Moisture in crawl spaces can come either from outside or inside. Inside moisture can seep down to the crawl space or outside moisture can be pushed up through the soil.
Which happens depends on the temperature of the crawl space vs. the outdoor temperature, and the pressure differences of the air, which can pull or push water vapor in the air, causing humidity.
Standing water and or humidity can create a variety of problems including providing a breeding ground for mold and also an attractive home for animals and bugs. In addition if you are selling your home it will not pass an inspection with water in your crawl space.
If your crawl space suffers from high humidity levels we start with doing everything we can to get rid of the water. Next we install a moisture barrier that is fully sealed. This will have a significant impact on the levels of humidity in your crawl space. If there is still higher than normal levels of humidity we can install a dehumidifier. These can be very useful tools and are not cost prohibitive.
We will investigate whether the water coming into the crawl from an underground spring or from an outside source.
Keeping the water out of the crawl in the first place makes sense, not to mention saving your foundation from costly repairs down the road. The water problem could be from your downspouts.
Downspouts can deliver up to six times more water than a garden hose and can wreak havoc on your crawl space and your foundation.
The down spouts need to be connected to a drain that directs the water away from the home or the ground surrounding needs to have a 2% grade away from the home for about 4 feet or the downspouts need at least 4 feet of extensions away from the home. In any case, directing the water away from the home is the best option.
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In many ways: tiny cracks in the floors, around air registers, space around plumbing pipes, heating and air conditioning ducts & especially return air ducts. In fact research shows that up to 50% of the air in your home comes from your crawlspace. This infiltration brings with it odors, moisture, mold mildew, fungi spores or radon gas that is in your home's crawlspace.
Dirt crawl spaces provide a dark, damp, dirty environment that is rich in organic materials. These are exactly the conditions needed for molds, fungi, and other microbes to thrive. Many of these molds and fungi can cause illness or irritation as their spores drift up into the home's living space (individuals with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions are especially vulnerable).
These rodents are burrowing animals and they often enter the home under footings and into the crawl space. A concrete floor is an impenetrable barricade.
These insects can not be detected in the early stages of invasion without the special equipment. Termites have the ability to go undetected within your home, sometimes for years, eating away at the structure. Their stealth tactics of eating wood, when outwardly it looks completely uninjured, are the cause of their late discovery
Sometimes cracks occur from settling, and usually happen within the first three years of the home. Horizontal cracks may need structural repair, but most cracks are vertical and do not affect the compressive strength of the foundation. However, cracks on outside walls are subject to water seepage and should be repaired.