Is Water In a Crawl Space Normal?
Across the US, an estimated 10,000 gallons of water are lost every year due to leaks. Depending on where these leaks are, they can cause problems beyond just wasted water.
While you may never go into the crawl space under your house, you still want to keep it in a relatively good state. If you’re not careful, there are several ways that you can end up with water in your crawl space, and if not dealt with, it can lead to larger problems within your home.
To find out about some of the main causes of water under your home, keep reading.
Problems That Water in a Crawl Space Can Cause
A wet/damp crawl space will inevitably cause issues. The severity of these can range, but it’s best to keep them to a minimum, as they’re all things you want to avoid.
One of the most common issues caused by excessive moisture in a crawl space is mold. Mold thrives in dark, damp environments, making this the perfect place for it to grow. Most crawl spaces contain wood and other organic materials that help mold survive.
Mold also eats dead insects, and there are likely to be plenty of these in any crawl space. All this mold can release spores into the air, which will often make their way into your home. Mold will lower the value of your home, and it can even cause health issues for everyone living there.
Some small pests like dust mites tend to live in humid environments such as crawl spaces. These pests are too small to see, but their droppings can get into the air in your home much like mold spores and present a health issue. There are plenty of other pests that might make a home in a wet crawl space such as termites, mice, rats, and snakes.
High Energy Bills
Damp air takes more energy to heat or cool. This means that if there’s damp air in your crawl space it will affect the heating or cooling of your house as a whole.
The longer you leave it to fix a wet crawl space, the longer you’ll spend paying higher energy bills than you should.
Where the Water Comes From
If you find that you do have excessive water in your crawl space, there can be a range of causes. You will most likely need to get a professional in to determine the source and fix it.
Surface Water Drainage
Without proper grading, water will easily get trapped against the foundation of your home. During heavy rainfall, it may get into your crawlspace, and sometimes into your vents.
Rain can often carry debris with it – this can clog up your vents. If you have a drainage problem in your crawl space, you should have it fixed immediately. Standing water under a house after rain can lead to structural damage if it’s left too long.
Cracks or Gaps in the Foundation
With time, settling is a normal process for many houses. It can lead to cracks or gaps in the foundation, which may allow water to seep in. With time, that can lead to mold, and it may even affect any wood under your home.
Wood will absorb moisture if there’s enough of it, causing these parts to swell. This may lead to uneven floors, and perhaps even rotting. Repairing rotted wood can be very expensive, so it’s far more beneficial to deal with cracks earlier rather than later.
Leaking Window or Vent Wells
When a house is built, it’s standard practice for the foundation to be waterproofed. With time, weaknesses may occur and certain spots might allow water in.
This can happen in window wells and around vents, so you should keep an eye on both of these to make sure there are no issues. If you do notice a gap, you should get it repaired as soon as you can.
Water or Sewer Line Problems
Pipes take water in and out of homes every day through various lines. Any of these can break or become clogged, which can lead to leaks. Sometimes quite a substantial amount of water can end up in your crawl space before you even notice.
You’ll need to call in a professional repair service if this happens. Note that if it’s a sewer line causing the issue, there will also be sanitation concerns.
Sometimes even when nothing is broken and all your pipes are clear, you can still have issues. During torrential rain, there can simply be too much water for your drainage system to handle. If you live somewhere that regularly experiences heavy rainfall, you should consider getting a French drain installed.
When drainage systems are overwhelmed, water will back up and flow down a path of least resistance. Sometimes this may lead directly into your home. Depending on the amount of rainfall, this can cause a lot of damage.
What You Should Do
Even if you think you know how to fix a humid crawl space, any substantial amount of water will make it a very difficult task. You’re almost always better off getting the help of a professional service such as Crawlspace Medic. Our services include:
- Crawl space inspections
- Moisture control
- Structural repairs
Our technicians are capable of minimizing moisture in a crawl space to reduce the risk of any problems and fixing any issues that have already occurred.
Dealing With Water in a Crawl Space
The best thing to do to avoid water in a crawl space is to take preventative measures. Keep an eye on your foundation and crawl space for any cracks, gaps, or other ways water could get in. If you notice any water, have it dealt with immediately by professionals. You should also have it properly inspected at regular intervals.
Crawlspace Medic can handle all of this and more. Click here to book a free inspection today.