Checking in on your crawl space only to find it’s flooded isn’t an encounter any homeowner wants to experience. A flooded crawl space can result in high energy bills at best and structural damage at worst.
If you suspect your crawl space has flooded or been subjected to excess moisture, call AquaGuard today. The sooner you can dry out your crawl space and address the damage, the less time and money you’ll risk losing in the long run. Not only that, we can provide crawl space waterproofing and drainage solutions to ensure a flooded crawl space is a problem you’ll never have to revisit.
Is a Wet Crawl Space Bad?
Though your crawl space is seldom seen, it should still be treated as part of your home. Just like water in your basement is problematic, so is water in your crawl space. A wet crawl space can lead to financial, structural, and health problems. Know when to call a professional for crawl space repair and waterproofing by knowing common symptoms associated with a wet crawl space.
5 Problems Caused by a Wet Crawl Space
Mold thrives in damp areas, meaning a wet crawl space serves as the perfect environment for mold growth to flourish. Though the mold in your crawl space may seem contained, mold spores can circulate throughout your home as the warm air from your crawl space rises. This can lead to all kinds of health issues for you and your family, ranging from common allergic reactions such as coughing to more severe health concerns like obstructive lung disease.
2. High Energy Bills
Mold isn’t the only problem a wet crawl space can cause. A wet crawl space can significantly increase the humidity levels throughout your home. And, the higher the humidity, the higher your energy bills. Humid air feels warmer and is more difficult to cool, meaning higher energy bills. Rather than buying a dehumidifier to bandage the issue, crawl space waterproofing solutions should be installed to fix the problem at its source.
3. Pest Infestations
Water in your crawl space can attract pests and bugs such as termites, carpenter ants, cockroaches, and rodents, to name a few. Not only can these pests wreak havoc in your crawl space by destroying insulation and organic wooden structures, but they can also find their way into your home by following air ducts and electrical wiring.
4. Structural Damage
Water damage can cause the wooden substructures in your crawl space to rot and deteriorate. As the joists and beams continue to weaken, they can fail to support the weight of your home, leading to sinking floors, cracks in drywall, and jamming doors.
5. Damp, Musty Odors
The smell of stagnant water, mold and mildew, and rotting organic material from a wet crawl space will eventually make their way into the rest of the house. The poor air quality of your home may be the first indicator of crawl space damage.
Crawl Space Water Removal
Drying out the room and cleaning up the damage is probably the first thing you’ll want to do after noticing any of the problems associated with a wet crawl space.
If your crawl space did not incur structural damage, this might simply involve pumping the water out and cleaning out debris. If your support beams and joists show signs of significant damage, you may need structural repair solutions.
AquaGuard offers Crawl Space IntelliJacks™ to homeowners who require crawl space structural repairs.
Crawl Space Cleaning
Cleaning out a crawl space isn’t the most glamorous do-it-yourself job out there. In fact, if mold is present, it may be a risk to your health. At AquaGuard, we offer crawl space cleaning services to our community so you won’t have to deal with soggy insulation, muddy floors, or pests. No crawl space is too gross or messy for us to handle—we’ve seen it all!
Call us today. We’d be happy to help transform your crawl space into a clean, usable storage space.
Why Is There Water in My Crawl Space?
Determining the cause of flooding is just as important as drying it out. At AquaGuard, we emphasize the importance of repairing the problem at its root cause and not just cleaning up the surface-level issues. Once your crawl space is dry and clean, we’ll help you find waterproofing and repair solutions that will ensure a flooded crawl space isn’t something you’ll have to deal with in the future.
The first step in this process is determining the specific cause of your crawl space moisture problems.
6 Common Causes of Water in Crawl Spaces
When your home was built, your contractor should have graded the site so that the slope of the ground would direct water away from your home’s foundation. Unfortunately, this is not always done correctly. If the slope of your landscaping doesn’t direct water away from your home, water can pool around your foundation. This leads to oversaturated soil, which can place immense amounts of pressure against your foundation walls. This pressure forces water through the smallest cracks in your foundation and into your crawl space, and can eventually lead to more severe structural damage.
