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How to Dry out a Crawl Space and Manage Humidity Levels

Drying out your crawl space over and over again is time-consuming and daunting. Luckily, with several waterproofing measures, you can get rid of moisture-related issues for good.

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Are you struggling with high humidity levels in your crawl space? This problem can cause an avalanche of other issues, such as rot, mold growth, and pest invasion. After all, dark and moist places present ideal breeding grounds for pests, while increased humidity levels are favorable for germs, fungi, and bacteria. 

If you wish to dry out your crawl space and reduce the humidity levels within it, there are several steps you should take. Let’s check them out below.

Dehumidifier

Repair Leaks To Keep Water Out 

Do you often find standing water in your crawl space? If so, it’s important to find where it is coming from and diagnose the root cause. There are several ways large volumes of water can end up below your living space. 

First, check your crawl space walls for cracks or damage. If there are any, moisture is surely finding its way in through them. In this case, it is not just important to seal the cracks, as they can also be a sign of serious foundation problems. If this is the case, it is recommended to call a professional foundation specialist who will inspect your crawl space and determine the cause of the cracks. 

You should also check your home’s plumbing lines since leaks can easily fill your crawl space with standing water. You may have leaks in the crawl space or the upper part of your house that are dripping into the crawl space. In either case, they should be repaired immediately so that water doesn’t keep leaking in. 

If you haven’t insulated cold water pipes, they might be the cause of humidity in your crawl space. When cold water runs through the pipes, it creates water droplets on the outside of exposed pipes also known as condensation. By insulating the pipes, you will make sure that condensation doesn’t negatively impact your crawl space.

Dry out the Crawl Space 

Now that the source of the problem has been addressed, your crawl space will need to be dried out. You can use a pump or a dry/wet vacuum to do this. If there is a substantial amount of standing water in your crawl space, it is best to call a professional. 

Pay attention to your drainage system. If it is clogged or you have leaky gutters, they need to be repaired first, or otherwise, you will end up with more moisture in your crawl space. 

Once all the water is gone, you will be left with a humid crawl space that requires thorough cleaning. The first thing that will need to be done is to get rid of all the wet insulation and replace it with a durable, waterproof solution. Wet insulation is the perfect environment for mold growth, so it will need to be disposed of as soon as possible.

Also, any debris that is present in your crawl space should also be removed. Cleaning up rodent and insect droppings is probably the most unpleasant part of this process. If your humid crawl space has mildew, you may end up with insects that eat the mildew and rodents that eat the insects in your foundation. Since droppings can carry disease, this is something that is best left to the professionals.

If mold has started to grow and spread through your crawl space, it will need to be removed by a mold specialist. When your crawl space is finally clean and dry, having a dehumidifier installed can ensure that the humidity levels are controlled and any additional moisture is removed.

Keep Moisture out of the Crawl Space 

Of course, if you don’t have any waterproofing measures installed after your crawl space is dried out, humidity will find its way back in and cause more issues. Instead of fighting the same battle repeatedly, make sure that any future moisture doesn’t get into your crawl space by having experts install the following.

Vapor Barriers 

A crawl space with an exposed, dirt floor is extremely prone to moisture. Every time it rains in St. Louis, MO, the soil will become saturated and moisture will rise up from the ground due to the high water table where it then spreads across your crawl space. With a vapor barrier, you can prevent your floor from leeching moisture into the air. Keep in mind that this barrier mustn’t be thin, since it can easily tear. We offer a thick and durable 20-mil vapor barrier that ensures thorough coverage. 

Crawl Space Dehumidifier 

A dehumidifier won’t just help you dry out your crawl space after a flooding incident, combined with your encapsulation, it will regulate moisture levels in the crawl space. This prevents future mold growth and wood rot from happening.

Keep in mind that some crawl spaces do not need a dehumidifier. However, if you have been struggling with moisture issues for some time and your foundation tends to be very humid, you may want to consider installing it.  

Before taking any further steps, be sure to consult our experts for a recommendation. After all, regular dehumidifiers you can find in the store are too weak to dry out your entire crawl space. Instead, let us install a dehumidifier that is better equipped to regulate the moisture.

Sealing Crawl Space Vents 

In the past, homes were built with crawl space vents since it was believed that by letting the foundation breathe, it would in turn be healthier, less humid, and collect less water. However, since then it has been established that these vents only let moisture-laden air inside, causing further problems. Sealing up these vents, as well as any other openings that let moisture in is essential if you want to have a dry crawl space. 

With these waterproofing methods, you can keep humidity levels under control and avoid problems such as mold growth or rot. If you wish to learn more about these solutions, do not hesitate to contact professionals at Foundation Recovery Systems and schedule a free inspection and quote. Our experts will inspect your crawl space and determine which waterproofing solutions will solve your moisture problem permanently. 

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