Moisture in the Crawl Space
Crawl space moisture can be damaging to your home as a whole. Crawl space moisture can cause several different problems and you must be able to manage it. Here’s what you need to know about crawl space moisture and its impact.
Where Does Crawl Space Moisture Come From?
One thing many homeowners don’t know is where crawl space moisture comes from in the first place. It’s important to know that crawl space moisture doesn’t have one single source. Instead, it comes from a variety of places.
- Inside the Home
Crawl space water coming from inside the home is very common. It’s especially common if your crawl space has been waterproofed. When you’ve waterproofed your crawl space, you’re going to have much less water coming from the outside, but you may still have water coming from the inside.
Specifically, this tends to happen because crawl spaces often hold many of the water pipes that run throughout the home. If one of those water pipes bursts or leaks, you could end up with serious crawl space moisture problems. That’s typically something you can’t completely avoid.
- Rain and Flooding
Another common reason for crawl space moisture is rain and flooding. Whenever you have water-related weather problems around your home, you’re going to end up with a variety of concerns. One of the more common concerns is water coming into your crawl space.
If you have any openings in and around your crawl space, you could end up with moisture from rain and flooding. This is specifically because rain and flooding raise the water level in and around the crawl space.
- Hydrostatic Pressure
There is naturally a significant amount of water in the ground. It has a substantial amount of weight—about 62 pounds per cubic foot. The weight of the water at rest is what makes up hydrostatic pressure and it can have a serious impact on your home’s structural integrity.
It’s important to note that hydrostatic pressure can have a significant impact on your crawl space even if it is not very deep.
How Does Crawl Space Moisture Cause Problems?
When you have high levels of crawl space moisture, you’re going to end up with a variety of problems. Here are a few of the concerns that can come from crawl space moisture.
- Lowered Structural Integrity
One of the biggest problems that crawl space moisture can cause is serious issues with your home’s structural integrity. This is a result of waterlogging impacting your home’s ability to maintain its weight.
Specifically, crawl space moisture can end up waterlogging floor joists and floors, in turn affecting the home’s structural integrity. Crawl space moisture is one of the more frustrating things to deal with in this context because it’s not as straightforward as other waterlogging causes, like flooding.
- Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew only require around 70% crawl space humidity to start growing. However, both mold and mildew can still survive at lower humidities, they just won’t typically grow as quickly or as easily. That’s why you should try your best to keep your crawl space at a healthy humidity percentage, which is around 55% to 60%.
When you have mold and mildew problems, you’re going to have all sorts of other recurring issues. That includes issues like serious concerns with your crawl space’s ability to stay healthy, asthma and allergy concerns, and much more. Your best bet is to manage your crawl space’s health by maintaining a good level of crawl space humidity.
- High Indoor Humidity
When you have high levels of crawl space humidity, you’re also going to end up with high levels of humidity throughout your home. This is largely because your crawl space shares a lot of its air with the rest of the home. This is another good reason to keep it healthy.
In many homes, as much as 50% of your air can come from the crawl space. Although you probably don’t think about crawl space health very much, it’s a crucial element of maintaining your home health as a whole. Crawl space health should be one of the things you think about often, not an afterthought.
FAQs About Crawl Space Moisture
Understanding the ideal level of moisture in your crawl space is crucial to understanding how you can get there. After all, if you don’t know what you should do in terms of crawl space moisture, you’re much less likely to end up fixing it appropriately.
- Reducing Crawl Space Moisture
You might think that a crawl space should be as low-moisture as possible. After all, if high levels of moisture are a bad idea, wouldn’t ultra-low levels of moisture be better? Although crawl spaces need lower levels of moisture than they may naturally have, it’s not a good idea to try and get your crawl space as close to 0% moisture as possible.
Moving the moisture content down to near zero would make it extremely arid in your crawl space, which can lead to a variety of problems like brittleness in your floor joists and floors. Too-arid spaces can be as dangerous as too-moist spaces, and it’s important to reduce crawl space moisture only to a healthy level.
- Constantly Adjusting to the Right Crawl Space Moisture
So, what’s the appropriate crawl space moisture? Ideally, your crawl space moisture should be between 55% and 60%, although a crawl space repair expert will give you more information about your home’s unique situation. This is a general guideline, not necessarily the right answer for every single home.
It’s also important to remember that there are many ways to adjust your crawl space moisture. You may need a dehumidifier, but you can’t assume a dehumidifier will be the only tool you should use. There are many elements of adjusting your crawl space moisture and a crawl space repair expert will be able to help you do it.
