough to ensure a dry crawl space. So, ignoring vapor barriers can be your greatest mistake, as moisture will seep back into your crawl space repeatedly. 
  • Inadequate distance between the discharge line and your home: The drainage pipe must be at least 15 feet from your crawl space to ensure that water is directed far away. If the drainage pipe is too short or facing towards your home, discharged water will seep back into the crawl space through saturated soil around your home.
  • No sump pump installation: If your home is prone to groundwater issues, flooding, heavy rain, or snow melt, you must install a sump pump in your crawl space. As sump pumps allow crawl space to remain dry at all times, you may regret your decision later when you face a massive water outbreak. 

Coupled Benefits of Crawl Space Waterproofing and Retractable Screen Door

When crawl space waterproofing and retractable screen door installation are integrated into your crawl area, they work together to deliver the same objective: ensuring a well-ventilated home with no traces of moisture in your crawl space. 

Explore some of the benefits that you can enjoy by pairing up waterproofing techniques with retractable screen door as mentioned below: 

Improved air quality

The majority of air circulating in your home comes from your home's crawl space. When the crawl space is moist, it becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew. You then suffer from symptoms like unexplained allergies, throat irritation, or headache as you inhale mold spores arising from your crawl space. Therefore, a waterproof crawl space allows you to keep the area dry at all times, and a retractable screen door improves ventilation whenever you want, which ultimately improves indoor air quality at your home. 

Reduced energy bills

Humid air hinders the performance of a cooling or heating system and makes it difficult to regulate indoor temperature effectively. After crawl space waterproofing, dry air circulates your home, and your HVAC works comfortably to maintain the desired temperature. Additionally, you can use retractable screen doors when you want air to flow in to improve air circulation in your crawl space. Thus, you don't have to bear hefty electricity bills. 

Increased home value 

The last thing that a buyer wants is a home with a damp crawl space, as they do not want to spend additional money on expensive repair solutions. So, a dry crawl space adds many advantages, like low maintenance costs, decreased electricity bills, and no risks of pests and mold, which in turn increases your home's value. With added protection from retractable screen doors, buyers find it a good deal to buy your home easily. 

Enhanced Structural Integrity

A damp crawl space compromises your home's integrity by damaging the foundation. You should fix water issues immediately after detection to avoid greater loss in the future. Do not undermine any issue in your crawl space, thinking that it is just a tiny space for storing your drainage pipes. Instead, regularly monitor the area and use retractable screen doors to maintain a dry crawl area and save your foundation from significant damage.

Beni is very passionate about real estate, finance and traveling, which is the motivating force behind the inspiring topics he writes about for
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