It’s not uncommon to find water in crawl space, especially after heavy rains or when the winter snow melts. While it may seem harmless, water seeping into your crawl space is a definite cause of alarm. That’s because apart from the repulsive odor coming from beneath the floors, the water could also compromise your home’s structural integrity and your health.
Essentially, the water puddles in your crawl space aren’t the real problem; the problem is the moisture vapor. It’s the water vapor that leads to rot and the proliferation of mold and other fungi, which could be a health hazard. Unless you’re comfortable with that funky smell and are willing to risk your health and the safety of the house occupants, then you need to address the issue ASAP.
A permanent fix to the problem is finding the root cause of the crawl space water; then, you can consider encapsulation. Read on to find out how water permeates into your crawl space so you can avoid that the host of problems that come with water in your crawl spaces.
1 Leaking or Disconnected Water Lines Lead to Water in Crawl Space
Don’t be too surprised, a burst pipe even in your upstairs bathrooms makes water accumulate in the crawl space. Water never flows upwards, so every tiny leak will trickle to the bottom of the house, and that’s where the crawl space is. That’s why it’s so important to take care of any leak or burst pipes as soon as they occur.
You can fix a leak by yourself, but if you’re finding it difficult to locate the leak or burst pipe, then call a professional to do your bidding. Fix any water leaks instantly to prevent water from pooling in your crawlspace.
2. Improper Grading
This is usually your contractor’s fault and is typically the hardest to fix. The area surrounding your foundation should slope downwards away from the foundation. That way, water can flow away from your crawl space, and not straight into it.
Remember, mulch isn’t part of your landscape, so it doesn’t count as grading. To avoid negative grading, you need an inspection contingency before you buy a house. If you’re building your own home, you need to hire a contractor and do an inspection afterward.
If you already have negative grading, then you have to regrade it by getting soil from elsewhere to rectify the grading.
3. The Gutter
Water from the gutters is a leading cause of water issues in your crawl space. When debris like leaves and twigs clog the gutters, rainwater overflows into the crawlspace. However, when checking the gutters. Don’t forget about the downspout, which also clogs easily.
Unclogging the gutters should be easy. Prodding the clog with a long stick will do it, but remember to clean your gutters regularly to prevent them from clogging again.
4. Cracks in the Foundation
It’s easy for homeowners to blame the contractor for cracks in the foundations. However, cracks naturally occur in the foundation over time because of rainwater draining directly on the foundation.
Minor cracks shouldn’t be a major cause of concern, but when the cracks become larger, they start letting in a lot of water into the crawl space. You can fix this problem with a suitable epoxy sealant, which seals the cracks completely.
If you have sprinklers in your yard, consider placing them away from the foundation. Water from the sprinkler permeates through the soil to the foundation and makes it crack. When these cracks grow bigger, the water seeps into the crawlspace.
5. Faulty Drain Sump
It’s easy for homeowners to overlook drain sumps because they’re located beneath their houses. When your drain or sump pump isn’t working as it should, then water pools in your drain space.
As such, it’s important to check and service your sump pumps at least once each year. That’s because sum pumps can clog with debris. If that happens, they’ll be nowhere for your water to go, so it remains in the crawl space.
6. Groundwater Percolation
In some seasons, excessive rainwater or water from melted snow saturates the soil. This water may seep into your crawl space because it’s the path of least resistance. This happens to a lot of homes, but not a lot of people realize this happens.
The only way you can stop this from happening is by encapsulating your crawl space. Encapsulation is sealing off your crawl space to prevent moisture seepage. You can compare it to lining your swimming pool to prevent it from leaking. You can get a professional for your encapsulation, or you can do it yourself.
7. Faulty Vent Wells
Make sure your vent or window wells are at least a few inches above the ground. That’s because if they’re much lower, water will flow through it and find its way into your crawlspace. Also, secure your vents firmly to the foundation wall for them to work as they should.
Arrange a home inspection to find out whether your window and vent wells are where they should be. After that, you can arrange for any rectifications.
8. Over-Watering Flowers and Garden Plants
Understandably, you want your flowers and garden plants to look their absolute best, but a little water should do the trick. Never overwater your plants, because first, too much water isn’t good for the plants, but most importantly, water may seep into your crawl space.
Make sure you equip your flower beds with suitable base layers so you can water away without having to worry about any crawl space issues. If you can’t do so, then water your plants and flowers sparingly.
Protect Your Crawl Space From Moisture
It’s easy to overlook your crawl space, but you have lots to lose if you ignore your crawl space’s water problem. Hopefully, now you’re well-acquainted with what causes water in crawl space. It now rests on you to come up with a plan to fix these issues, either on your own or with the help of professionals.
If you want to determine the root cause of the water in your crawl space, then arrange for a home inspection. That way, you can clamp down on the exact issue and address it comprehensively.
For professional and expedient home inspection, schedule an inspection today, and we’ll sort you out.