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Does Your Damp Crawl Space Need Immediate Attention?

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020


clean a damp crawl space

Dampness might seem normal when it comes to crawl spaces, basements, and cellars. Just because others have let their homes go and are ignoring the serious warning signs doesn’t mean you should do the same, though. Find out why you are encountering crawl space moisture, the red flags of a dangerous problem, and learn what you can do about it.

Why Are Crawl Spaces So Damp?

You may not have been in a basement or crawl space that didn’t feel damp before. Yet any moisture in this space can be a bad thing. The consequences of ignoring it can often be far worse and more expensive than most homeowners expect.

There are four main causes of damp crawl spaces.

1. Leaks
Plumbing leaks typically end up accumulating under your home. Whether it is a basement, cellar or crawl space, this is never a good thing. Tackle those leaks as soon as possible. They could be doing a lot more damage inside your home too.

2. Groundwater
Faulty building, soil changes, heavy rains and melting snow can increase the water against your foundation walls. When this pressure becomes too much it will cause these walls to bow and crack. If your foundation fails, the rest of your home is coming down with it.

3. Surface Water
Poorly functioning or missing gutters, poor grading and lack of proper drainage can all send surface water from snow, rain and flooding into your crawl space.

4. Condensation
The sharp contrasts in weather in Denver, CO, can frequently cause condensation on crawl space walls. While this may seem normal, when this evaporates into moisture in the air it can cause serious defects. Don’t just settle for this being “normal.”

The Dangers Of A Damp Crawl Space

There are many resulting side effects of damp crawl spaces. Some may only seem to be a mild nuisance at first. They can quickly get much worse.

Mold & Rot
Unless contained, crawl space moisture will breed rot and mold. This will eat away at the structure of your home from underneath. Toxic molds can poison your family or tenants and cause major medical problems.

Insects & Rodents
Damp crawl spaces are a favorite for rodents and insects. Once in, they will keep taking more territory and invade the rest of your home.

Energy Bills
One of the first telltale signs of problems in your crawl space can be higher energy bills.

Water Damage On The Interior Of Your Home
This moisture can ultimately warp the floors, walls, and doors on the inside of your home. All of your decorating and renovations can be wasted.

Foundation & Wall Cracks
Accumulating moisture leads to cracks in the basement and crawl space walls. As your foundation begins to fail you’ll experience widening cracks and sinking floors throughout the rest of your home. It could lead to complete foundation failure.

How To Handle Crawl Space Moisture

What can you do to stop and prevent these issues?

A professional inspection and free estimate from a local Denver basement and crawl space repair company is the smart first step. They’ll help you identify what the real cause of the problem is. Then you can decide on the best course of action for your needs, goals, and budget.

The most obvious remedy is, to begin with stopping any leaks. Then assess easy fixes, like repairing gutters, cleaning them out, and ensuring grading sends water away from your home.
A dehumidifier, interior perimeter drainage and sump pump can help eliminate any air moisture and water accumulating on the floor.

You may also need to address and repair any cracks in your crawl space walls. Horizontal and vertical cracks in concrete block and brick walls can be a sign of imminent danger and complete foundation failure.

Adding a waterproof barrier to your crawl space will stop moisture damaging the rest of your home.

Summary

You don’t have to put up with a damp crawl space. You shouldn’t. It is a sign that this critical part of your home hasn’t been well cared for. You and your family shouldn’t be exposing yourselves or guests to the potential health risks or the extreme costs that come from procrastinating on addressing dampness.

Know the dangers it presents. Get it inspected to find the root cause. Then find the smartest options for solving the issue and preventing future water threats to your home.