If you have a crawl space underneath your home, it’s important to take care of it. There are things that can happen in this area that will negatively impact your house.
You might notice that you have standing water underneath your home sometimes. This is something that might cause you to worry, but you might also be wondering if it’s normal for this to happen.
Is water appearing in the crawl space normal? Or is this something you need to remedy as soon as possible?
Continue reading to learn about standing water in crawl spaces. You’ll understand what it means when you find water as well as what you should do about it.
Finding Water in Crawl Spaces Is Common
It’s rather common to find water in crawl spaces. If you have a dirt floor crawl space, you might notice the presence of water when it rains outside.
Heavy rainfall will cause the crawl space area to have more water. If there’s just a little bit of water, this isn’t something that should be seen as a huge concern.
However, water can become a problem. If you have large pools of standing water in the crawl space, this is indeed a bad sign.
You don’t want to see large pools of water, but seeing a few shallow puddles won’t be unusual. It’s generally best to take steps to protect the crawl space from moisture because it can harm your home.
How Bad Is Water in a Crawl Space?
Water in the crawl space can be quite bad. The presence of large puddles of standing water has the potential to damage your home.
Excessive moisture in the crawl space makes it more likely that you’ll have issues with mold and mildew. Over time, this can cause structural damage to the floors, joists, and other parts of the underside of your house.
The water itself can also weaken the floors and cause issues with rotting if there’s enough of it. Small puddles of water won’t be a huge concern, but excessive amounts of standing water will be hugely problematic.
It’s also worth noting that the presence of standing water will attract pests. You’ll have more bugs in the crawl space area if the moisture issues are very bad.
During certain times of the year, you might have mosquitoes breed in the pools of water. This is something you want to avoid.
Will Water in a Crawl Space Go Away?
A little bit of moisture in the crawl space might dry up if the crawl space is properly ventilated. Large pools of water aren’t going to just disappear on their own.
You’ll need to pump the water out of the crawl space yourself or have it professionally removed. Water in your crawl space can potentially stay there for months or years if you choose to ignore the problem.
If you have an issue with standing water in your home, it’s best to take action fast. The moisture will cause issues that can damage your house faster than you might realize.
Protecting your investment is important and making some changes to your crawl space area will help to turn things around. This isn’t an issue that you have to handle yourself if you’re at a loss for what to do.
What Constitutes a Concerning Amount of Water?
Some might not be entirely sure how much water should be considered concerning in the crawl space. Generally, seeing more than two inches of water in the crawl space is not good.
If the water doesn’t go away in one or two days, that’s also a bad sign. It means that you’re going to need to take action to get rid of the water.
You should also take note of the odor of the water. Does the water smell strongly of mold or mildew?
If it does, it means that the water is already causing problems for your home. You’re going to want to act fast before the damage gets worse.
Does the water look as if it’s green or even yellow in color? Any water that isn’t clear should be considered a very bad sign.
You also don’t want to see water that is incredibly thick. When you notice these bad signs, it’s important to call for help as soon as you can.
Who to Call for Water in Crawl Spaces
There are a few different types of professionals that you can call to help you with crawl space water issues. Plumbers should likely be called because you want to make sure that the water isn’t coming from your home.
The water can come from the ground itself, but it’s also possible that you might have leaky pipes. You’ll want the plumbers to examine the pipes and determine what’s going on.
Many plumbing companies will also offer services such as crawl space restoration, but not all of them do. There might be a specific business in your area that offers crawl space restoration, encapsulation, and general cleanup services.
There are other professionals that you can call such as waterproofing companies. If you’re worried about the state of the foundation of your home, you might even wish to call a foundation expert.
The best thing you can do is search for crawl space water removal services locally. You might find a company that offers both plumbing help and crawl space water removal.
After getting the water removed, you can figure out how to prevent this issue from continuing to occur. If the water is coming from the ground, you’ll want to install a vapor barrier.
Installing a Vapor Barrier
Installing a vapor barrier is imperative when you have a dirt floor crawl space. A vapor barrier is a 6-mil piece of plastic that covers the entire crawl space floor.
You’ll stretch the plastic out and make sure that it covers every spot perfectly. Typically, this will involve cutting the plastic to ensure that it fits just right, and you’ll want the pieces to overlap.
Often, the pieces of the plastic barrier will be taped together or otherwise connected. This simple barrier does a great job of protecting your home from moisture.
You can choose to install a vapor barrier yourself, but this is a service that a professional crawl space restoration business will handle as well. This will be the easiest way to get things done right.
Gutters and Downspouts
Sometimes issues with water in the crawl space will be related to your gutters and downspouts not working properly. The gutters are supposed to direct water to the downspouts, and the downspouts point the water away from your home.
If the water is allowed to pool at the base of your home, it can harm the foundation of the house. When you have a crawl space foundation, it’s easy for standing water in the crawl space to become an issue.
Make sure that your downspouts are directing water away from the house. You want the water to go toward a harmless spot in the yard or into a storm drain.
If the gutters are blocked, you might need to do some cleaning. Remember to clean your gutters once or twice a year depending on how many trees you have near your house.
The Dangers of Mold
What if you have a significant amount of mold in the crawl space? You’ll need to get rid of it because it can make you sick.
Mold in the crawl space can make you and your family sick. The mold can get into your house through the vents.
The presence of mold can damage your floors and other parts of the house. So it’s important to get rid of the mold before you install a vapor barrier.
Dealing with mold has the potential to be dangerous. Some types of mold can make you very sick, and many people have allergic reactions to mold.
You can get rid of mold by yourself if you want to attempt to do so, but it’s safer to call mold removal specialists. They can safely get rid of the mold and help you to take steps to keep the mold from becoming an issue again.
They can also help if the mold has made its way into your home. Don’t underestimate the danger presented by mold.
Now you know that standing water in the crawl space is not something that should be ignored. A little bit of moisture is expected when you have a dirt floor crawl space, but anything behind a few inches of water will be a bad sign.
Water that sticks around for more than a day or so needs to be dealt with. It’s best to call experts that can remove the water and help to protect your crawl space from future moisture issues.
Installing a moisture barrier can make a huge difference. It’s also helpful to ensure that your gutters and downspouts are directing water away from your home properly.
Ensure that you don’t have plumbing leaks that are causing water to flow into the crawl space before moving forward. Plumbers can help you with this.
You might need to remove mold and mildew from the crawl space if moisture has been a problem for quite some time. Taking the right steps today can help to protect your investment in your home.
Don’t ignore problems in the crawl space. It could potentially cost you thousands of dollars to repair the damage if you wait too long.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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