Home Foundation Repair How To Correctly Dry Out A Wet Crawl Space?

How To Correctly Dry Out A Wet Crawl Space?

a crawl space with air mover to dry out the structure

Are you curious about how to go about drying a wet crawl space?

Great, you’re in the right place!

In this guide, we explain all you need to know about keeping your crawl space dry, including:

  • What Causes Water In A Crawl Space?
  • How Do You Clean Up A Flooded Crawl Space?
  • How Do You Dry Out Your Crawl Space?
  • How Do You Prevent Future Flooding In Crawl Spaces?
  • How Do You Prevent Moisture In Your Crawl Space?

In most homes, crawl spaces offer the right balance between slab and basement foundations.

They allow you access to vital parts of your home without the need for more expensive basements. If maintained properly, they could even provide additional space for items you don’t use regularly.

However, since most people have limited interactions with their crawl spaces, there is a danger of water accumulating in them. Water in your crawl space will not just facilitate structural damages to your foundation and other parts of your home but also pose serious health and safety concerns and reduce the comfort level of your home. You should, therefore, take the necessary measures to keep the space as dry as possible.

Table of Contents

  1. What Causes Water In A Crawl Space?
  2. How To Clean Up A Flooded Crawl Space?
  3. How To Dry Out Your Crawl Space
  4. How To Prevent Future Flooding
  5. How To Prevent Moisture In Your Crawl Space
  6. Let The Experts Help!

What Causes Water In A Crawl Space?

The first step towards keeping your crawl space dry is identifying the various ways water gets there in the first place. This makes prevention possible and also allows you to solve the problem from the root to ensure it does not recur in the future. Below are the most common causes of water in a crawl space.

Poorly Graded Landscape

The grade of the land surrounding your home will determine how much water it will be exposed to. During heavy rains, runoff water will flow towards the lowest point of the area, even if this happens to be the foundation of your home. Trapped against the wall, hydrostatic pressure will force it through any cracks and into your crawl space.

For areas with heavy rainfalls, water will sometimes accumulate to the extent of turning your crawl space vents into spouts that will let vast amounts of water in. You should, therefore, ensure that the land surrounding your house slopes away.

Plumbing Leaks

Plumbing leak in basement

Each day, there are enormous amounts of water flowing in and out of your home. In most cases, the water lines bringing in the water and the sewer lines taking the wastes out pass through the crawl spaces. If a leak occurs here, vast amounts of water will enter your crawl space before you even suspect there is a problem.

The same applies to leakages that occur inside the house. When the pipes, sinks, and toilets malfunction, the water will flow downwards until it reaches your crawl space. Along the way, it will cause various structural damage, not to mention the massive waste of water. You should also watch out for garden sprinklers that spray water too close to your wall as the runoff from these can contribute to this problem.

Malfunctioning Gutters and Downspouts

Broken gutter

Even with proper landscape grading, malfunctioning gutters and downspouts will still get water into your crawl space. When the gutters block or leak, collected rainwater will flow down the walls and into your foundation.

Given that even a small roof is capable of harnessing vast amounts of water (each square foot collects 6 gallons per 1 inch of rainfall), a leaky gutter will send tremendous amounts of water near your foundation wall. The water will weaken your wall, and some of it will find its way into your crawl space.

For downspouts, they should drain the water a safe distance from your house. A downspout that sends all the water near your wall will do more harm to that area of your foundation than if there were no gutters in the first place.

Moisture From the Ground

Rainfall, breakage in underground water lines, lack of proper drainage, and a naturally high water table are some factors that contribute to excess water in the soil. If your home is built on excessively wet soils and has a dirt-floor crawl space, moisture from the underlying soils will find its way in.

The warmth from your home will cause the water in the soil to evaporate and collect on the walls, floors, and other surfaces in your crawl space. While this dampness may not seem like much, it will seep into your floors and walls, altering the internal temperatures and jerking up your power bills. It will also facilitate the growth of mold and mildew. These will not only reduce your home’s indoor air quality but also pose serious health risks to you and your family members.

Cracks In The Foundation Wall

Crack in foundation wall

Cracks in the foundation walls are also another way water finds its way into crawl spaces. These cracks are caused by various factors, including the effects of hydrostatic pressure and foundation settling.

When water pushes against your foundation wall, it will penetrate the tiniest cracks and expand them into wide pathways for more water to enter into your crawl space. If not sealed, these cracks will only get worse and could eventually result in the crumbling of your foundation wall.

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