Crawl spaces: they can be the ocean of lost treasure for young minds, or they can be the dark, scary place under your house filled with crawling things. Or, this summer you could take your leaky basement crawl space and turn it into useful real estate! There’s no reason that you shouldn’t turn your crawl space into an off-season storage unit or find another good use for it. The only things standing in your way are moisture, mould, some bugs and probably some furry critters but don’t give up hope. It’s not impossible to get that space in order. With some planning and some hard work, you can take the “scariest” crawl space and turn it into a comfortable, finished area.

Assessment

This is the moment you decide that you’ve had enough with your old, nasty crawl space and you want to make something of it, and you conduct an assessment to determine what it is going to take. This will depend on:

  • Current condition of the space
  • Is there a moisture issue?
  • Size of the space
  • Insects or rodents?

Once you’ve gone down and taken a look at the area, you know what you have to work with. Getting moisture under control is not going to only give you a new storage space, but it will benefit your home in other ways. This will also help reduce your risk of moisture-related issues in the rest of the house.

Moisture Control

The reason crawl spaces are usually so humid is because moisture comes up through the soil floor. In order to deal with this, you’re going to need to line the floor and the foundation walls with a waterproof method such as a plastic vapor barrier. You’ll want to hire someone who has experience working in a crawl space, is also well informed on potential water issues you could face, and understands how foundation waterproofing works. While plastic vapor barriers are helpful for keeping moisture out, the only way to really protect against water damage is by pouring in concrete and creating a solid floor. Investing in a dehumidifier is also something you should look into to check and make sure your space stays safe and dry!

Insulation

With moisture protection comes insulation. This will help to protect your crawl space from further moisture threats as well as control the temperature. Rigid board insulation is appropriate for crawl spaces and finished basements because it’s water resistant but there are a lot of types of insulation you can choose from. A plumber will be able to tell you what kind will work best for your home, because every area is different and Toronto’s weather certainly isn’t predictable! Your plumber will also be able to let you know if your pipes run through the crawl space, and if so, the insulation can help prevent them from freezing during the winter.

Once you’ve got your crawl space set up, there are so many options for what you can do with the space! Having the extra storage space can really benefit you and you won’t have to worry about where you’re going to put your seasonal belongings. Whatever you plan to use the extra space for, hiring a professional plumber in Toronto who has experience in crawl spaces is really important when dealing with a leaky basement. So this summer when you’re looking for a new project to do, consider making use of that dingy crawl space and turning it into the perfect hobbit hole!