Crawl space leaks are not unusual. A lot of people in Greenville, SC, experience crawl space leaks during humid summer months and wet spring. If your crawl space leaks, you need to find the source or origin of the leak and fix it. But how do you know whether your crawl space requires a simple fix or extensive repairs?
You’ll find the answers to this and other questions. But first, let’s look at signs of crawl space leakage.
Signs of Crawl Space Leak
Water leaks may go unnoticed for days or months, especially if nobody ventures into the crawl space or checks its condition from time to time. Here are unmistakable signs that your crawl space is leaking.
Musty smells. When water seeps into the crawl space, it causes an unpleasant odor. Further investigation can reveal mold growth and the extent of the water damage.
High water bills. Sudden spikes in your monthly water bills could be an indication that a water pipe that runs through the crawl space is leaking.
Damp insulation. If your insulation material feels damp, chances are water is entering the crawl space.
Warped Floorboards. Warped or raised wood flooring is another sign moisture is building up in the crawl space.
Why Does My Crawl Space Leak?
Your crawl space can leak any time of the year, but it’s likely to experience serious leaks during spring when precipitation and rainfall are high. If you have leaky crawl space, it could be because of:
1) Uncovered soil. Any exposed soil in the crawl space that’s not covered may seem harmless, but it’s going to introduce moisture into your crawl space.
2) Porous foundation walls. Leaks can also originate from the earth surrounding your house by seeping through your porous foundation walls.
3) Clogged gutters and downspouts. When it comes to crawl space leaks, blocked gutters and downspouts top the list of factors that contribute to crawl space leaks. Debris can impede water flow, causing it to run through the side of the gutters.
4) Plumbing leak. Many of your plumbing lines (supply and drain) run through this space, and they can leak from time to time. Since the crawl space receives few visitors, leaks can go undetected for days or months.
5) Sewer backups. When it rains heavily, the sewer drains can be overwhelmed. Sewer lines may begin to back up. After a short while, sewage may find its way up through the drains.
6) Poor grading. The slope around your home should direct water away from the crawl space and not towards it. If it’s poorly graded, water could flow back and end up in the crawl space.
Revamping the Crawl Space
Like everyone with a leaky crawl space in Greenville, SC, you could be wondering what sort of repairs should be done. Do I go for a quick fix or call a crawl space repair contractor to do a full revamp? Well, that depends on the condition of your crawl space.
If water has been seeping for months unnoticed, chances are water damage has occurred. Wooden beams and joists may have started rotting, various strains of mold developed, and wall cracks appeared. In this case, you will have to revamp and waterproof the crawl space.
Your once dry and clean insulation material could be now torn and soggy. Because it’s no longer effective, you will have to replace it.
If you don’t have an interior drain, water that’s leaking through the walls of the crawl space will collect and form a pool at the lowest point. Drains ensure that any water that gets into the crawl goes out before it causes any damage.
Install a Sump Pump
At the low end of the perimeter trench, you will then install a sump pump, which will automatically activate whenever water collects in the trench.
Lay New Vapor Barrier
Your contractor will also remove your old and damaged vapor barrier and lay down a new 20-mil plastic vapor barrier over the ground and walls of the crawl space to prevent vapor transfer. Crawl space encapsulation will lock out moisture from outside for many years to come.
Install a Dehumidifier
Leaking water may evaporate and linger in the air inside your crawl space, only to condense when it gets cold. A dehumidifier will remove this moisture and further help keep your crawl space dry.
Do you suspect that water is leaking into your crawl space? Schedule a free crawl space inspection and discover the source of the leaks plus lasting fixes to your problem.