Is my crawl space supposed to look like a small lake?
If you’re asking yourself this question, you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.
Crawl spaces can be helpful home features because they give you access to your plumbing, electrical wiring, insulation, and more. But they can also be scary.
What are you supposed to do when you find water in a crawl space?
First of all, don’t panic. We’ve put together this guide to help you learn what caused this water problem and what to do next.
So let’s get started.
How Did the Water Get There?
Unfortunately, finding standing water in your crawl space isn’t an uncommon problem for Maryland homeowners, especially if you have a dirt crawl space. There are a handful of possible culprits.
Here’s a closer look at the most common causes of a wet crawl space.
Your crawl space might be the lowest part of your home, but the root of your water issue can start much higher.
Your roof might have a leak.
Water that gets in through your roof can spread through the ceiling and walls and end up in your crawl space. With nowhere else to go, this water will puddle there and create a sometimes giant pool.
Don’t have a leaky roof? You aren’t out of the woods yet.
Water can also get into your crawl space if your home has grading problems, damaged or overflowing gutters, or leaks in your basement (such as around the windows).
A leaking pipe can dump a lot of water into your crawl space. This not only damages your crawl space, but it can drain a lot of money from your bank account.
And this leak doesn’t have to be anywhere near your crawl space. Even if the leak started in an upstairs bedroom, the water can spread all the way to your crawlspace.
Every time it rains or snows, the ground absorbs that moisture. This water sits inside the ground until it has a chance to evaporate. But before that happens, it presses against the walls of your crawl space.
If your crawl space has any leaks or damages, this water can find its way inside.
A crawl space needs a vapor barrier and proper ventilation. If these things weren’t installed correctly, water can find its way into your home and pool in your crawl space.
Poor installation is likely the cause of your water issue if you can’t find any signs of leaks, plumbing problems, or groundwater.
The Dangers of Water in a Crawl Space
Once water gets inside your crawl space, it has nowhere else to go. Because of this, it can cause all kinds of damage to your home, and it can become a danger to you and your family as well.
You should never ignore crawl space water. Otherwise, you’ll have to start dealing with the following issues.
Higher Energy Bill
As the water in your crawl space evaporates, the moisture can rise into your home through the floor, walls, insulation, etc. This makes the air inside your home damp.
But damp air takes longer to heat up or cool down, meaning your HVAC system uses more energy. Because of this, your energy bill might be higher than normal at the end of the month.
Standing water attracts all kinds of pests into your crawl space. Once inside your crawl space, these pests can find their way into your home. In other words, you might find yourself sharing your house with bugs, rodents, and other parasites.
And these can be more than just a nuisance.
For example, dust mites can lead to allergies and even asthma. Termites can eat through your home and cause expensive damage. Mice and other rodents can introduce your home to dangerous diseases.
A damp crawl space can even attract bigger pests, such as snakes.
If your crawl space is damp or full of puddles, it becomes a breeding ground for mold. And this mold won’t stay in your crawl space for long.
Since mold eats organic materials, like the wood of your home, it can spread through the walls and floors. In serious cases, the mold can even damage the structural integrity of your home.
Mold spores can also get into the air and drift through your house, meaning you and your family inhale them every time you breathe. This can lead to serious health conditions.
If you don’t take care of the issue, the mold can develop into black mold, which is much more serious. Living in a home full of black mold can put you in the hospital.
What to Do Next
If you find standing water in your crawl space, don’t push it to the back of your mind as one of those get-to-it-later chores. The longer you wait, the more serious the problem will get.
Make sure you get in touch with a crawl space professional right away. Depending on your crawl space, they may recommend waterproofing the area or a full encapsulation.
But this isn’t something you should try to do by yourself.
Waterproofing your crawl space is tricky work, and if you make a small mistake, you might have to spend more money correcting another water problem in the future. Sticking with a professional will ensure you get the best protection.
Where to Find Crawl Space Help
Finding water in a crawl space isn’t something you should ignore, but before you start panicking, make sure you give us a call.
We can help!
Click here to get in touch with us today!Share