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Help! There's Water in My Crawl Space

Thursday, April 18th by Kristina McGovern


Crawl space with moisture damage

Water and moisture in the crawl space cause mold, mildew, rot, and insulation damage.

What to do to keep your crawl space dry

If you’re like most homeowners, the crawl space probably isn’t an area of your home that you visit very often. If you happened to look in your crawl space and noticed water, it's not a problem you should ignore.

Water in the crawl space leads to moisture that causes wood rot, mold, and mildew. And crawl space problems have a negative effect on the whole house.

Groundwater seeps, leaks, and might even flood into the crawl space, especially when it rains. Water from the surrounding soil enters through the path of least resistance, which could be under the floor, under the wall, through the wall, or through mortar joints in a concrete block wall. Hydrostatic pressure pushes water through block walls and through cracks in concrete walls. After the water gets into the crawl space, it pools in the low spots and can slowly evaporate upward into the house.

6 steps to take when there’s water in the crawl space

The solution to a wet crawl space is to keep the water out, prevent future occurrences, and remove humidity. If you notice that your crawl space is wet, there are steps you can take to quickly solve the problem:

  1. Check gutters and downspouts - Clean out leaves, dirt, and other debris that might be causing them to clog and overflow.

    Allowing water from your roof to dump next to your foundation is a bad idea. One option to fix this is to install a pipe that carries water from the downspout away from the foundation. Basement Systems offers downspout extensions that can be installed to keep roof runoff away from the crawl space.

  2. Check for plumbing leaks - A plumbing leak can be hard to spot in a dirt crawl space because the water often seeps into the dirt before you ever notice it. If you have a liner in the crawl space, you might see a puddle of water that could be a sign of a leaky pipe above. Call an experienced plumber if you think you might have a plumbing leak.

  3. Fix grading - Ideally, the soil around the house should be sloped away from the foundation to allow water to drain away so that it doesn’t end up in the crawl space.

  4. Add a sump pump - If there’s a water problem in the crawl space, a sump pump will pump the water out and away from the home. Basement Systems has a variety of sump assemblies to suit the needs of your home. For more information as to how we can help, please contact your local Basement Systems dealer.

  5. Seal the crawl space - Dirt crawl spaces are prone to moisture damage, especially in areas that experience high humidity. Basement Systems and CleanSpace dealers can help to prevent groundwater seepage, isolate the house from the earth, and seal all outside air leaks while encapsulating the environment with our patented CleanSpace System.

  6. Add a dehumidifier - Crawl space moisture affects how your home feels, smells, and how much you pay for heating and cooling costs. Add a dehumidifier to dry the crawl space air. The SaniDry Sedona from Basement Systems is a high-capacity, high-efficiency dehumidification and air filtration system that will keep the crawl space dry and prevent mold and musty smells.

If you’re concerned your crawl space may have problems, contact your local Basement Systems or CleanSpace dealer to schedule a free crawl space evaluation.

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