It’s not impossible to restore a crawl space that’s been flooded, but is it safe to go back and use the space as you once were?
Why Has My Crawl Space Flooded?
Your crawl space can start taking on water for a myriad of reasons. Hydrostatic pressure can weaken your structural supports, while excessive moisture in your home can cause your pipes to leak. Even animals and tree roots can disturb the structural integrity of your crawl space, allowing water in once the weather takes a turn.
The good news is that you can get ahead of this kind of damage. While floods tend to happen all at once, you can look through your crawl space and the rest of your house on a regular basis for any signs that might indicate structural weaknesses.
Some of the clearest signs that your crawl space may be vulnerable to flooding include:
- Unusual levels of humidity in the space
- Mold growth
- Sticking doors
- Fogging windows
- Damaged insulation
- Difficulty controlling the temperature throughout the rest of your home
Fixing Your Crawl Space
The process of repairing your crawl space after it floods is a little different from what you might expect. It’s in your best interest, however, to do what you can to stop water from getting into your home as quickly as you can after discovering the damage at hand.
When you find water in your crawl space, reach out to a local professional. This way, you can temporarily patch the leak in your home before bailing out your unwanted water. Bailing that water out before patching the leak is also an option, but you risk taking on more water in the interim.
Once the water in your crawl space is cleared away, you can discuss more permanent repair measures with the professionals in your area. Your leak may have originated in your pipes or may be a result of excessive hydrostatic pressure outside of your home. Either way, identifying the ways in which that moisture made its way into your home and sealing appropriate cracks will help ease your stress in the days to come.
Note that the damage you’re looking for isn’t always going to be based in your crawl space. The aforementioned signs of damage can also indicate that something’s gone amiss with your foundation. If this is the case, you can work with a professional to determine whether piering or similar efforts may help bring your crawl space back up to its original, healthy condition.
Preventing Future Damage
After investing in home repairs, you’ll want to take steps to ensure that you don’t have to contend with the kind of flood damage you just got rid of. To do so, you can discuss home waterproofing measures with the professional contractors serving your area.
Some of the most effective waterproofing measures for your crawl space include:
- Interior drainage
- Sump pump system
- Encapsulation with a vapor barrier
- Waterproof insulation
Note that, while you may be tempted to invest in DIY waterproofing measures, they will not be as effective as those installed by a professional. Many DIY home waterproofing measures only obscure signs of water damage in your crawl space. As such, you may think your crawl space is in good condition when the damage beneath your home is only getting worse.
Can You Use a Crawl Space After It Floods?
You do have the option to use a crawl space after it’s flooded. However, it is in your best interest to only use such a space if you invest in the repairs that said space needs to remain watertight. This means closing off your vents, working with professionals to seal any visible cracks, and using proper waterproofing measures to protect your belongings.
If you attempt to use your crawl space without investing in these types of repairs, then the damage you saw in the last flood will only be the beginning. Your crawl space influences the overall health of your home – so why not work with professionals to ensure that it’s in the best shape possible? To bring your crawl space back up to snuff, you can reach out to the professionals serving Baltimore, MD, for a free crawl space inspection and repair quote. With this information at hand, you can more readily determine what your home repair budget will look like.