If you’ve noticed water in your crawl space, then you need to take quick action. Any water in your crawl space (but especially standing water) can be dangerous to your crawl space, your home, and the health of your family members.
Why is water in your crawl space dangerous?
There are a few reasons why water in your crawl space can be dangerous. These reasons include:
For one, water breeds mold and bacteria. Any standing water or moisture in your crawl space is bound to grow stagnant and grow mold and bacteria. You don’t want dangerous mold toxins or bacterias anywhere near your house, but especially not in your crawl space. The air that is in your crawl space is always moving upwards into your house. This may be a slow process, but eventually, those mold spores are going to be in the air you and your family members breathe.
Nobody wants to breathe in dangerous air, and you certainly don’t want your kids to breathe it in. Mold spores can cause lasting health problems if enough are breathed in over time. So do yourself and your family a favor by getting rid of all signs of mold on your property.
Another reason water is dangerous in your crawl space is that water rots wood. It’s likely that your crawl space includes wooden beams that serve to hold the weight of your home and are located directly beneath the floor of your living space. Even if the water is too low to touch these wooden beams, water in a crawl space means moisture in the air. This moisture will rot the wooden beams and will eventually lead to the floors of your home sagging and rotting away. This is very dangerous and needs to be taken care of before it becomes a big problem.
There are other reasons why water in your crawl space is dangerous, but these are some of the biggest ones.
Of course, the best defense against water in your crawl space is to already be prepared for it. It’s a good idea to install a sump pump or drainage system in your crawl space before you ever need to use it. That way, it will be ready to take on any water that may come its way—and save you a lot of money in the future. If you’ve recently moved into a home without a drainage system or your old home doesn’t have a drainage system in the crawl space, you should call Healthy Crawl Space today and see what can be done to keep you, your home, and your family safe.
What to do about water in your crawl space:
If there’s water in your crawl space, you need to get it out. You can either try to take care of it yourself or you can call a professional like Healthy Crawl Space. If you do take care of the water yourself, there are different ways to do it. No matter how you go about it, the process of getting water out of your crawl space should go as follows:
First, you need to remove all standing water. If your home recently flooded and that is what caused the water in your crawl space, then there may be a lot of standing water, depending on how bad the flooding was. You can use buckets to remove this water, or a sump pump or other water removal system. Buckets will surely be the slowest process, and you likely won’t be able to get all that water out of your crawl space, especially because you probably can’t even see it all.
That’s where a sump pump or other drainage system comes in. There are different kinds of drainage systems, including different sump pump setups and a perimeter drain, which is a ditch dug along the interior of your crawl space walls that moves water to a sump pump, where it can then be removed properly. Even this system uses a type of sump pump, so there really may be no way around investing in a sump pump of some kind.
Once all signs of water are out of your crawl space, it’s time to set up a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are great because they remove all water and moisture from the air, not just from the ground and the dirt. Remember that moisture in the air is what brings mold spores into your home and causes the wooden beams to rot, so this step is extremely important.
Once you’ve gotten all water and excess moisture out of the crawl space, you need to figure out what allowed the water in the space in the first place. If your area recently flooded or had heavy rains, then you may know the source of the water, but you still need to find out exactly how it got past your foundation walls. There may be a crack or a leak somewhere allowing water in, or water may have seeped in through the dirt floor. If you’re having trouble identifying the source of your trouble, make sure to ask a crawl space professional to take a look. Don’t just guess or brush it off as a one-time thing. Your crawl space needs to be secure, and the best way to ensure that is by fixing the root of the problem now.
Fixing this problem may require a lot more work. You may need to completely seal your crawl space through a method called crawl space encapsulation. This may be a big word, but all it basically means is completely covering all parts of your crawl space with a vapor barrier, including the floor, walls, ceiling, and any supports or piers that may be present. Crawl space encapsulation is a complicated process, and you’ll probably need to hire a crawl space professional to do it right.
If the water entered your crawl space due to unusual rainfall, you may be able to get away without encapsulating your entire basement. If this water came up through the dirt floor, you can simply lay a sheet or two of plastic vapor barrier to guard against future problems. If it came through a crack in the wall, you may be able to seal that crack pretty easily, depending on the size and location. While these are easy fixes and will work if your area never has that much rainfall again, this isn’t a permanent solution or something you can count on indefinitely. You certainly can’t count on the weather cooperating forever and never dumping rain on your home again. So even if you don’t expect to find water in your basement again, it may be best to have it encapsulated by a professional, just to be sure. This will save you time, energy, and a lot of money in the future if more water does get into your crawl space.
Water can also enter your crawl space through the vents and doors placed to provide access and proper airflow. If this is what’s causing your problem, contact Healthy Crawl Space to come up with a solution.
How a drainage system can help your crawl space:
Having a good drainage system is essential to properly care for your crawl space and preventing future water issues.
There are different kinds of drainage systems, as mentioned briefly above. Most drainage systems use some kind of sump pump. Sump pumps are essential to pumping water out of your crawl space and getting all water out of the soil and crawl space area. For a drainage system that works well, it’s a good idea to combine a sump pump with a perimeter trench. A perimeter trench, or drain, is a trench dug around the inside of your crawl space walls that will catch water and guide it to the sump pump. These are great for getting water off of the surface and taking care of standing water.
Crawl space drainage systems can be installed by any crawl space professional. If you live in Georgia or South Carolina, the best crawl space company to call is Healthy Crawl Space. We have expertly repaired dozens of crawl spaces in the area and would love the chance to repair yours in any way we can. Whether that means installing a drainage system, taking care of water removal and moisture removal, encapsulating your crawl space, or laying vapor barriers, we’ve got you covered. Give Healthy Crawl Space a call today and you’ll know that your crawl space is in very good hands.