When moisture builds up in your crawl space, it can lead to several issues, including mold, mildew, foul odors, and even structural damage. Fortunately, there are many methods you can employ to help prevent excessive moisture and the damage it can cause. This article will introduce you to five of the best ones.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
The most complete and effective way to keep moisture out of your crawl space is crawl space encapsulation. This service involves creating a complete seal between your crawl space and the soil and air outside.
The team that performs your crawl space encapsulation will use a vapor barrier to line your crawl space. They may also install new drainage systems to eliminate any standing water.
An un-encapsulated crawl space is often both unkempt and unusable. After a complete crawl space encapsulation, this same area will not only have excellent moisture control, but will also be ready to use as a clean and viable storage space.
Investing in a dehumidification system for your crawl space is a great way to control the amount of moisture in the air. Many of these systems also come with settings that allow you to monitor and maintain an ideal level of humidity.
Dehumidification systems are most effective following a crawl space encapsulation service. The combination of these moisture control methods will effectively keep water out while at the same time managing any vapor that exists in the air inside.
At times, the source of moisture in your crawl space has nothing to do with the crawl space itself. The slope of the land surrounding your home plays an important role too.
The ground directly outside your crawl space should have a distinct slope away from your home. If the ground slopes towards your home, it will cause groundwater to flow toward your crawl space and eventually seep its way in.
The good news, though, is that most grading corrections are relatively simple. By regrading the land so that it slopes away from your foundation, you’ll encourage water to flow away as well. In some cases, this solution alone is enough to prevent water from entering your crawl space.
Our final method for crawl space moisture control relates to your gutter system. When functioning correctly, your gutters will capture water from your roof and allow it to flow down your downspouts.
However, an issue can arise when your downspouts deposit the water directly next to your house. When this happens, the water can begin to pool, seep into the soil, and eventually leak into your crawl space.
If you are facing this cause of crawl space moisture, installing downspout extensions is one of the simplest and most effective ways to resolve the issue. A set of downspout extensions will move the water well away from your home so that it has a minimal chance of getting inside.
Dangers of Crawl Space Moisture
While it’s helpful to know some of the main ways to keep moisture under control in your foundation, it is equally important to know why it is so important to do so. Below are some of the top dangers of allowing a basement or crawl space to become too moist:
- Mold and mildew: When moisture accumulates, mold and mildew have a greater opportunity to grow. Both of these substances affect the air you breathe, posing a health risk (especially for those with asthma).
- Structural damage: Moisture often leads to rot, which compromises any wooden components of your crawl space and may even cause your floors to sag. The mold and mildew that moisture causes can also result in reactions that weaken both concrete and masonry foundations.
- Water damage: Standing water, condensation, and humidity can also cause water damage to any items you have stored in your crawl space. When left unchecked, this damage can quickly become costly.
Clearly, foundation moisture is something every property owner should take measures to keep under control. Following the moisture control methods mentioned above will give you the best chance of achieving that goal.
Signs That Your Crawl Space Is Too Moist
Before we conclude, it is crucial to point out a few of the most common signs that indicate there is too much moisture in and around the foundation. By noticing these signs as soon as they arise, you’ll have the greatest chance to intervene and prevent moisture damage.
One of the first signs of moisture is also one of the most unpleasant. When your crawl space becomes too wet, it is common for foul odors to rise into the rest of your home.
Additionally, there are other obvious signs that your crawl space is not dry enough. If you notice mold and mildew, condensation on walls and other surfaces, standing water, or extreme humidity, you can be sure your crawl space is in need of some kind of moisture control.
Keep Your Crawl Space Moisture Under Control
By now, you have a clear idea of some of the best methods for controlling crawl space moisture. However, as you may have noticed, many of these solutions are not tasks that you can undertake on your own. Instead, if you want to manage moisture in your foundation, you’ll need to find a trustworthy foundation professional who can help you along the way.
If you live in Eastern North Carolina and need assistance with your crawl space, Regional Foundation & Crawl Space Repair is the team for you! We have extensive experience providing residential and commercial customers with crawl space repair, foundation services, waterproofing, and more. Reach out today to learn more and take advantage of our free estimate!