Since the average crawl space is a below-grade, you might think it’s normal to have moisture throughout. Here in Pennsylvania and in the surrounding New Jersey and Delaware areas, the seasons bring differing amounts of water. As water collects in the ground around your home, it is constantly trying to find ways into your crawlspace.
Negative Effects are Looming
Water makes its way into the crawlspace in a few ways. Plumbing leaks, seepage from surrounding soil and condensation of humidity each play their parts.
This moisture may at times seem harmless but it is far from it. Over time it causes wood rot, mold, mildew and sometimes attracts pests. In addition, these problems can spread to other parts of the home and cause further damage. Nearly 50% of the air upstairs in a home at one point comes from the basement or crawlspace.
Potential Problems Caused by Wet Crawlspace
Higher Energy Bills – A home with a crawl space rather than a basement immediately costs more to heat and cool. This occurs because damp air surrounding the dirt and soil requires more energy to condition. Crawlspace conversions as well as the proper crawlspace encapsulation can be long-terms fixes to this problem.
Mold – Mold lives on moisture so naturally, crawl spaces become safe havens for growth. Though some forms of mold are initially harmless, over time they will undoubtedly pose serious health risks. Mold and mildew releases airborne spores that eventually make their way into the rest of the home. By keeping your crawlspace dry and properly ventilated, you are creating a safer environment for you and your family while simultaneously assuring that the value of your home isn’t decreased by mold damage.
Foundation Issues – As the crawlspace is located at the lowest point of the home, it plays a crucial part in the health of the home’s foundation. Moisture in the crawlspace will over time seep into the walls and base of the foundation creating structural damage. This can easily become a far more expensive problem than mold and must be taken seriously.
Why is There Water in My Crawlspace?
The first step to fixing a wet crawl space is to determine what’s causing the water problem. There are three main causes of water in the crawl space:
- Surface water typically enters the crawl space through roof drainage, overflowing gutters, grading issues and leaky basement windows or window wells.
- Groundwater can enter the crawl space several ways. The soil around the foundation can become saturated after periods of heavy rain or snow. Water from the surrounding soil pushes against the walls of the foundation, eventually finding its way in.
- Plumbing issues such as a plumbing leak or a burst pipe can introduce water into the crawl space. This comes in the form of both slow leaks and heavy flooding.
Keeping the Space Dry
Adding a dehumidifier and sump-pump system in the crawl space can prevent water and moisture damage. Dehumidifiers work slowly but surely so keep moisture levels in the air at a constant level while sump-pumps work to drive pooled water away from the home’s foundation.
If you have a crawl space that receives water when it rains, many times a waterproofing or drainage system is necessary to get the water problem under control. The type of system depends on the amount of water present and the path of which it enters the space. This is why it is CRUCIAL that you do not attempt to solve these problems on your own. A basement waterproofing professional such as ourselves are eager to help.
If you are experiencing any of these signs, please to do not hesitate. Give us a call today at 610-495-9111 for a FREE INSPECTION. For more detailed information on services, please visit www.basements911.com today.