What Causes Crawl Space Moisture?
Here in the Southeastern US, there are a lot of homes with crawl spaces. And as we all know, it gets humid. If your Columbia SC home has a crawl space, there is a good chance it has moisture problems which could lead to mold.
So, how does the moisture get in? Here are the top four ways moisture is able to seep into your crawl space and cause damage:
A large source of crawl space moisture is uncovered soil. At first glance, it may appear that the soil lining your foundation is dry, however, that is only true because it is constantly evaporating moisture into the air in your crawl space.
The fix? A crawl space vapor barrier can be used to line the ground, covering the soil. This eliminates much of the moisture that comes from the soil.
2. Foundation Walls
Another way moisture is able to enter your crawl space area is by migrating through your foundation walls. Many crawl spaces do not have any kind of perimeter drains on the exterior, as a result, the wet soil outside can come right through.
A sloped backyard, lack of gutter drains, or downspouts that fail to move the water far enough away from the house only serve to exacerbate this issue and allow more water to enter.
The fix? Adding in crawl space drains and/or an encapsulation system that helps keep moisture at bay.
3. Vents in Crawl Space Walls
Most every foundation has vents in the crawl space thanks to building codes. The idea behind the vents is to help dry out the space, however, the opposite is true, especially in the summertime.
When outside air comes through these vents, it raises the relative humidity in the crawl space. Increased humidity down below will not only keep your crawl space damp and unhealthy, the humid air will rise up into your living space causing humid, unhealthy air and higher energy bills as you try to combat it.
The fix? A good crawl space dehumidification system can help keep the relative humidity at bay and prevent moisture from settling into your foundation.
4. Plumbing Leaks
The last source of crawl space moisture is plumbing leaks. Your crawl space has a lot of plumbing pipes running through it, both drain lines and supply lines.
These plumbing lines break on occasion, and since many homeowners visit their crawl space infrequently, these leaks are able to go on for long periods of time unnoticed.
This is especially true if your foundation has a dirt floor without a vapor barrier. It can be difficult to know there is a leak when it is seeping into dirt.
The fix? First, getting the leaky pipe fixed is paramount. Then, a vapor barrier or encapsulation system will help you recognize a leaking pipe sooner should it happen again in the future.
Crawl Space Dehumidification
Columbia SC crawl spaces are humid places, especially during the summertime. The humidity in your crawl space rises up and enters into your home and becomes part of the air that you live in and breath in.
Have you noticed that your inside humidity level has risen, even though you are running your air conditioner constantly? Has your energy bill gone up significantly? If yes, you likely have a humidity problem in your crawl space that needs to be addressed.
When it comes to crawl space dehumidification, installing a dehumidifier is the way to go (in our professional opinion.) This is especially true if you have an encapsulated crawl space-which we recommend everyone do!
Crawl Space Drains and Water Removal
Another crawl space moisture remediation technique is to install crawl space drains. These drainage systems include installing a sump pump.
A sump pump should be installed in a low area of your crawl space so that water will naturally drain into it and be pumped outside of your crawl space.
If your home has a major crawl space water problem, a perimeter drain, or French drain may be recommended. These drainage systems are installed along the foundational walls, beneath the surface of your crawl space and are connected to your sump pump for effective water removal.
While installing a drainage system is a great solution for removing excess water from your crawl space, it is important to find the source of the excess water and correct the problem. Nine times out of ten the best way to keep your crawl space dry is to seal it off with a moisture barrier.
Crawl Space Insulation
At Foundation and Crawl Space Pros, we believe the best way to keep your crawl space clean, efficient and hazard free is to encapsulate and insulate.
When we install an encapsulation system, we also include crawl space insulation to help prevent moisture and mold problems and make your home more comfortable and energy efficient. The best time to insulate your crawl space is during the encapsulation process.
We install high quality insulation that stays in place, doesn’t absorb water and helps keep your home temperature controlled.
Trust the Pros!
If you are like the thousands of Columbia, SC homeowners who live in a home with a crawl space, you are likely facing some kind of crawl space moisture issue thanks to our relatively humid climate.
There is no moisture problem to big or too small for the team at Foundation and Crawl Space Pros! Give us a call today to schedule your no cost moisture inspection and see how we can help transform your crawl space!