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The Correct Way to Deal with Water Accumulating In the Crawl Space Under Your House

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

Water in the crawl space. Just thinking about it is something you’d probably prefer to avoid, if possible. However, that creepy, claustrophobic zone underneath your house may in fact conceal water accumulation from a variety of sources. Ignoring water in the crawl space won’t make it go away. Moreover, the consequences of hidden water down there can mean costly damage and even show up in a home dweller’s health issues.  

A properly maintained crawl space should ideally remain dry and dusty in normal conditions. When water intrusion is recurrent, however, the negative consequences associated with ongoing wetness in the crawl space include:

  • Rotting wood structural components such as floor joists and plywood subflooring.
  • Toxic mold growth contaminating living spaces above.
  • Elevated indoor humidity as water vapor migrates upwards into the house.
  • Disintegrating insulation and deteriorated electrical wiring.
  • Water intrusion into HVAC ductwork routed through the space.  
  • A friendly habitat for rats, snakes, insects and other vermin attracted to moisture.

Where’s The Water Coming From And How Do I Stop It?

Here’s how water in the crawl space can originate from interior or exterior sources and what’s required to resolve the issue: 

  • Leaking water supply lines. Leaks, dripping or seepage from plumbing pipes can gradually turn a crawl space into a swamp. An inspection by a qualified plumber is usually necessary to pinpoint and repair leakage.
  • Ground water rising. Whether continuously or seasonally, rising groundwater may affect the crawl space. Installation of a vapor barrier over the dirt floor can keep dampness in chronically moist soil from affecting the house. However, to effectively control actual water accumulation, the installation of a sump pump is usually required.
  • Improper landscape grading. Landscaping around the house perimeter should be graded to divert water away from the crawl space and out into the yard during rain.  
  • Clogged gutters. Water overflowing from blocked gutters may penetrate the crawl space below during heavy rain. Inspect gutters regularly for blockages. Also ensure that gutter downspouts extend far enough to discharge water at least three from the house to keep it out of the crawl space.

3 Things to Check Outside to Avoid Water Damage Inside

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

One of the best ways to avoid water damage in the home is to pay attention to what’s going on outside the house. Let’s face it, water that stays outdoors presents little potential for indoor water damage. However, water has insidious ways of entering a home—beyond obvious causes like an inundating flash flood. To avoid water damage in your home, it’s often necessary to backtrack the indoor effect to an outdoor cause. Here are a few ways outside water gets in:

  • Clogged gutters. Your exterior wall or siding is designed to resist rain—not a cascading waterfall from an overflowing gutter. Heavy water flow down the outside of the house from a clogged gutter frequently seeps into interior wall voids. Often, there’s no indoor evidence of it—until wood rot and structural damage sets in and/or mold growth is triggered. Make sure your gutters are unobstructed by fallen leaves or other debris.
  • Ice dams. An ice dam on the roof results when snow melting off the warmer upper portion of the roof re-freezes near the eaves, locking the flow of runoff into the gutters. Pooling water on the roof penetrates shingles and leaks into the attic. Eventually, you notice drips through the ceiling into living spaces. By then, structural damage, ruined insulation and mold growth have occurred. Heat in the attic warming the roof unevenly is the origin of ice dams. Attention to adequate attic insulation and sealing air leaks into the attic is the best prevention.
  • Ground water seepage. A high natural water table exerts hydrostatic pressure on the underside of the foundation as well as basement walls. Ground water can permeate directly through the concrete slab of the house or seep in through cracks in basement walls. The local water table may rise and fall with varying factors such as rainfall so infiltration may be intermittent. Installing a sump pump in your basement is good year-round prevention against ground water damage.

Ask the professionals at Rytech, Inc. about more ways to avoid water damage in the home.