Water can be deadly. Whether its a flash flood, a rip tide, or just a tiny trickle dripping down the inside of a crawl space wall, the results are always ugly.
Do you know how to spot water before it becomes a huge problem? Here are some tips we’ve collected on how to know when your clean crawl space has too much water in it—which we all know leads to mold, mildew, and sometimes even critters!
Feel the ground:
If the earth is moist to the touch or muddy it’s time that you had a vapor barrier installed to stem the spread of water. If that moisture seeps into the wood, you can develop wood rot or fungus, both of which will damage the structure of your home.
Measure the humidity:
Place a barometer in the crawl space to measure the humidity levels. If your humidity is too high, the wood may develop white mold. While white mold won’t eat your lumber, it introduces harmful toxins that can leach into the rest of your home.
If you’ve had a flood in your area, it’s time to go down into your crawl space to see how things are doing. If you see water pooling or trickling down the walls, it’s a sign that you’ve got to get your crawl space dried out as quickly as possible. Flooding often results in black mold or wood rot if not taken care of quickly.
Wet or molding insulation:
Take a look at the insulation in your crawl space. If you can see mold growing on the insulation or it is wet to the touch, it’s time to take steps to dry out your crawl space. Installing a water barrier and replacing the old insulation are good ways to stop any further water damage. Read about types of insulation here.
Feel the walls and windows of your crawl space. Is there condensation or moisture building up? All this water has to go somewhere and, all too often, it goes straight into the wooden beams and surrounding ground. Water trickling down into your foundation can damage the structural integrity of your home. Vapor barriers and insulation can help to protect against water accumulation.
Check for leaks:
Are there any places where you see water dripping or trickling? Check especially closely around vents, windows, and openings to the outside, as this is where water is most likely to weasel it’s way into your crawl space. Caulk up these holes and be sure to check on them to make sure you didn’t miss any spots.
Watching for water damage and water buildup should be a part of the routine maintenance of your home. If, however, you see a problem that needs to be addressed, carefully consider whether it’s a problem that you can fix on your own or if you need professional help. Instances of wood rot and mold growth, may necessitate installation of vapor barriers or insulation such that the job requires the help of the experts at clean crawl seattle.