Like proper grading, gutters and drainage systems are installed to divert water away from your home’s foundation. Gutters capture rainwater as it falls from your roof, preventing it from falling to the ground below and oversaturating the soil surrounding your foundation. Gutter drainage, such as downspouts and downspout extensions, then divert the collected water away from your foundation to a point where the ground slope can naturally direct it away from the home. Without adequate gutter and drainage systems, just like with poor grading, the oversaturated soil surrounding the foundation can cause crawl space leaks and foundation damage.
Old or damaged plumbing, sewer backups, and frozen pipes can lead to broken water lines. As water leaks or pours from the line, it can accumulate in your crawl space and lead to flooding. Increased water bills may be your first indicator that this has occurred. It’s important to address this issue as soon as possible, as it can not only increase utility bills but also present serious sanitary concerns.
Cracks in your foundation walls not only present structural concerns, but they also can leak and lead to crawl space flooding. Even if the cracks are not large, oversaturated soils can force water through the smallest of cracks.
Crawl space vents and doors, when not sealed correctly, can cause excess crawl space moisture. The intended purpose of vents is to allow air circulation to dry out the crawl space. Yet, with Georgia’s humid climate and intense tropical storms, they usually end up doing the opposite.
Crawl spaces with exposed dirt floors are subject to whatever moisture is in the soil. Sometimes, the soil itself will appear dry—this is because the moisture from the soil is evaporating into the crawl space air.
How Do I Keep Water Out of My Crawl Space?
To keep water out of your crawl space, you’ll want to make sure all of the potential causes of a flooded crawl space are addressed. This means that:
- Your yard is graded adequately
- Gutters are installed properly and divert water fully away from your foundation walls
- Water lines and plumbing are well maintained
- Foundation wall cracks and damage are repaired
- Leaking vents and doors are sealed
- Exposed dirt floors are covered up
At AquaGuard, we offer gutter installation, foundation repair, vent covers, waterproofing, and encapsulation services to help ensure your crawl space stays dry for years to come.
Crawl Space Waterproofing Solutions From AquaGuard
- EZ Flow Drain System
- Moisture Barrier & Encapsulation
- Drainage Matting
- Vent Covers
Water in Crawl Space FAQ
No amount of mold in a crawl space is acceptable. Not only is mold an eyesore, it’s a threat to the structure of your home and to your health. If the support beams in your crawl space are growing mold, it’s likely they are damp and deteriorating. As the mold continues to infest your crawl space, it could mean allergies and more severe health problems for you and your family. If your crawl space has mold in it, it’s wise to have it removed as soon as possible.
At AquaGuard, we offer free crawl space inspections. Having a professional inspect your crawl space for damage is an important first step in ensuring your home and crawl space is healthy and structurally sound.
The average cost of crawl space encapsulation depends on the size of your crawl space. The best way to prepare for the cost of crawl space encapsulation is to receive a free, no-obligation quote from AquaGuard.
Whether or not your homeowner’s insurance covers damages due to water in your crawl space will likely depend on the cause of flooding. Sudden, accidental occurrences are usually covered, whereas water damage due to neglect and lack of maintenance typically is not. Regardless, it’s a good idea to call your insurance company and ask for their policy.
Crawl space encapsulation is an investment that will add value to your home as it protects against crawl space flooding, pest infestations, high humidity, and poor air quality. Not only that, crawl space encapsulation can increase home value by adding clean storage space.
With all of this talk about crawl space flooding, you might start to think that a crawl space is just a liability. However, a well-maintained crawl space can offer homeowners several benefits.
Beneath some homes, you’ll find that a portion of the space is taken up by a basement and what remains is taken up by a crawl space. Some homes only have a basement, while others only have a crawl space. Essentially, a crawl space is a cost-effective basement alternative that boasts several advantages. Not only is a crawl space less expensive than a basement, it gets the framework of a home off the ground and opens up a space where ductwork and plumbing can be easily accessed.