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Drainage Matting

Let’s explore what drainage matting can do for your home in practice, how it’s installed, and what you can pair with it to get the best results.

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Drainage matting can be the difference between a dry, clean home and one that struggles with pest infestations, mold, humidity, and high energy bills. That’s because this crawl space solution stands in the gap between your home and soil issues, leaks, flooding, humidity, and other outside factors.

How Does Drainage Matting Help?

Drainage matting close up shot

While having a crawl space vapor barrier is great to reduce moisture and keep water out of your crawl space, it is just as necessary to remove any collected water from underneath it. Since it lies directly on the soil, water can get trapped underneath. CrawlSeal™ Drainage Matting helps with this. 

Drainage matting has raised dimples that create a channel underneath your crawl space liner to help direct any pools of water to the drain. CrawlSealTM Drainage Matting is suitable for use on several types of crawl space surfaces, such as concrete and soil. As a result, you don’t have to be concerned that the predominant soil type in your location will affect the drainage properties of the drainage matting. This gives it a lot of versatility in terms of where it can be used. The CrawlSealTM Drainage Matting XL gives increased durability and wider drain channels to tackle a tougher challenge in locations with extremely high flooding or exceptionally hard terrain. This solution is compatible with other crawl space repair solutions, such as adding a radiant heat barrier or encapsulation

CrawlSeal™ Drainage Matting should not significantly add to the installation time of your crawl space vapor barrier system. When we send our crew to your home, one member will lay the drainage matting while another installs the liner over the top. A CrawlSeal™ crawl space system usually installs in less than a day.

How Effective is Crawl Space Drainage Matting?

Drainage matting is one method of waterproofing your home. There are other methods that you can pair in addition to drainage matting for optimal results. Nevertheless, crawl space drainage matting is one of the best ways to prevent water from accumulating. 

Drainage mats have a dimpled pattern that allows water to collect and run out while generating an air gap. A Polypropylene Geotextile Fabric will be found on good drainage mats. Water collects microscopic particles of sand and silt as it flows. Whenever water comes to a halt—for example, when it reaches a cement wall—soil builds up, increasing the strain on the foundation. The barrier of a drainage mat guards it against sediment blockage. 

In colder climates, however, the air gap can trap warm air from a poorly insulated foundation. Even when the earth is frozen, the warm air forms a thin film of moisture against your foundation.

Ways You Can Make Drainage Matting More Effective 

Encapsulation is normally done after water control in the crawl space has been carried out. All crawl space holes, vents, gaps, and spots where air can get in are sealed during this operation. A thicker plastic lining of 12 to 20 mil thickness is used, which contains a polyester-cord reinforcement, making it much more long-lasting. More crucially, the crawlspace is encased since all seams are sealed, and the liner is physically bonded to the columns and beams. 

Vapor barriers can help reduce the amount of moisture in your crawl space, and vent doors can help prevent water vapors from collecting under your house. The drainage matting may begin eliminating surplus water that stays in your crawl space once the airtight door is built, as the door prevents anything from penetrating it. 

Any residual moisture can be removed using dehumidifiers and ventilation fans. Neither will interfere with any of the other waterproofing systems you have in place. Charlotte, NC is subject to humid weather, and if your crawl space isn’t properly ventilated or maintained, it can attract fungi and rot, as well as insects, rats, and other unwelcome pests. They begin to make your crawl space their new home as soon as they discover the warm, damp environment. 

A crawl space dehumidifier isn’t always mandatory, but it might be if you have a huge crawl space or one that has been damp for an extended period. Low temperatures and tough crawl space conditions can overload typical appliance store models, but an ENERGY STAR® dehumidifier is built to withstand them.

What Happens Without Drainage Matting 

In Charlotte, NC, inspecting your home for cracks, pools of water, and odors can help you identify if you need drainage matting. That’s because these factors can be actively prevented by this crawl space solution; without it, your home may be vulnerable. 

Pools of Water 

Although it may seem obvious, many people don’t know that they have stagnant water in their crawl spaces. Large volumes of water can cause bending and collapsing of your home’s sub-flooring, in addition to mold issues. These are most common in corners or regions where walls and floors meet. If left unchecked, then mold will continue to grow and mutate, posing a serious threat to the structure of your home. 