Some homeowners don’t worry about their crawl space moisture at all. However, it’s a crucial element of a home’s health. The problem is that many homeowners don’t know why it’s so important. Here is what to remember about crawl space moisture.
- Issues with High Moisture Levels
Most crawl spaces have much higher levels of moisture than they should have. For the most part, it’s common for crawl spaces to have levels of moisture that are at or above the healthy level, often because of a variety of untreated problems that your crawl space may naturally have.
If you’re experiencing high moisture levels in your crawl space, you’re almost certainly also going to end up with high moisture levels elsewhere in your house. Crawl spaces share air with the rest of the home, which means those high levels of moisture are going to end up invading the home at large. That can be upsetting and damaging for your home’s structural integrity.
- Secondary Reasons for High Crawl Space Moisture
Especially if you have an unencapsulated crawl space or you’re experiencing leaks and floods, you might have much higher crawl space moisture levels than are healthy. There is a myriad of reasons for experiencing this unnatural humidity, but not every reason might apply to your crawl space.
When you’re trying to reduce humidity, fixing the problem at its root should be one of your top priorities. Managing your crawl space moisture means removing crawl space entrances, which may include vents and dirt floors, and checking up on the kinds of leaking happening in the space.
When you’re looking to avoid crawl space moisture, there are several things you can do. You need to take things into your own hands if you’re trying to make sure that your crawl space is as healthy as possible, which is exactly what these suggestions help you do.
- Avoid the Biggest Problems
Crawl space moisture has an impact on many different aspects of a home, so it’s important to identify and prepare for those events. You may need to cover crawl space vents, encapsulate the space, waterproof, or even just install a dehumidifier to handle some of the biggest problems with crawl space water.The good news is that it’s possible to fix all sorts of crawl space moisture concerns. Crawl space encapsulation is completely possible with the help of an expert and vent covers can be beneficial for a home that currently has vents. These are all top-level fixes for crawl space moisture, but the actual installation is relatively straightforward.
- Talk to an Expert
Talking to a crawl space repair expert will be your best option if you’re looking to understand how you can handle moisture in and around your crawl space. An expert will have the appropriate tools, experience, and knowledge to fix the problems in your space. You might not have that gear or knowledge, making an expert by far the best option.
When you talk to a crawl space expert, you’ll be able to get personalized advice regarding your current problems. This can include information about how to fix problems that might not be common. It’s always a good idea to get help from an expert, especially when the problem could develop into a serious concern.
The best person to help with a crawl space moisture fix is a crawl space repair expert. That’s because crawl space repair experts know exactly what you need to do if you’re trying to keep your crawl space healthy. However, there are also things you might be able to DIY. Here’s what you need to know about fixing your problems.
- Managing Certain Elements Yourself
There are some crawl space moisture problems that you might be able to manage yourself. For example, if you have an external door, make sure you’re always keeping it closed. You should also handle leaks in the general home as early as possible so that it doesn’t move down into the crawl space. These are straightforward steps you can take to avoid crawl space concerns in general.
However, for most of your issues, you’ll need to talk to an expert. An expert can help many homeowners understand what they need to fix to keep their homes healthy. If you’re having problems that persist past obvious fixes, talking to a professional should be your next step.
- Get More Answers from an Expert
Experts can be extremely helpful in finding solutions for your crawl space moisture. Not only can they go down into the space and learn what’s going on, but they can also assess your current structure and let you know what you should be trying to do in the future to ensure health, structural integrity, and a safe environment.
Talk to a Groundworks crawl space repair expert if you want to know more about the best crawl space moisture fix for your unique problems. It’s the best way to ensure that you have an overarching solution that tackles the real underlying problems. You can schedule a free inspection today to find out whether Groundworks can help you with your concerns.
Mitigate Your Home’s Crawl Space Moisture with an Expert’s Help
The best option for handling crawl space moisture is to talk to an expert about a fix. Unfortunately, there’s no great way to maintain a healthy level of crawl space moisture unless you do just that. When you try to DIY a crawl space moisture fix, you’re always going to end up with a low-quality fix that doesn’t address the core problems.
Instead, you need to talk to an expert about your crawl space moisture options. Groundworks is a great place to go for crawl space moisture mitigation. With Groundworks, you can find a crawl space repair expert, learn more about your crawl space repair options, and go through the crawl space repair process most simply and effectively.