Excessive moisture within your crawl space can create all sorts of damage not just within this space, but your entire home as well. All that moisture trapped in your crawl space can entice pests, mold, or other issues to flock to your home and cause even more mischief. You need solid moisture control solutions to ensure this does not happen. What can you do if your crawl space is suffering from water damage?
The crawl space is not a place many homeowners can easily access. How will you know that moisture has crept into your crawl space? You might wonder how you will even be able to tell there is something wrong at all. Fortunately, there are quite a few telltale signs of crawl space water damage that the average homeowner can keep an eye out for.
- Musty Smell
Noticing a weird stench in your first floor is an extremely telling sign that there is moisture trapped within your crawl space. This smell could indicate that you have a large amount of standing water or possibly sewage just behind your walls.
- Mold, Mildew, and Fungi Growth
Where moisture and humidity linger, mold and mildew growth are sure to follow. Both of these fungi can be hazardous for your family’s health. They can easily spread around your home and cause:
- Burning or watery eyes
- Sore throat
- Coughing or wheezing
- Skin rash
Homeowners that have asthma or chronic lung diseases are especially vulnerable to mold or mildew spores, as it can trigger an asthmatic attack or even infect their lungs.
The standing water in your crawl space may seep its way through your walls’ pores. This causes prominent leaking that will only worsen with time. Even a small leak can hint at larger damage behind the scenes, so you need to take care of them as soon as you can.
Moisture in the Crawl Space
How does moisture infiltrate the crawl space? Knowing what causes moisture to infiltrate your crawl space can help you come up with the best method to block it out of this space permanently. How exactly does moisture seep into your crawl space in the first place?
- Hydrostatic Pressure
Hydrostatic pressure happens when the soil around your foundation absorbs so much water that it starts to put immense pressure on your foundation. This can cause it to move out of its original spot or crack under the strain. Moisture can then easily infiltrate these spaces.
The relative humidity of an area is determined by how much water vapor is currently in the air versus how much moisture in total the air can hold. The more water vapor there is in the air, the more humid it feels. If more water enters into the atmosphere than the air can hold, it is simply dispersed into liquid droplets that can easily flood a place.
The Solution: Crawl Space Moisture Control
JES Foundation Repair offers plenty of crawl space moisture control solutions that will fit your unique situation. This includes heavy-duty drainage systems, sump pumps, vapor barriers, vent covers, and dehumidifiers; we have it all.
The first step any crawl space expert will make is to plan out which moisture control methods will work best for your unique home. Then they will get to work on encapsulating your crawl space to ensure no moisture seeps through ever again.
- Drainage Systems and Sump Pumps
Installing a reliable drainage system inside your crawl space can ensure that it will never be flooded again. If any moisture does trickle into this space, it is promptly collected and redirected away by this system to a sump pump, which is a more appropriate drainage point.
It’s important to pair this system with a sump pump, which works to pump all the water the drainage system collects out of the crawl space. Sump pumps are especially useful if you live in an area that gets heavy storms or snowfall. Depending on the drainage system you want, this water will either be redirected to a nearby storm drain or out on your front lawn, saving you money and time. You should consult one of our crawl space experts to see which system is best for your home.
A reliable SafeDri™ sump pump system is self-activating and when you opt to add a backup battery, you do not have to rush to turn it on the moment a storm hits. You can rest easy knowing this system is always working to redirect large amounts of water away from your property.
- Vapor Barriers
Vapor barriers can come in many different sizes. However, crawl space experts recommend 20-mil liners due to their enhanced durability against any kind of moisture. This thicker barrier can endure more than thinner ones and is far less likely to tear in the event of extreme weather and allow the water to flow through.
You need a barrier that is guaranteed to block moisture out. The CrawlSeal™ vapor barrier is a sturdy 20-mil liner composed of seven layers of polyethylene that will offer the best protection against moisture infiltration.
This discourages mold and mildew growth as well as deters any pests from entering into this protected space. Our vapor barriers are best used for crawl spaces that have dirt floors. This then ensures that they will not wash away no matter how much moisture attempts to break through the barrier.
- Vent Covers
Many homes will have open vents installed within their crawl spaces. The original idea was to have air circulate the space to keep it dry naturally. Unfortunately, it had the opposite effect.
