Water damage is one of the most costly and horrific issues that your home can face. Not only does water do damage to building materials that it comes in contact with, but it also creates a breeding ground for other issues as well. When thinking about water damage, we first tend to think of flooding or leaky pipes inside our home.
But when’s the last time you checked your home’s crawl space for water? Standing water in crawl space areas under your home can lead to just as much damage as water that enters your home at floor level. If you haven’t checked your crawl space recently for standing water, then it’s you head down to give it a quick inspection.
Finding standing water in your home’s crawl space is never something you want to discover. However, knowing the causes, treatments, and dangers of standing water in the crawl space can be the first step in solving the problem.
Continue reading below for everything you need to know!
Unfortunately, there isn’t one simple reason for standing water inside your crawl space. If you find water, you’ll need to do a bit of detective work to discover the reasoning for it. Before you start digging around, be sure to read up on some common causes for water in crawl spaces.
Check the flooring of your crawl space to see if there is exposed dirt. Exposed dirt allows moisture to seep into the crawl space. Moisture can seep in through exposed dirt due to rainwater and improper landscaping or drainage around the home’s foundation.
This happens when a vapor barrier is damaged or installed in an improper manner.
If your home has foundation vents, then you’ll want to be sure that water isn’t finding its way into your crawl space through these vents. Some ways to tell if the water is coming through a foundation vent is to determine if the home is slopped towards the vent.
Check the vent screen as well to see if there are any signs of water seeping in.
Cracks in your home’s foundation are another possible source of water entry. Do a complete inspection of your home’s foundation to determine if there are any cracks where water could be getting through. In most cases, if the water is getting through the cracks, there will be visible signs of this.
Leaking pipes are another cause for standing water in a crawl space. Be sure to have all of your pipes and plumbing systems checked for any leaks. With the water turned on, you should be able to tell if a leaking pipe is the source of the water.
Does your home have a low-point drain installed in the crawl space? These drains allow for water to drain out of the crawl space under the ground and into a nearby street. When installed without a filter, these drains can become clogged easily.
If you check your low-point drain and find that it’s underwater, then it’s most likely clogged.
Treatment for standing water in your crawl space is dependent on what the actual cause is. There are a few different ways that you can treat these issues. Here’s what you need to know.
Waterproofing your crawl space is one way to keep water out if the source of the water is coming from the outside. When waterproofing your crawl space, be sure to waterproof both the exterior and interior.
Proper crawl space ventilation is another must no matter what the cause of the standing water is. Aside from installing great ventilation, be sure to install a crawl space humidifier and ventilation fans as well.
A vapor barrier or an encapsulation system will help keep your crawl space separate from the ground and earth around it. This will help keep moisture from the ground out of your crawl space.
Installing a sump pump is a great way to remove standing water from inside the crawl space. There are several different types of sump pumps that you can choose from. Be sure to speak with a professional about which type is best for you.
There are several dangers associated with standing water in the crawl space under your home. It’s important to take note of some of these dangers and then correct the problem as soon as possible.
The moisture in your crawl space will attract a variety of pests and rodents. Once these pests find their way into your crawl space, they won’t want to leave as their given water and a warm place to sleep. Urine and feces from the pests will buildup under your home creating an unhealthy environment.
Mold and mildew will also begin to grow in your damp crawl space. The mold will begin to seep through your home’s floorboards. Rot will also find its way onto your floorboard, eventually warping them.
Even though this all takes place under your home, it’ll eventually find its way into your home, which can make you and your family sick.
If your home has standing water in crawl space areas, you need to address it as soon as possible. Follow these tips listed above to find the source of the standing water and to correct it.
Blake has specialized in crawl space & foundation repairs for over 10 years (since 2012). His prior engineering and business degrees from James Madison University in VA prepared him for a mastery of problem solving with crawl space & foundation repair issues. He is one of America’s top experts on crawl space encapsulation. As Founder of both ‘BAY Crawl Space & Foundation Repair’ as well as ‘GridLock Foundations’ he is a leading industry expert on crawl space foundation repairs.