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Architecture/Waterproofing of walls and crawl space


Is waterproofing of the entire block structure prior to the brick installation a code requirement in New Jersey and if yes, what materials should be used?

Is waterproof of the crawl space inside (walls, floor, ceiling) and out a code requirement in New Jersey and if it is, what waterproof materials should be used?

Thanks for your help.

Hi Nur,

Thank you for the question. I am licensed in Washington State only so I won't be able to give you a definitive answer on what is required in New Jersey. There are national codes and then local codes that may be enforced, so speaking to the building department in your jurisdiction would be required to get an accurate answer.

So usually in a brick and block wall there will be foam insulation between the two layers of block. That layer can act as a vapor barrier but generally the block itself is okay to be exposed to a limited amount of water that might get in the wall. At each penetration and at the bottom of the wall there needs to be weep holes and / or flashing to drain the water out of the wall. If you are in an unusually harsh area of weather or high winds you may need to upgrade this. Or if the wall is below grade then water proofing would be necessary.

Regarding the crawl space, generally the exterior walls are waterproofed to keep the crawl space dry. A typical system would include a product like Graywall ( and a dimple drainage mat ( The floor of the crawl space would typically have a 6 MIL min thick vapor barrier. You may pour a 'rat slab' over this, which is just a crude concrete slab to make the area more serviceable. The ceiling would not typically be waterproofed, but it would usually be insulated unless the entire crawl space is insulated and heated (which is sometimes done)

I hope this helps. Check with your local Jurisdiction though.

Nazim Nice
Principal / Architect
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Nazim Nice


I am a Seattle Architect and can answer architecture and design related questions. Ask me about material suggestions or usage. Ask me about design options - what is good design and what is bad. Ask me about choosing exterior house colors and furniture layout options. Ask me about detailing and assembling houses or components in the home. Ask me about green design or materials. Ask me about choosing an architect, the architectural services, basement remodels, second story additions, and whole house remodels. Ask me about garage design, bathroom remodels, laundry and mudroom design, family room additions, and roof deck additions.


Over 12 years of practice in the Architectural field including three years of internship plus 5 years of school. I have taught at the Knowlton School of Architecture at the Ohio State University and lectured at Carnegie Mellon University. I currently own and run the Seattle Architecture Firm, Motionspace Architecture + Design PLLC.

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