More moisture flows in than is blocked out by the vents, resulting in more frequent floods and water damage. Vent covers seal off any ventilation found around or within the crawl space, cutting any moisture off from the space completely.
Installing a dehumidifier is the last part of the encapsulation process. Though the other parts of the encapsulation system are guaranteed to keep your crawl space dry, having a dehumidifier can put you more at ease. Should any moisture slip through the vapor barrier and the vent covers, the dehumidifier will rid your crawl space of it.
Crawl Space Moisture Control
The crawl space is a crucial area of your home. It is not an exaggeration to say that the key to the health of your home overall lies within regular maintenance of the crawl space.
- Why Is the Crawl Space Important?
The crawl space’s main purpose is to store many of your house’s most important systems and components, including your:
- HVAC system
- Air ducts
- Electrical wiring
These systems must remain dry at all times. Any standing water or moisture might short-circuit some of these systems or prevent them from performing their duties properly.
- How Big Is My Crawl Space?
Typically, a crawl space’s ceiling ranges anywhere between one and three feet high, which is just large enough for an adult to crawl through. This does not mean you should venture inside your crawl space. Even crawl spaces with higher ceilings can be quite narrow given all the important systems held within them.
You should especially avoid going into your crawl space if it has soil floors. If the soil surrounding your foundation was not compromised before, you may accidentally kick or shift that soil around once you venture inside. This will only allow more moisture to seep into this space and cause more problems. It is best to leave any repairs within this space to the crawl space experts.
For some homeowners, the four-step encapsulation process might seem like overkill. Some crawl space experts may agree with you and will work out a moisture control plan that best suits your home.
- Drier Climate Solutions
Crawl space experts will likely look into how severe your crawl space issues have progressed as well as the climate you currently reside in. This can help them decide which parts of the process your crawl space needs. Different climates serve different moisture needs, after all.
For instance, drier areas might not need an entire drainage set-up or a sump pump at all. This is especially true if your crawl space is not prone to flooding. An expert might determine that a vapor barrier liner and vent covers may suffice. They might also suggest a sturdy dehumidifier to take care of any stray humidity as well.
- When Will I Need an Entire Encapsulation Done?
If you live in a particularly humid or wet climate, your crawl space might need to be fully encapsulated.
Your crawl space is more likely to flood from either melted snow or heavy storms in spring, humidity in the summer, or even ice in the winter. A full encapsulation process ensures that your crawl space can block out any kind of moisture over the entire year.
Consulting a crawl space expert from JES Foundation Repair about which moisture control solution is the best process for you. They can determine which solutions are best for your home and install them quickly and easily.
Some crawl space repairs might seem simple to implement yourself. Indeed, home improvement stores will offer many enticing solutions to brace your walls or foundation against water damage.
- Which Options Do Home Improvement Stores Offer?
Home improvement stores will offer homeowners plenty of smaller solutions to fix their bowed crawl space walls or combat water damage in their homes. Items like smaller dehumidifiers, mold cleaner, or caulking might seem like easy fixes. However, it is good to keep in mind that these work as temporary solutions at best.
For example, dehumidifiers that you purchase at a store are mainly used in regular bedrooms and the like. You cannot place a store-bought dehumidifier inside your crawl space and expect it to function as well as an industry-grade machine you can get with JES Foundation Repair.
This is why our encapsulation process is so important. By implementing powerful machines and moisture control techniques together, we can ensure your crawl space will never suffer from water damage, flooding, mold, or any other issues ever again.
- Here’s Why DIY Solutions Are Not Enough
You should not rely on these DIY measures for a permanent fix. They are liable to fall apart or deteriorate over time, which means you will have to keep buying the same solutions over and over again. This will only cost you more money in the long run. It may help if your crawl space issues are especially bad and you do not have the time to schedule a crawl space inspection with us right now.
Still, if your problem lies with your foundation or within the crawl space, you must leave the repairs to the experts. We can install permanent solutions that will save your crawl space, your time, and your money.
JES Foundation Repair—The Experts in Moisture Control
Moisture issues within your crawl space can have terrible consequences for the infrastructure and health of your entire home. You need a solution that works best for your home.
The JES Foundation Repair crawl space experts have the right expertise and tools for the job. We can help you find the best waterproofing solution for your home and repair any damage it has already caused.
Contact us today to schedule your free crawl space inspection and repair quote.