A remote area of the house should be carefully monitored because moisture and water in crawl space can become a significant problem if not addressed. Issues such as mold in crawl space will flourish if moisture is present.
Mold lives in dark, secluded areas where a leak can cause long-standing issues. Since the crawl space is out of sight, the mold will continue to grow, causing the problem to worsen.
Mold also grows up walls and floor joists and can eventually live in your ventilation system, causing breathing problems. It’s essential to take preventative measures to prevent mold before it becomes unmanageable.
How to Get Rid of Moisture
Here are five reasons for mold in your crawl space and how to prevent them.
- Foundation Grading
One of the most effective ways to prevent leaking and a subsequent buildup of moisture in your crawl space is proper grading around the foundation of your home. Sloping the ground away from your home is critical. It’ll prevent water from building up, sitting around the perimeter, and slowly making its way into susceptible areas around the foundation.
Barring an obvious hole in the foundation wall, sloping the grade away from it forces rainwater and moisture to stay at bay and not enter into the crawl space. The good news is that fixing this problem isn’t costly. With a little bit of work, you can correct the grade to ensure your home is safe from possible leaks and moisture problems.
The foundation aims for a minimum slope of 6-8 inches, extending out about 6-8 feet. Every spring, you should check the grade after the ground thaws completely. It’s essential to do this because you can check how the grade works and make necessary adjustments.
- Dirty Gutters
A common cause of crawl space humidity is water seeping or leaking because of overflowing gutters and downspouts situated in the wrong direction. In this case, water can’t drain properly and never dries up, leading to high humidity levels and an overgrowth of mold.
Gutter downspouts pointed away from the foundation help prevent water from pooling nearby and making its way back to the foundation of your home, gathering to create another problem.
Always remember to keep your gutters clean because the downspouts don’t operate correctly if the water overflows and splashes onto the foundation in places you can’t control.
- Household Mistakes
Sometimes, the cause of water in the crawl space comes from common household mistakes such as leaving a water hose running. Outdoor faucets sit near the foundation of your home, so hoses connected to them tend to leak at times. A fundamental problem can develop if the hose never gets turned off completely. It’s possible that the faucet’s o-ring or gasket failed and didn’t shut the water off completely, causing it to run unabated for days or months.
- Broken Underground Water Line
Whenever you suspect water coming from underground, you should look closely for damp spots in the yard or other places that seem out of place. Maybe a water line burst, and it’s spewing water into the ground around your foundation. That can quickly create a significant problem because water constantly flows.
If the pressure is high enough, water pooling underground threatens a sinkhole. Underground erosion can cause water to flow around your foundation and cause a leak. This leads to crawl space humidity, moisture, and water infiltration. A similar problem like a broken or burst water line inside your crawl space causes additional issues.
Fortunately, you can spot them quickly or hear the pipes spewing water. If you suspect an underground water line problem, your city municipality has the means to locate the source. If it’s their responsibility, they should repair it immediately. If you suspect the problem is coming from your home, calling a professional is your best option.
- Old or Insufficient Underground Drains
Underground drains can underperform because of old age or an inadequate slope for high amounts of water. A sustained heavy rain can cause the drain to backup, resulting in a leak. Pools of water can form and will find their home around your foundation. Eventually, that water will find an opening to enter your basement or crawl space.