Regardless of whether your crawl space gets flooded because of heavy rains, a sewer backup, a broken heater, or leaking pipes, it is safe to say that it is a major issue that needs to be fixed right away. Standing water can attract various pests such as mice, rats, and termites, which can cause all sorts of different problems.
A flooded crawl space can also lead to sagging floors, wood rot, and foul smells. Water can damage the foundation so badly that the structural integrity of the building becomes compromised. In addition, flooding can lead to mold growth that can impact your health and lead to respiratory problems.
Getting Rid of the Water
If your crawl space has been flooded and you have a lot of standing water in there, the first thing you need to do is to remove it as quickly as possible. Waiting for water to go away on its own is a recipe for disaster and can lead to extensive damage. Removing the water with a wet-dry vacuum or pumping it out with a pump machine are the two most used methods.
Drying out a Wet Crawl Space
Now that all the water has been removed, it’s time to dry out the crawl space. You shouldn’t allow the space to dry on its own. Beams and other wood elements will quickly soak up the moisture and so will cool concrete surfaces. Therefore, a significant amount of moisture will stay present even when you remove the water from the crawl space. Using a dehumidifier to dry out a damp space is the best option. It will quickly remove moisture from the air, and reduce the risk of mold growth.
Common Causes of Flooded Crawl Spaces
After your crawl space is finally clean, it is important to find what caused the flood in the first place. This way you will know how to prevent this problem from happening again in the future. Here are some of the most common causes of flooded crawl spaces.
Inadequate drainage: If your crawl space becomes flooded every time it rains in Des Moines, IA, you might be dealing with a drainage problem. Check your gutters and downspouts and see if your yard is improperly graded. If all the water runs toward your home instead of away from it, you will need to regrade your yard.
Faulty sump pump: Have you invested in a sump pump? If your crawl space becomes flooded often, your sump pump is likely malfunctioning and needs to be fixed.
Broken pipes: Plumbing issues can also cause standing water in the crawl space. The older your pipes are, the bigger the chances that your crawl space will end up flooded.
Sewage backup: Clogged sewage lines can lead to a flooded crawl space and turn it into a health hazard.
Crawl Space Flooding Solutions
Flooded crawl space can lead to rot, mold growth, and other issues every homeowner should aim to avoid. Luckily, with some waterproofing measures, you can ensure that this type of problem won’t pop up again.
To keep your crawl space safe from water damage, installing the CrawlDrain is the best choice. This system has been designed with damp crawl spaces in mind. It has openings that face the dirt, which makes it ideal for collecting water from crawl spaces. Due to its special filter fabric, CrawlDrain won’t clog from mud and debris. This system works together with other waterproofing measures such as sump pumps and vapor barriers to keep this space dry and clean.
Back in the ‘50s, it was thought that crawl space vents were good protection against mold growth since they kept the area ventilated. Over time, it was found that the opposite was true and that unsealed vents were letting moisture-laden air into the crawl space. Covering your vents with vent covers can not only help you avoid condensation and dampness, but it can also keep out rain, therefore preventing flooding. In addition, vent covers will deter pests such as mice and rats from entering this area.
A Sump Pump
If you live in an area prone to flooding problems, you will need a crawl space sump pump. This appliance will quickly pump out any amount of water, no matter how much it builds up in the crawl space. With a battery backup, you can ensure that your pump will keep working even when you no longer have power.
With encapsulation, you will be able to turn your dirty crawl space into a nice and dry area, which can even be used as storage. Contractors will lay a plastic 20-mil vapor barrier on the crawlspace floor and attach it to the foundation walls, piers, and equipment, so moisture cannot get in. Professionals will also seal the vents with vent covers and seal off any openings to the outdoors.
Another waterproofing measure is drainage matting. Because liners are placed directly onto the crawl space floor, in case of flooding water can stay trapped underneath, not able to reach the perimeter drain. With CrawlSeal™ Drainage Matting this problem is easily averted. Drainage matting has raised dimples so water has enough space to pass underneath your crawl space liner and move toward the crawl space drain.
This device will keep the moisture levels in your crawl space under control. It will eliminate allergy triggers such as mold and dust mites and make the crawl space less appealing to these harmful microorganisms. A dehumidifier will also improve air quality and prevent wood rot that can compromise the structural integrity of your home. It will also reduce energy consumption since the HVAC system won’t need to work extra hard to keep your home’s temperature levels comfortable.
If you are interested in waterproofing your crawl space and keeping it safe from floods and moisture impact, contact professionals at Foundation Recovery Systems and schedule a free inspection.