Standing water in your crawlspace is more than an irritation – it can hurt your home’s value. Moisture can cause mold and lead to structural damage. There is also the possibility it will attract all sorts of pests including termites, ants, rats, and raccoons.
You don’t want to delay fixing the problem if you have water in your crawlspace. The longer you wait, the more potential damage can occur, though the weather is also a factor. While you want to fix the problem quickly, you may need to wait until the dry season for your area. If you don’t, you may end up having more water enter while you are trying to remove it.
The first order of business is to find the source of the problem. If the water is seeping up from the ground – then the source is most likely groundwater, and in all likelihood most likely there is a problem with your pipes or plumbing fixtures.
On the other hand, if you discover that water accumulation only occurs during inclement weather, then you are dealing with flooding due to rain run-off or a rising water table. Finally, humidity may be the culprit if there are no vapor barriers and inadequate ventilation in the crawlspace.
In order to identify the cause of the problem, you may need to enter the crawlspace. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Take a flashlight and maybe throw a tarp over the area before going inside.
Once inside your crawlspace, search for any signs of standing water such as puddles, discoloration, and wood rot.
Once you have a handle on the problem, you can try to solve it. Typically, the best way to control standing water in your crawlspace is by setting up a perimeter and then capturing water that tries to enter. This is done using a sump pump to remove the water from the crawlspace. You can even do this by hiring out professionals like ‘58 Foundations.
While technically this process isn’t hard, it is painstaking and potentially hazardous. Be aware that there are numerous hazards that you may be exposed to if you get into your crawlspace.
Aside from the potential presence of a variety of pests, there could also be dried animal feces, black mold, and asbestos as well as ample dust. None of these is healthy to breathe, so make sure to wear a protective mask.
You may also find it challenging to maneuver in your crawlspace, as some are only a couple of feet high. You will also need to watch for sharp objects such as discarded nails, other metal objects, or glass. To protect yourself from being injured, tough clothing that covers your entire body including gloves and knee pads are recommended.
Finally, in order to install a sump pump, you must first install a GFCI outlet in the crawlspace. You will probably need to hire a licensed electrician to safely do this unless you have the expertise, a permit, and can follow code.
For these reasons, the best solution to having a problem with water in your crawl space might be to hire a professional to deal with it!