Unfortunately, water in a crawl space is always bad news. If you suspect there’s water in your crawl space, take action immediately. Crawl spaces are susceptible to flooding and water damage, which can lead to all sorts of problems for your home’s structural integrity and the health of anyone living in the house.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the dangers of water in a crawl space, what you can do to fix the problem, how to prevent water in a crawl space, and more.
Water In Your Crawl Space Can Lead To Mold Growth
Your home’s crawl space may be out of sight, but it shouldn’t be out of mind. Water in a crawl space will not only cause damage to your foundation and make your home feel damp, uncomfortable, and harder to heat and cool, it also increases the likelihood of moisture-related issues, including mold growth.
The last thing you want is for mold to spread throughout your home’s crawl space, as this can cause structural problems plus health issues like allergies and respiratory problems for you and your family. Even a tiny leak in your crawl space will introduce moisture into the area that could lead to serious consequences if left unchecked, so make sure to keep an eye out for any signs of water.
Mold In A Crawl Space Can Cause Health Problems For You And Your Family
When water accumulates in your crawl space, it brings more than just musty odors and dampness. High moisture levels can become a breeding ground for mold, which spreads quickly through vents and air conditioning systems via the stack effect.
Air full of mold spores can cause nasal and eye discomfort, headaches, nausea, skin irritation, asthma flare-ups, fatigue, and other serious health issues. Ensuring your home’s crawl space remains dry is essential to avoid these risks to your family’s health.
Water In A Crawl Space Can Also Damage The Structure Of Your Home
When water collects in your crawl space, it can cause damage to the support system that holds up the structure of your home. When the support posts in the crawl space start to settle into the soggy ground and become no longer vertical, floor joists can become uneven and cause sections of the floor to become bouncy or sag. This type of moisture and rot can leave expensive repair bills for homeowners if left unchecked. Water in a crawl space shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it can cause serious structural and safety issues within your home that could have been avoided.
How Water Gets Into A Crawl Space?
The sources of water in a crawl space can be numerous and depend on the particular environment and geography. Generally speaking, water in a crawl space usually originates from one of the following:
- Surface runoff – Surface runoff occurs when rainwater flows over land surfaces to enter the crawl space area.
- Condensation – Condensation can occur due to high humidity levels inside the crawl space. This causes water vapor in the air to condense on cold surfaces such as pipes and ducts.
- Plumbing leaks or ruptures – Plumbing problems such as leaks or ruptures can be a significant source of moisture for a crawl space. They need to be identified and fixed immediately.
- Flooding – Flooding is another source of moisture in crawl spaces.
If You Have Water In Your Crawl Space, It’s Important To Take Action Immediately To Remove It
If there’s water in your home’s crawl space, you need to take action right away to get rid of it. There are various ways to do this, including the following:
- A pump to expel standing water out of the crawl space
- A wet-dry shop vacuum
- Big, industrial-strength fans
If there’s a significant amount of water in a crawl space caused by flooding, it’s not a DIY project. There are professionals who specialize in post-flood restoration. They have the experience and equipment necessary to get rid of the water quickly.
After getting rid of the water in a crawl space, you need to take steps to prevent it from returning. The best way to do this is via a drain tile system. We’ll talk more about that in the next section.
Tips For Preventing Water In A Crawl Space
After removing water from the crawl space, you need to make sure it never happens again. The most effective way to do this is to install either an exterior or interior drain tile system.
What is a drain tile system?
A drain tile system is a subsurface drainage system designed to reduce soil saturation and water-logging in areas where flooding and excess moisture in the soil can be a problem.
A drain tile system collects and channels surface water or groundwater away from the foundation. The system is typically made of perforated pipes which are laid in trenches, usually around the perimeter of the area to be drained. The pipes are then surrounded with a material such as gravel or stone, which acts as a filter to prevent clogging. The pipes are then connected to a drainage outlet, such as a ditch or culvert, allowing the water to flow out. They might also be connected to a sump pit. When the sump pit fills with water, a sump pump turns on and ejects the water away from the foundation.
Other things you can do that will help prevent water in a crawl space
While nothing beats a drain tile system when it comes to foundation waterproofing, you can do some other things to help prevent water in a crawl space. These include the following:
- Regrade your yard so that it slopes away from the foundation – This will prevent water from draining toward and soaking the soil around the foundation.
- Keep your gutters free of dead leaves and other debris – Clogged gutters can cause water to spill over the side of the house and soak the ground around the foundation.
- Install downspout extensions to channel water away from the foundation before releasing it.
- Don’t plant flowers, shrubs, and other types of plants next to the house – When you water them, you’ll add moisture to the soil, which you’re trying to avoid.
With the proper preventative measures, issues with water intrusion into your crawl space can be reduced or prevented entirely.
Crawl Space Encapsulation Plus A Drain Tile System Is The Best Way To Keep A Crawl Space Dry
When combined with an effective drainage system, crawl space encapsulation is the most reliable method for keeping a crawl space dry and healthy.
Crawl space encapsulation prevents excess water vapor from entering the area under your house, while a drain tile system – as we’ve noted above – uses an underground piping network to collect and redirect any standing water away from your home’s foundation. Together, these two solutions are highly effective in maintaining a safe, dry environment in your crawl space – making them essential components of any home waterproofing strategy.
For more information, see Crawl Space Encapsulation.
Don’t Wait – If You Have Water In Your Crawl Space, Call A Professional Today
Water in your crawl space can have devastating consequences and should not be taken lightly. If you discover water in your crawl space, you must act immediately. You don’t want to risk your and your family’s health or your home’s structural integrity.
If you know or suspect water in your crawl space and you live in Chicagoland or the surrounding suburbs, contact The Real Seal today to schedule a free inspection.