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7 Easiest Steps To Get Moisture Out of Your Crawl Space

Rotting wood in crawl space.

Whether your crawl space floods every time it rains or leaks, a wet crawl space can mean a host of problems.

The key to managing and keeping your crawl space dry is controlling moisture.

Moisture buildup creates the right condition for wood-eating organisms like rats and termites. Contaminating your crawl space with fecal matter and chewing your wooden structures.

And then there’s mold, mildew, and other bacteria that can harm your family’s health.

The best and most effective way to manage moisture levels and stop the growth of mold in your home is to eliminate or limit the conditions that foster high humidity levels.

Comprehensive crawl space encapsulation does just that. Read on to learn more.

1. Inspect for Damage

Wet, damaged crawl space.

Check your crawl space for any holes or cracks that small critters, cockroaches, and mice use to enter this space. Crawling insects and pests will tear insulation and chew on wooden structures and electrical wires. You can expect them to do much worse once they get inside your home.

Seal all holes, even the tiniest holes open as a mouse can squeeze through them. Mice only need a 1/4 inch opening to get inside. 

Similarly, check out any leaks that may be sending drips of water into your crawl space. Pay particular attention to the plumbing components and HVAC ducts. Fix any other issue you come across as soon as possible.

2. Install A Vapor Barrier

If your crawl space has exposed dirt floors, you should consider sealing it.

Exposed dirt floors allow ground moisture to seep into your home, increasing humidity levels. Vapor barriers are effective in preventing moisture from entering your crawl space.

Your local FRS installer will measure the crawl space before cutting the vapor barrier to fit. They will then spread the barrier tight on the floor and over walls to seal off the space.

3. Install Insulation

Installing crawl space insulation.

Once you install the vapor barrier, you will need to insulate the crawl space. We recommend rigid foam board panels made of expanded polystyrene foam, such as ExTremeBloc™ that contractors including Foundation Recovery Systems use.

This type of insulation is more reliable and won’t fail or harbor mold or pests when wet. Insulation creates a tight seal that keeps air out while protecting the crawl space from moisture and mold growth. Remember that the crawl space also promotes air circulation throughout your home.

Torn or damaged insulation can affect conditions inside your home, and worse, increase your energy costs. Without proper insulation, heat and cold air can easily escape through the floor.

Crawl space insulation helps maintain a cool ambiance while enhancing your home’s energy efficiency.

4. Install a Dehumidifier

During hot and humid months, moisture can go through the roof and cause problems as well.

Don’t let it build up.

Get a dehumidifier and use it to regulate humidity levels in your crawl space. A crawl space dehumidifier collects the excess moisture in the air condenses it then ejects it out as water leaving your space dry and clean. We recommend energy-efficient, self-draining models.

5. Position Gutters Correctly

Gutters and downspouts on a home.

All gutters and downspouts should flow away from your home; otherwise, water could flow back when it rains. Repositioning your downspouts helps prevent backflows toward the foundation of your home as well as various problems associated with water damage.

While you’re at it, make sure the gutters are clear and not clogged with leaves and debris.

6. Install a sump pump

As part of your flood prevention initiative, have a sump pump installed at the lowest section of the crawl space. In the event of power outage, consider installing a secondary battery back up sump pump to remove the water before it collects and causes damage as well.

7. Inspect Regularly

Stay alert and carry out periodic checks and maintenance. Regular cleaning will also help keep your crawl space clean and moisture-free.

Are you struggling to contain moisture buildup in your home?

Schedule a free crawl space inspection with Foundation Recovery Systems to learn more about the real issues behind the persistent moisture and find lasting solutions to address them.

Leah Leitow

Leah Leitow

Content Writer

Leah is a Content Writer for Groundworks with nearly ten years of experience working in the foundation repair industry. Her experience ranges from working with homeowners to find the right solution to training inspectors and staff. In her background as a Michigan journalist, she gained invaluable insight into people's lives throughout our state. Leah lives in metro Detroit with her husband and two sons.

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