These pools of water can form through surface water seepage, ground water, or plumbing issues. Roof drainage, overflowing downspouts, and leaking basement windows are the most common sources of surface water entering the crawl space. 

Following spells of severe rain or snow, the soil around the foundation might get saturated. Water from the underlying soil presses against the foundation’s walls and finally seeps in. Water also can enter the crawl area due to plumbing faults such as a leak or a broken pipe. If your crawl space has a vapor barrier, then water can even collect atop the liner till it evaporates. Drainage matting can help mitigate these issues. 

Pests and Insects 

Insects are attracted to moist surroundings and can get into your house through tiny cracks and crevices in your crawl space. No matter how clean your home is, once bugs are attracted to your crawl space, it can soon turn into a full-blown infection. It is easier for pests to multiply and thrive inside your home rather than outside. These pests can include anything from earwigs, centipedes, and cockroaches to silverfish. 

Mold and Mildew 

humid crawl space with mold

Mold thrives in wet environments. It feeds on dead organic materials such as paper, wood, and cardboard, and even insects. Most crawl spaces are damp and have some pests or insects and other organic things for mold to grow on. Without drainage matting, this becomes worse. 

If you notice musty odors, particularly on the first story of your house, then that’s one of the most inconspicuous symptoms that your crawl space isn’t in decent shape. This is often an indication of water damage or mold formation in your crawl space. Microbial volatile organic compounds, or MVOCs, give mold and mildew their distinctive musty smell. 

These substances are immediately discharged into the air and evaporate. Water mixing with minerals in the soil can also produce musty odors. If you find yourself coughing or sneezing more often, or if your eyes, throat, or nose gets irritated, then you should inspect your crawl space. Any allergens or other particles floating in your crawl area have the potential to enter your home at any time. 

Musty Odor and Poor Air Quality 

At least half of the air in your crawl space penetrates the first floor of your house. Therefore, your crawl space is so significant for you and your home. Any contaminants and odors in your crawl area can find their way into your home, including the nasty ones. 

Mold and other allergies, as well as any strong odors left over by vermin such as rodents or bugs, can bring down the quality of your air. These air contaminants can be particularly troublesome for members of the house who have asthma or other breathing difficulties. By using drainage matting to prevent a buildup of water and the easy growth of mold, you can lessen the effect on your air quality. 

If moisture is not addressed, then it might compromise the stability of the home’s foundation, needing the installation of a new foundation. Older homes with ventilated crawl spaces rather than enclosed crawl spaces are most at risk.

Signs That You Need Drainage Matting 

Drainage matting works to safeguard your home against flooding, moisture issues, and all the problems that these two factors bring. Because of that, homes that contend with these issues the most are in the greatest need of drainage matting. What are signs that your Charlotte, NC home is one of them? 

Soil Issues 

Soils are made up of various materials such as sand, loam, silt, and clay. These components influence how soils perform in wet and dry situations, as well as when they must sustain weight. The qualities of the soil have a significant impact on the foundation of a home. The soil in Charlotte has clay as the predominant ingredient. While clay has many nutrients, it can retain excessive amounts of water, increasing the chances of moisture damage in your crawlspace. 

Foundation Settlement 

Foundation settlement can put your home at risk of moisture issues, which can necessitate drainage matting. Small and massive fractures can form in the crawl space foundation, which is normally a sign of foundation settlement

It’s typical to have minor fractures in your walls two to three years after the house was built. When a house settles, a 1/16-inch fracture is frequent. However, the hairline cracks should be vertical and two to six inches long. Horizontal fractures of any size signal that you are seeing more than typical settling. If you see this, then your home not only requires some drainage matting to prevent future issues but also foundation repair to get this main problem under control. 

Sagging or Sloping Floors 

Sagging flooring is never a good sign, even if you live in an older home. It usually indicates moisture issues and flooding, which drainage matting can prevent from happening again once repairs are made to your home. Other issues that could result in drooping or tilting include: 

  • Weak support beams 
  • Improperly installed foundation 
  • Dry rot or termite damage 
  • Poor soil compaction 
  • Pools of water around the foundation 
  • Water seepage 
  • Cracks in the foundation 
  • Weakened wood supports 

Improper Vent Installation 

Open vents in your crawl space are a source of moisture. Though their purpose is to ventilate the crawl space, the atmospheric water vapor in Charlotte, NC has the reverse effect. The air entering through the vent adds humidity and gives access to several pests, debris, and water. Drainage matting can prevent this. 

