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How to Get Rid of Moisture Under a House

Crawl Space Repair

05/22/2024

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Moisture under a house can cause many forms of damage. Fortunately, there are ways to eliminate excessive moisture and prevent it from happening in the first place.

When you have moisture under your home, the good news is that there are several ways that you can relieve the issue, including dehumidification, drainage improvements, waterproofing, and crawl space encapsulation. Additionally, there are tactics a homeowner can use to make moisture under a home less likely.

how to get rid of moisture under house

How Moisture Under a House Happens

Before we discuss how to get rid of moisture under a house, let’s consider why this issue occurs. Compared to other areas of your home, your foundation is more susceptible to moisture problems for a few specific reasons:

  1. Leaking: If your foundation walls are cracked, groundwater outside the foundation can seep inside.
  2. High groundwater: In areas with high groundwater levels, water is more likely to saturate the soil around your foundation and eventually seep inside.
  3. Surface runoff: The odds that rainwater enters the space below your house are higher after a rainstorm. This is especially true if you have issues with your gutters, downspouts, or grading.
  4. Moist outside air: If your foundation has openings, such as crawl space vents, they can allow humid air to enter. As this air stagnates, the relative humidity in your crawl space can rise to a concerning level.

How Moisture Gets in a Crawl Space

Signs There is Too Much Moisture Under a House

The first step when relieving a moisture problem is to recognize that you have one. Below are a few of the most prevalent signs that you need to find out how to get rid of moisture under your house:

  1. Pooling water: The presence of visible water is one of the surest signs that your home has a drainage problem. Moisture problems are likely to accompany stagnant water.
  2. Mold and mildew: Excessive air moisture encourages mold and mildew growth. These substances are unsightly signs of a moisture problem. Mold and mildew also harm human health, especially those with preexisting lung conditions.
  3. Bad smells: High relative humidity can cause foul odors to fill your foundation and rise throughout the rest of your home. In many cases, foul odors can be the first sign of a moisture problem you notice.
  4. Pest infestations: Many of the most common pests prefer a moist environment. As such, the presence of these pests indicates that moisture levels may be too high in under your home.
  5. Condensation: When moisture levels rise, it is more likely that condensation will form on the surfaces under your house.
  6. Staining and other water damage: Visible signs of staining and rot both reveal a moisture problem that has persisted for a significant time.

How to Get Rid of Moisture Under a House

Now that you know why moisture is more common under a house and a few ways to notice this issue, let’s cover some of the best interventions you can choose. Below are four of the most viable ways to get rid of moisture under a house:

  1. Enhanced drainage
  2. Dehumidification
  3. Waterproofing
  4. Crawl space encapsulation

In the sections below, we’ll describe each option so you have a better idea of which is best for you.

Enhance Your Drainage System to Remove Moisture

Standing water in your basement or crawl space indicates a drainage issue. Puddling water can also promote excessive air moisture. One of the best ways to resolve a drainage issue is by ensuring your foundation has a complete drainage system.

Features of a Complete Drainage System

  1. Drain tiles: This drainage structure includes a linear trench full of porous materials and a perforated drainage pipe. Drain tiles can exist both inside and outside of a foundation. When water enters these trenches, the pipes convey them away from the house so that it does not cause damage.
  2. Floor drains: These drains are especially effective if you have pooling water in the middle of your basement floor. The floor drains collect the water and allow it to flow out of the home or into another drainage structure.
  3. Sump pumps: A sump pump includes a reservoir known as a sump pit that collects and stores unwanted water. When the water level is high enough, the pump activates and pushes the water out of the home via a discharge pipe.

A sump pump includes a reservoir known as a sump pit that collects and stores unwanted water.

Using Dehumidification to Relieve Moisture Issues

If you want to know how to get rid of moisture under a house, a dehumidification system is one of the best options. Dehumidifiers collect water from the air and store it in an internal reservoir.

Many of the best dehumidifiers include a user-friendly interface that allows you to manage the air moisture. Dehumidifiers are most useful in basements or crawl spaces that have already undergone encapsulation.

How Does Basement Waterproofing Work?

If you have a full basement with water issues, basement waterproofing is one of the best services you can choose. This process begins with removing existing water and includes all the following steps to ensure basement water is not an issue in the future:

  1. Remove all existing water.
  2. Repair any water-damaged structures.
  3. Locate the leaking area.
  4. Clean the foundation walls and work area.
  5. Fill any cracks and gaps.
  6. Seal doors and windows.
  7. Apply a waterproof coating.

What Steps Are Involved in Crawl Space Encapsulation?

For those with crawl space foundations, encapsulation is the ideal solution to moisture issues. Below are the steps involved in this comprehensive process:

  1. Remove all existing water.
  2. Repair any water-damaged structures.
  3. Seal crawl space vents.
  4. Apply a vapor barrier.
  5. Install dehumidification.

Crawl Space Encapsulation

Tactics Homeowners Can Use to Discourage Moisture Problems

  1. Regrade your landscape: When the land around your home is flat or sloped towards the foundation, it encourages water to seep inside. When water seeps inside, moisture issues are much more prevalent.
  2. Clean your gutters: Gutters are responsible for collecting water from your roof and moving it into the downspouts. When gutters are clogged, they may overflow and deposit water next to your home’s foundation, encouraging moisture issues to occur under the house.
  3. Install downspout extensions: Many downspouts are too short to perform effectively. When downspouts are too short, they can allow water to pool next to a home. Downspout extensions help the water move away from the home, where it will not cause a moisture problem under the house.

Fix Crawl Space Drainage Issues

Hire a Professional to Get Rid of Moisture Problems Under Your Home

Although it is possible to detect moisture problems by yourself, it is much more difficult to resolve them. In fact, attempting to relieve a moisture problem often makes matters worse. A wiser approach is to hire a foundation professional to asses the moisture under your house and find the most appropriate solution.

At Regional Foundation & Crawl Space Repair, our team consists of experts who can quickly detect a moisture problem and match you to the ideal service. We also have a long history of servicing residential and commercial customers in the Triangle, Triad, and Eastern regions of North Carolina. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get rid of moisture under your house.