A crawl space is a narrow space that is unoccupied and unfinished in a home. It serves as a buffer between the first floor of the house and the ground. It’s about 3.5 feet from top to bottom, so it’s just enough for someone to crawl through, hence the term “crawl space”. As a buffer, it protects the home’s inhabitants from dampness in the ground.
The problem with crawl spaces is that, while they protect the rest of the home above from ground moisture, they also tend to harbor all that moisture. Moisture is bad news for your home if it stays long enough.
Why Moisture Stays in a Crawl Space
There are different reasons that lead to excessive moisture or moisture that won’t go away in a crawl space. The most common culprit is poor waterproofing that fails to protect the foundation of the home from moisture penetration. It’s also possible for the water to come from a broken pipe in your plumbing system.
However, some causes are beyond the homeowner’s control. For example, if your home is built in an area that’s prone to flooding or if unusually strong rains have saturated the ground. Condensation is another source of the problem.
What Happens When Moisture Stays in a Crawl Space?
You might think that moisture in your crawl space doesn’t deserve your attention as long as it stays in your crawl space. However, the problem is that moisture in your crawl space doesn’t limit its effects there.
Mold thrives where moisture and darkness are present. Mold is a threat to health as the air from the crawlspace rises and enters your home.
Your home has support beams, and they’re in your crawl space. Moisture can cause those beams to rot. If you have wood floors, they can be affected as well. Repairing rotted wood is often expensive.
How to Prevent Moisture Buildup in a Crawl Space
It’s advisable to contact home waterproofing experts to prevent water from entering your home, including the crawl spaces. Keeping water out is easier and better than taking it out.
However, if there is water in your crawl space already, you can invest in a sump pump to remove it. A crawl space dehumidifier can make the area even drier.
Prevent water penetration with home exterior renovations by a professional. Get in touch with Stonebridge Roofing, Waterproofing and Exteriors. Call us today at (904) 262-6636, or fill out this form. (more…)
Believe it or not, your home’s basement is the part of your home that’s most vulnerable to water damage. After all, when a strong storm passes by and causes flooding, your basement may sustain water damage if you don’t have the proper waterproofing measures in place. Unfortunately, there are some instances when even your basement’s waterproofing can fail. So, how do you tell if your weatherproofing has failed?
Water Marks on the Walls
Water marks on your basement walls is the classic sign that your basement waterproofing has failed. According to experts, if your basement’s waterproofing has failed, grading problems and exterior sources of infiltration can cause water marks to appear on your walls.
Presences of Mold
Apart from the water marks, mold growth is another sign that your basement waterproofing has failed. When you see signs of mold around your basement, it’s vital that you don’t ignore this as it can cause health concerns for you and your household members. With that in mind, as soon as you notice it, call a professional to have it removed in your home.
If you start smelling a damp, musty odor around your basement, it means that years of water seepage has penetrated your basement due to the failure of your waterproofing measures.
Ever noticed a white, chalky substance on your basement walls? Those are called efflorescence, a migration of salt to the surface of a porous material like concrete, forming a coating as a result. According to experts, this happens near areas where walls crack due to water damage. If you happen to see efflorescence in your basement walls, it means that your basement’s waterproofing has failed.
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There are only two things mold needs to grow and spread through your home: moisture and organic materials. Your house is made up of drywall, wood and other natural materials, making it susceptible to mold growth. Mold won’t only make your home unsightly, it can also trigger allergies and cause respiratory health issues. So, you must prevent mold growth.
You must keep your basement in good shape to protect it against the elements. This can be made possible through basement waterproofing. Unfortunately, some homeowners completely disregard doing this, which can cause major problems for the home.
- Rust – If you have any furniture with metal features or photos hanging by nails in your basement, make sure to check them every now and then. If you notice that the nails are becoming rusty or patches of rust are appearing in places where there is metal, it means that you’re dealing with a waterproofing issue, and you should have it rectified immediately.
- Bugs – Insects love turning cool, moist and dark environments into their breeding grounds. If you notice that insects are making their home in your basement, you don’t need to increase your extermination efforts; it’s likely you need to get your basement waterproofed.
- Mold – Mold in your basement is a telltale sign that you’re facing a basement waterproofing issue. If there’s mold, it means there’s water seeping into the area, allowing it to grow and spread. With that in mind, once you spot mold, call an expert to check the extent of the damage, and waterproof your basement to prevent this in the future.
- Watermarks – You’ll be able to tell that water is seeping down your basement walls if you notice a few watermarks. Once this happens, you need to call a professional immediately to prevent the water from causing damage to the whole foundation.
- Cracks – Cracks on your basement’s floors and walls mean that there’s a potential water seepage problem. To prevent it from wreaking havoc in your home, get the basement waterproofed as soon as possible. If you don’t have the funds to waterproof the entire room, just waterproof the affected section until you can have the rest done.
- Musty Odor – On the other hand, if the water seepage doesn’t seem visible, make sure there are no odors. If you smell a musty odor in your basement, it means that the room needs to be waterproofed as water has been seeping there over the years.
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