Whether it’s the small beads of water that form on the insulation or the small puddle of water that sits on the floor, crawl space moisture can be quite unsettling. Musty smells and streaks of mold are some of the telltale signs that something is wrong.
Dampness often sets the stage for short-term issues and long-term problems. A proper crawl space inspection can remove any doubt as to the condition of the space below your home. Plus, it will give you answers and inform your next move.
But should you worry about moisture, or is that part and parcel of crawl space care? What can you do to remedy the problem? You’ll find answers to these and other questions in the sections below.
What Does It Mean when the Crawl Space is Damp?
Moisture in the crawl space means water vapor or liquid water has entered the below-ground area in your home. If you’re keen, you’ll realize some months are more humid than others. Summer months can be particularly hard for the crawl space as it’s a period when humidity can go through the roof. Spring also has its share of challenges, and the biggest is the heavy rainfalls that saturate the soil with water. Add to this the occasional floods that sweep neighborhoods, and you’ll understand why the crawl space is at Mother Nature’s mercy.
If you rarely inspect your crawl space, you may notice moisture is building up or damaging that space. Humidity can go over 60%, and this is when you’ll start having problems. We encourage you to check the crawl space from time to time and measure the humidity levels. Keeping moisture in check will avert issues that could render the crawl space unusable.
Where Does the Moisture Come From?
Crawl space moisture can come from different sources. Here are the common ones:
- Surface water: Rainwater that falls on your roof and runs through the sides of your clogged gutters can flow into your crawl space, especially through open vents.
- Condensation: Warm moisture-laden air from the outside can get into your crawl space during hot summer months. When this air comes into contact with the cold surfaces or insulation, it condenses into water droplets or beads.
- Groundwater: When it rains or thaws, the soil surrounding your Columbus, OH, home can get wet and saturated with water. Some of this water can seep through porous walls and enter the crawl space.
- Plumbing leaks: Old or worn-out water pipes that run under your home can also leak and introduce water into your crawl space. Sometimes, water can sit for weeks or months and even evaporate.
No matter what makes your crawl space damp, we can find and apply a lasting solution to your problem.
Telltale Signs of a Damp Crawl Space
When the crawl space becomes damp, it might alert via any of the following ways.
- Pest infestation
- Muggy air
- Mold and mildew growth
- Wet insulation
- Warping or buckling floors
- Rotted floor joists
- Higher energy bills
Fixing Crawl Space Moisture Issues
Starting with the exterior, fix faulty gutters and downspouts. Remove debris or leaves in the gutters as they might obstruct the flow of water. Grade your yard so water flows away from the perimeter of your home, and not toward it.
Poor drainage, water leaks, and heavy downpours in spring and summer can take a toll on your crawl space and make it damp. You can prevent water issues by installing an internal drainage system like CrawlDrain™ and pairing it with a sump pump to effectively remove the water from the crawl space.
Another important step is sealing the crawl space walls and floor with a 20-mil plastic vapor barrier like CrawlSeal™. Encapsulation with this thick and durable vapor barrier, as well as exterior vent covers, locks out air and pests that can destroy the crawl space. Your local basement contractor will handle this task.
If humidity still persists, get a dehumidifier to dry out the air. We recommend a self-draining unit that also features an air filter. It won’t just remove moisture but also dust particles and other pollutants that can enter your home and spoil the indoor air.
Don’t let crawl space moisture stop you from using your crawl space to the fullest. Get in touch with Ohio Basement Authority for fast and professional crawl space repairs in Columbus, OH. We provide free crawl space inspections and quotes along with solid recommendations to keep your crawl space dry 365 days a year.