Moisture Problems in Crawl Spaces

by J on February 23, 2010

If your home has a basement, you probably know how to look for moisture problems—because most of the time you are able to see signs—damp or wet walls or floors, signs of mold or mildew or maybe cracking on the walls. But what if your home doesn’t have a basement, but instead has a crawl space? Do you ever check this area for moisture? Many homeowners have never ventured into this space underneath their homes to check for potential problems. However, this is one of those times when what you don’t know may be hurting you.

One of the reasons crawl spaces can become such a problem is because they aren’t maintained like basement space is. Basements are generally taken care of like the rest of the house—especially if they are finished. People clean them, heat them in the winter and cool them in the summer. If they notice a problem, they take care of it. Not so for crawl spaces.

Tucked away under the dark recesses of your home, crawl spaces are, well, let’s face it, usually nasty, dark spaces that most of us aren’t just dying to crawl into it. However, because crawl space problems can be potentially serious, you should either check it out or hire an expert to do it for you.

Of course, not all crawl spaces have problems. But because of evaporation from the moisture in the earth, crawl spaces can develop high levels of humidity, especially in the summer and in the winter. If you have foul odors in your crawl space or your home, or mold and mildew growing inside your home, especially in closets, these are signs that you may have mold or moisture problem in your crawl space.

Basement waterproofing experts see the problems that excessive moisture or stagnant water can cause in crawl spaces:

1.    Rotting wood

2.    Sagging floors and beams

3.    Termite damage and other pests

4.    Leaky plumbing fixtures

5.    Loose duct work

6.    Frayed electrical wiring

7.    Mold

The good news is that the problem is fixable. Installing a crawl space sump pump, waterproofing the crawl space, and installing a vapor barrier and venting are all ways to mediate the problem. Contact a professional basement waterproofing expert to advise you on how to correct the problem.

To find a reputable expert, contact the Better Business Bureau and also your neighbors. Chances are, if you have a moisture problem, they do, too, and they may be able to recommend the expert help you need.

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