Wet Crawl Space

If there’s water or moisture in your crawl space, there’s no good outcome over time. It’s important to address the issue the right way before things get worse.

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Wet and damp crawl space

How Moisture Gets into a Crawl Space

Crawl spaces are not designed to be water tight. When it rains, groundwater causes the space under your house to increase humidity in the air, but since air doesn’t flow freely it tends to retain moisture. Typical reasons crawl spaces get wet include:

  • Precipitation, whether rain or melted snow
  • Plumbing leaks, which are more common than most homeowners realize
  • Humidity from the air or groundwater
  • Poor drainage can channel water from gutters back into the crawl space rather than away from the house, as can HVAC (air conditioning system) condensation when not properly channeled

How to Detect Moisture in Your Crawl Space

If your crawl space is wet, it may or may not stay that way depending on precipitation or other factors. Here are some ways to tell:

  • Visible / standing water is the most obvious sign, but it may not always show up. Check your crawl space after heavy rains.
  • Wet soil indicates a problem as well, and should be most visible after heavy precipitation.
  • Mold growing on wood, insulation, or other surfaces is typically only possible if excess moisture is present.
  • Musty smells in your home could be the result of a wet crawl space because a high percentage of air in your home comes from your crawl space.

Drying Out Your Crawl Space

Many homeowners experience wet crawl spaces after heavy rainfall and either don’t notice at all, or they may use fans, air movers, or dehumidifiers to dry it out. The problem is that if your crawl space gets wet once, it’s likely that it happens more than you realize. Others may have installed a stand-alone sump pump to address the issue, but inadequately for proper and sustained health of the space.

A professional crawl space repair contractor should be selected to offer a free evaluation. Any number of fixes may be recommended, including encapsulation, sump pumps, drains, vents, or dehumidification. True crawl space professionals are usually also expert foundation repair and waterproofing contractors. They offer systems that keep your crawl space clean, healthy, and dry, offering warranties on their products and services.