Improper Drainage Systems 

When gutters and downspouts overflow without a proper drainage system, the water makes its way down to the foundation of your house. Moreover, water can infiltrate your crawl space if there is a leaky or damaged piper anywhere in your house. The water can drip down and find its way to your crawl space. Drainage matting ensures that this happens in a contained, purposeful fashion, so that it doesn’t cause more damage along the way 

Drainage Matting

FAQ's

To get the best results from your drainage matting, you shouldn’t leave it to combat the issues your crawl space faces alone. When paired with other tools and equipment, it can better protect your crawl space. Here are a few to consider, which a local expert can easily install: 

Encapsulating Your Crawl Space 

The process of insulating and waterproofing your crawl space is known as crawl space encapsulation. Vapor barriers are one way to encapsulate your crawl space. Moist external air cannot enter the crawl space and condense on chilly crawl space surfaces because of the vapor barriers used in the encapsulation procedure. 

Water that seeps into crawl space floors and walls is collected by a waterproofing system and transported to a sump pump for automatic ejection outside your home. A 20mil CrawlSealTM Encapsulation, as well as a pipe and gravel drainage system and a SafeDriTM Sump Pump, can aid in regulating moisture in the crawl space. 

CrawlDrainTM System 

The CrawlDrainTM is the best way to drain water without clogging or drain failure in a sandy crawl space. A unique filter cloth material is installed in the ports facing the soil surface of your crawl space that is built to allow water in while filtering mud and other obstructing materials out. 

Its unique design incorporates holes on the front and top sides to collect water from your crawl space’s surface. Water is also collected from the walls and the footing-wall junctions by a specialized wall flange. A CrawlDrain TM system can be installed in as little as a day. 

You may think that a vapor barrier and encapsulation are the same thing. While they often go together, the truth is that they are two distinct things. 

Vapor Barrier 

A vapor barrier is just one piece of equipment used when you’re encapsulating your crawl space. It’s a particularly crucial factor, to be sure, but it’s not the only step an expert will implement when they waterproof your home. 

The possibility of groundwater evaporating in the crawl space is reduced by a vapor barrier. A layer of plastic is placed across the crawl space surface and overlapped at the joints. Moisture can penetrate the vapor barrier and enter the crawl space if vapor barriers are not sealed. That’s why it’s a smart idea to have a professional install them, so there are no accidental gaps. 

Encapsulation 

Encapsulation is the umbrella term used for when waterproofing measures are used to seal your crawl space away from moisture, pests, and other factors. This process involves, as the name suggests, fully encapsulating your crawl space. It reduces the amount of dampness in the area, lowering your risk of mold. Moreover, the expense of heating and cooling a home with a dirt crawl space is higher. This is because wet air requires more energy to cool or heat, and more energy implies higher energy costs. 

Encapsulation helps clean the air in your crawl space while improving the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems, lowering energy bills, and providing other advantages. Since it offers a barrier that prevents gas from gathering in the crawl space, an encapsulated crawl space protects against hazardous radon gas. Encapsulation itself often includes a vapor barrier, sump pump, dehumidifier, and other gear to cap it off.

Crawl Space Repair and Drainage Matting in Charlotte, NC 

Dry Pro Foundation and Crawlspace Specialists is a local company that serves homeowners in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding areas. Our full-service company employs skilled and knowledgeable foundation, basement, and crawl space specialists who have undergone extensive training. We provide these experts with tried-and-true basement and foundation products that have been installed successfully in hundreds of thousands of houses. 

We offer long-term solutions to the challenges you face, backed by years of knowledge and proprietary waterproofing and foundation materials. We stand by our work and back it up with comprehensive written warranties. You can feel confident that your home is safe when you connect with us. Contact the Dry Pro team today to book your free inspection or learn more about crawl space repair and the variety of solutions we have to offer online.

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