Dealing with crawl space flooding is challenging enough as it is. But can you restore a flooded crawl space to the point that it’s safe to use again?
In short, yes—but only if you invest in the repairs your crawl space needs.
Why Has My Crawl Space Flooded?
Your crawl space can flood for several reasons. Hydrostatic pressure, for example, can force your structural supports to rapidly expand and contract. In turn, those supports will eventually crack to try and compensate for those changes. Alternatively, trees or animals may destabilize your foundation and, in turn, cause your crawl space to start taking on water. Even excess levels of moisture in your home may cause your pipes to start leaking, resulting in crawl space flooding.
Signs of Crawl Space Damage
Floods tend to give themselves away all at once, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get ahead of them. It’s important, if you’re looking to mitigate or otherwise avoid taking on excess water damage in your crawl space, that you familiarize yourself with the signs that indicate poor crawl space health. These can include:
- Mold growth
- Sticking doors
- Fogging windows
- High levels of humidity throughout your home
- Cooler temperatures in your crawl space
Fixing Your Crawl Space
The first thing you’ll want to do upon detecting crawl space damage is determine where the leak in question is coming from. Crawl space leaks can originate inside of your home as well as outside of it. As such, it’s important to look over your pipes for signs of damage while also checking on your floor joists, walls, and vents.
A professional contractor can ease you through the process of inspecting your crawl space for damage. Once you or they are able to determine how water made its way into your home, you can temporarily patch the leak before bailing out your crawl space. Only once all of the water in your crawl space is gone should you consider more permanent fixes for your crawl space damage.
Note that your crawl space may begin to flood due to damage done to your foundation. If you think there may be something more serious going on in your home, you can keep an eye out for the aforementioned signs of damage and work with professionals to assess the state of your foundation. If it turns out that your foundation has prematurely sunk or otherwise suffered from damage, you can discuss piering and other repair solutions that, upon their implementation, will help restore your crawl space as well.
Preventing Future Damage
While repairing your crawl space will mitigate damage in the short term, you’ll also want to consider the different ways you can prevent water from getting back into your home. Crawl space waterproofing measures, for example, can use chemical and physical force to repel water from your crawl space.
Some of the most effective waterproofing measures for your crawl space include:
- Interior drainage
- Sump pumps
- Full encapsulation with a vapor barrier
- Waterproof insulation
Note that you do not want to try and DIY a crawl space waterproofing solution. While it can be tempting, especially if you’re looking to save money, DIY waterproofing measures tend to disguise signs of crawl space damage instead of mitigating them. As such, you might think your home is safe when really, damage is getting worse just out of sight.
If you’re concerned about the cost or the scope of your available crawl space waterproofing measures, you can reach out to the professional contractors in your area for advice.
Can You Use a Crawl Space After It Floods?
At the end of the day, you can use a crawl space that’s suffered from flood damage. However, it is not in your best interest to use such a space until you’ve invested in home repairs and waterproofing measures. If you try to use a crawl space that you haven’t repaired, you’re likely to see the same degree of damage or worse impact your home the next time it rains.
As mentioned, you do not have to try and repair your crawl space on your own. Instead, you can reach out to the professional contractors serving St. Louis, MO, for guidance. After a thorough crawl space inspection from the experts at Foundation Recovery Systems, you can look over a free quote to determine what repair and preventative services might best suit your needs.