A crawl space is a narrow space that is unoccupied and unfinished in a home. It serves as a buffer between the first floor of the house and the ground. It’s about 3.5 feet from top to bottom, so it’s just enough for someone to crawl through, hence the term “crawl space”. As a buffer, it protects the home’s inhabitants from dampness in the ground.
The problem with crawl spaces is that, while they protect the rest of the home above from ground moisture, they also tend to harbor all that moisture. Moisture is bad news for your home if it stays long enough.
Why Moisture Stays in a Crawl Space
There are different reasons that lead to excessive moisture or moisture that won’t go away in a crawl space. The most common culprit is poor waterproofing that fails to protect the foundation of the home from moisture penetration. It’s also possible for the water to come from a broken pipe in your plumbing system.
However, some causes are beyond the homeowner’s control. For example, if your home is built in an area that’s prone to flooding or if unusually strong rains have saturated the ground. Condensation is another source of the problem.
What Happens When Moisture Stays in a Crawl Space?
You might think that moisture in your crawl space doesn’t deserve your attention as long as it stays in your crawl space. However, the problem is that moisture in your crawl space doesn’t limit its effects there.
Mold thrives where moisture and darkness are present. Mold is a threat to health as the air from the crawlspace rises and enters your home.
Your home has support beams, and they’re in your crawl space. Moisture can cause those beams to rot. If you have wood floors, they can be affected as well. Repairing rotted wood is often expensive.
How to Prevent Moisture Buildup in a Crawl Space
It’s advisable to contact home waterproofing experts to prevent water from entering your home, including the crawl spaces. Keeping water out is easier and better than taking it out.
However, if there is water in your crawl space already, you can invest in a sump pump to remove it. A crawl space dehumidifier can make the area even drier.