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Should I Buy a House with Water in the Crawl Space?

Crawl Space Repair

05/14/2024

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Finding crawl space water in a home you are considering buying can be a concerning sight. However, water in a crawl space is not a deal breaker. Finding moisture in this area may lower the asking price for the house, but whether you buy it is up to you.

Are you considering a property with water in the crawl space? Understand the risks, implications, and solutions with our blog post before making your decision.

How Does Water in a Crawl Space Affect Home Value?

Excessive moisture in a crawl space should lower the overall value of a house. Still, this phenomenon is quite common. You should compare the price of the home with crawl space water to your budget to decide what is right for you.

Reasons Water Fills a Crawl Space

  1. Poor grading: If the land around a home is flat or slopes toward a foundation, water will likely pool and enter the crawl space.
  2. Drainage problems: The home’s drainage system may be broken or clogged. Either situation can cause water to enter a crawl space. Additionally, some homes lack a drainage system, often leading to the same issue.
  3. Hydrostatic pressure: Water can exist below the ground. When this water touches your foundation, it causes hydrostatic pressure. The water present can place a force on your foundation.
  4. Clogged gutters: When your gutters are clogged, they fail to function correctly. In these situations, the clogged gutters can deposit water onto the ground surrounding your foundation. Puddling water can eventually make its way into your crawl space.
  5. Short downspouts: The goal of a downspout is to move water from the roof well away from the home. However, when downspouts are too short, they allow water to accumulate near a foundation, which causes water-related issues.

How Water in a Crawl Space Affects a Home

  1. Structural damage: Many structural elements in a crawl space consist of wood. Unfortunately, when exposed to excessive moisture, wood is vulnerable to rot and decay. As water continues to be an issue, structural damage increases.
  2. Water damage to stored items: If you plan to use a crawl space for storage, water will be a problem. Water in a crawl space can cause irreparable damage to any item stored there.
  3. Mold and mildew: As moisture increases in a crawl space, it encourages the growth of mold and mildew. Sadly, these substances are harmful to human health, especially for those who have asthma. Mold and mildew can also damage the home’s structure and cause foul smells to enter the house.
  4. Staining: Any water damage can cause staining to the materials in a crawl space. At times, these stains can be challenging to remove.

Fixing Crawl Space Drainage Issues

If you buy a home with water in the crawl space, you should fix it immediately. Below are some ways to do that:

  1. Regrade the land around a home so it slopes away from the foundation.
  2. Install a drainage system or improve the one that is there.
  3. Hire a foundation professional to resolve any issues related to hydrostatic pressure.
  4. Clean your gutters so they are unclogged and operate correctly.
  5. Install downspout extensions that move water well away from your home.

Fix Crawl Space Drainage Issues

What is Crawl Space Encapsulation?

Another fantastic way to eliminate crawl space water problems and prevent future issues is through a crawl space encapsulation service. Here is what that service includes:

  1. Removal of standing water: The process begins with the elimination of any excessive moisture in the crawl space area.
  2. Repair for damaged structural elements: If the water caused damage to the structures of your home, this is the point at which it is best to repair and replace them.
  3. Install or repair a drainage system: Crawl space encapsulation involves fixing the existing drainage system or installing an entirely new one to deal with future water in that area.
  4. Seal crawl space vents: These crawl space vents do more harm than good. Vents allow moist outside air to get in. As such, it is better to seal them entirely.
  5. Installment of a vapor barrier: Applying a vapor barrier to your crawl space creates a complete seal between your crawl space and the outside. Installment of a vapor barrier keeps your crawl space dry and helps keep out pests.
  6. Dehumidification setup: The final step of an encapsulation service is to install dehumidification, which allows you to monitor the moisture in the area and keep it at an ideal level.

Another fantastic way to eliminate crawl space water problems and prevent future issues is through a crawl space encapsulation service.

Crawl space encapsulation is not something you can do on your own. Instead, it is something you should leave to the pros. Still, the best aspect of a crawl space encapsulation is that it can last for a while. While the longevity of your encapsulation depends on several factors, you can expect your crawl space to remain clean, dry, and sealed for more than 15 years.

Have Your Crawl Space Inspected By a Professional

Evaluating a crawl space is challenging for the average person. A better approach is to hire a crawl space professional to do this work for you. The correct foundation specialist can evaluate your crawl space quickly, diagnose any issues, and match you to the ideal crawl space service.

If you are in the Triangle, Triad, or Eastern North Carolina, the best crawl space team you can choose is Regional Foundation & Crawl Space Repair. Our team is well-versed in all aspects of foundations and crawl spaces, and we would love to have the chance to evaluate your home. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.