April 18, 2012

Dear JES: My Crawl Space Is Flooded!!

Dear JES: 

The weather here has been wacky! One day it's gorgeous the next it's raining cats and dogs. Every time it rains I end up with water in my crawl space! How do I dry out my crawl space and keep water from getting in?   

- Susan, Norfolk, VA

Dear Susan,

Thanks for writing us! Dealing with a wet crawl space is a nightmare. Not only is it ugly but all of that extra moisture can lead to mold growth, a termite invasion, increased electric bills and even structural damage!

Water can enter your crawl space through open vents or loose doors, the dirt floor or even cracks in your foundation. If your crawl space isn't encapsulated then any of these could contribute to your wet crawl space. 

Drying out your crawl space involves pumping the water out, cleaning the space to kill any harmful bacteria and - if desired - spraying a solution that kills and minimizes mold growth. If you're going to do the work yourself, wear protective clothing, including a mask or respirator. Be careful of any debris or sharp objects that have washed into your crawl space or fallen. Drying out your crawl space is a nasty and potentially dangerous job, one that's best left to the professionals.

The best way to reduce the risk of flooding, and all of the aforementioned problems, is to seal or encapsulate your crawl space. To do this you'll need to cover the floor and walls with a thick vapor barrier, like CleanSpace, which will help prevent water from entering your crawl space. 

You'll also need to to seal your vents and doors to prevent water from entering your crawl space that way. A crawl space dehumidifier and sump pump are also good to install, depending on the severity of your moisture problem. 

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This blog is for informational purposes. JES is not responsible for any damage or harm caused by trying to fix the problem yourself. It is always best to consult with a professional before trying to repair a problem. Site Legal Policy.

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