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Crawl Space Flooding: How to Dry Your Crawl Space & Prevent Future Incidents

A flooded crawl space is a hotbed of mold, and the ponding water can lead to structural damage.

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No homeowner likes the idea of pooling water in the crawl space of their Cincinnati, Ohio, home. But sometimes, this unfortunate event happens even when we least expect it. Whether the water is from a heavy rainstorm, a leaky faucet, or a backed-up sewer line, it can lead to considerable damage.  

The experts at OBA strongly encourage you to implement waterproofing solutions and flood protection measures to protect your crawl space. By doing so, it will prevent water damage and preserve your home’s structural integrity.  

flooded crawl space

What Happens When Water Gets Into Your Crawl Space

When water infiltrates your crawl space and floods it, you can expect the following to happen:  

Mold and rot: Water and moisture buildup will cause mildew to grow on your crawl space walls and wooden supports. These micro organisms will create a musty smell that can spoil the quality of indoor air, as well as lead to health problems for anyone in your home.

Wood rot: If the water lingers on the floor, wooden floor joists and girders, and organic materials in the crawl space will start rotting. This can lead to serious structural issues.  

Damaged fiberglass insulation: Moisture and rising water can also soak your fiberglass insulation and make it ineffective. Eventually leading to replacing the material.

Attracts pests and rodents: The damp environment and rotting wood will make the crawl space attractive to wood-destroying pests and insects. They will feed on the rotting wood and look for an ideal environment to reproduce.  

What To Do Immediately After a Flood  

It is imperative to act fast to remove the stagnant water before it causes any severe damage.  

Get the water out: First things first: Remove the water from the crawl space. If you’ve experienced significant flooding, contact a water damage professional with specialized equipment to extract large volumes of standing water.  

Dry the area: After successfully removing all the water, the water damage restoration company will dry any residual moisture from the wood framing, subflooring above the crawl space, and the crawl space dirt floor.  

Sanitize affected areas: If mold already exists inside the crawl space, contact with water usually accelerates contamination. A mold remediator can perform visual inspection to see whether mold or mildew has started growing. After their inspection, they will clean the surface to prevent the growth and spread of mold. 

Dehumidify the space: A dehumidifier in your crawl space will bring down the moisture levels to between 30 and 45 percent. It can take eight to 10 hours to clear the atmosphere of moisture.  

How To Prevent Future Crawl Space Flooding  

If you’re dealing with water related crawl space issues, the experts at Ohio Basement Authority can help instill a dry, healthy, and energy-efficient space below your home.

Make Sure Your Drainage System Works

Melting snow and roof runoff usually flow toward your home and into the crawl space. If the flooding is due to poor exterior drainage, check your gutters and downspouts for damage and let your roofing service repair them. If you notice that your home’s landscaping slopes towards your foundation, it means you have a negative yard grade. This can lead to rainwater and snow pooling around your foundation, leading to structural damage. Talk to your landscaping company to re-grade your yard so water drains away from your property.  

Install Airtight Vent and Door Covers  

Talk to our specialists about sealing up all the open crawl space vents and replacing your old door covers with new ones to stop outdoor moisture from infiltrating the crawl space.  

Install a Sump Pump System  

Sump pumps are useful in keeping water out of your crawl space. These devices collect any water that enters your crawl space and pump it out of your property. We can supply you with a durable sump pump with a battery backup, so your pump keeps working even in the event of a power failure.  

Install a Vapor Barrier  

Ask about encapsulating your crawl space with a heavy-duty plastic vapor barrier. We typically use the 20-mil plastic sheet that effectively locks out moisture, wood-damaging pests, and groundwater from your crawl space.  

Dehumidify the Crawl Space  

If the indoor air becomes extremely humid after clearing the stagnant water, look into buying an energy-efficient crawl space dehumidifier and have your local technician install it for you. A crawl space dehumidifier will bring down moisture levels and keep the humidity low.  

Choose your local waterproofing experts 

Cleaning up a flooded crawl space is not your typical DIY job, that’s why it’s best to turn to your trusted, local experts. Ohio Basement Authority can provide you with a free crawl space inspection and provide you waterproofing recommendations to protect your crawl space from future flooding. 

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