Do you know what’s underneath your house? True, many homes throughout Florida have slab foundations with nothing else underneath. But there also are a lot of homes built on top of crawl spaces.
Even if you have a swimming pool on your property, you could end up having an unwanted one under your house if your crawl space is wet or has flooded.
Standing water in the crawl space can be common, but it is not normal in a healthy home. It can lead to mold and mildew growth, wood rot, structural damage, and health problems. Water can enter your crawl space from the ground, plumbing leaks, and heavy rain. No matter how the water is getting there, you need to have a way to remove it and keep it out of your home for good.
The professionals at Florida Foundation Authority can help dry your crawl space with proven waterproofing solutions.
What are the signs of a crawl space water problem?
Odds are you’re not visiting your crawl space that often, or even thinking about it that much. So, you’re probably wondering how you’ll know if you’re dealing with water intrusion under your house.
Common signs of problems related to water in the crawl space that you’ll notice elsewhere in your home include:
- Mold growth on wood surfaces and HVAC ducts
- Musty, unpleasant odors
- Excessive dampness or humidity
- Wood rot
- Termite damage
- Pest or rodent infestation
- Buckling hardwood floors
- Soft, bouncy, or sagging floors
These symptoms and problems also can lead to other issues affecting the health, safety, and structural integrity of your house. A dirt crawl space that hasn’t been encapsulated can allow ground moisture to seep into the crawl space and increase the humidity level in your home. Standing water in the crawl space leads to moisture that causes mold, mildew, and wood rot. Crawl space humidity can cause discomfort, high utility bills, and aggravate allergies and asthma.
More than half of the air you are breathing in your house comes from the crawl space. Because of the stack effect – an airflow pattern in the home from bottom to top – whatever is in your crawl space like mold, dust mites, or humid air, also is circulating in the air throughout the rest of the house. So, your home could be making you and your loved ones sick.
How the water got into the crawl space
There are several ways water can infiltrate a crawl space, and it’s important to be thorough in investigating the source to properly address and fix the problem.
Crawl spaces are convenient areas to run plumbing lines, so a pipe leak or burst could be the culprit behind the wet crawl space.
- The ground
Florida is notorious for its humidity and moisture issues, and it’s easy for water and moisture to seep through the ground of a dirt crawl space and lead to a host of problems.
- Block walls
If your home or crawl space was built with block foundation walls, water sitting behind these walls can easily saturate and seep through the porous material and find its way inside through any crack or gap. If water has nowhere to go, it starts building up inside the walls and will leak inside the crawl space.
- Poor drainage and grading
Rainwater dumps directly onto your foundation when gutters are clogged and overflowing. Similarly, blocked French drains next to the foundation or above-ground gutter downspout conductor lines could allow water to puddle next to the home and find its way inside any crack or gap in the foundation walls. The soil next to your foundation settles over time and can do so at an angle sloping toward your foundation to allow water to collect by the walls and seep through.
- Open vents
Even though building code traditionally has called for crawl spaces to be vented for air drying purposes, this is extremely harmful to the crawl space and home. Open vents allow outside water, air, and pests inside to work together in creating the perfect home for mold and pest colonies. This is not healthy or safe for your home or your family.
For example, US Climate Data shows Orlando’s average annual precipitation is 53 inches of rain, and the summertime months of June, July, and August are the wettest.
Along with this rain and higher temperatures also comes humidity. Floridians know it well. Your skin might feel sticky walking out into the heavy air, and there is a great need to crank up the air conditioner to stay comfortable inside.
This relates to vented crawl spaces. If your crawl space vents are open, they are drawing the humid outside air to an area under your house. This makes the AC run longer and struggle to keep up, which then leads to higher energy bills.
While there’s nothing you can do to control the weather, you can control how it affects your home and your interior living environment.
How you’ll benefit from crawl space waterproofing
There are so many ways you, your family, and your home will benefit from fixing your wet crawl space and investing in foundation waterproofing.
One of the biggest perks is better health and quality of life. By having a properly waterproofed crawl space, you are helping prevent mold growth that can lead to and worsen health conditions like asthma and allergies. The overall air quality will improve, as air from the crawl space also will not be as humid or smelly, especially if you have a crawl space dehumidifier.
By having reliable waterproofing and encapsulation solutions in place, you also are protecting your HVAC system from constant operation. These steps will help your home become more energy efficient as well as lower your utility bills.
After waterproofing and encapsulating your crawl space, it will be a clean, dry area more suitable for storage. Why waste a perfectly good space? Use your new and improved crawl space to tuck away seasonal decorations, old toys, or mementos you want to keep around.
Wet crawl space walls, floor, and support systems for the above floors impact the structural safety of your home. Walls could begin to crack and fail, and floors can begin to sag. By preventing water from saturating these support systems, you are investing in the safety and integrity of the structure.
You also are protecting and helping enhance the real estate/resale value of your home. A dry, healthy, and stable house will be more attractive to buyers, and your efforts will show you care about your home and the finer details. As a Florida homeowner, you are required to fill out the Seller’s Property Disclosure form to the best of your ability. You must note any known past or current issues with water intrusion, flooding, drainage problems and mold, for example.
Dry your crawl space with our proven waterproofing system
If you have water in your crawl space, we can install the right waterproofing products for your home. These warrantied solutions are manufactured in the United States, and they are made to work together to give your home the protection it deserves.
The best waterproofing method that we employ is a three-step process. The leaking water first needs to be collected, then directed to a sump pump system, and then removed and sent far away from the home.
Here is what we use to address a wet crawl space, including:
- Perimeter drainage: The patented CrawlDrain™ perimeter drainage pipe placed in the crawl space floor is designed to capture water seepage from the crawl space walls and floor. This water is then channeled to a sump pump system.
- Sump pump system: The collected water needs somewhere else to go other than back onto the crawl space floor, so it is directed to a sump pump system to be pumped out of the crawl space. We have a variety of SafeDri™ sump pumps to meet your waterproofing needs. Any of them can be installed in the crawl space, but the SafeDri™ Pro Crawl Space Sump Pump System is specifically designed to be compatible with our other crawl space waterproofing and encapsulation solutions.
- Drainage matting: CrawlSeal™ drainage matting improves drainage when installed under the CrawlSeal™ vapor barrier. The dimpled surface helps carry water to the perimeter drainage or sump pump located at the lowest area of the crawl space. CrawlSeal™ drainage matting also softens the floor and increases durability of the encapsulation system.
- Encapsulation material/vapor barrier: Properly sealing your home from the earth is essential in keeping water away. Our thick and durable CrawlSeal™ liner completely isolates your home from the earth, and it acts as a moisture and vapor barrier. Vent covers also are placed on the home’s exterior to further seal the crawl space from outside air, water and pests.
- Dehumidifier: A high-performance dehumidifier will help dry out the damp crawl space and automatically maintain the ideal humidity level. Controlling crawl space humidity helps prevent mold growth, musty odors, wood rot, and pest infestations. Our powerful, yet energy-efficient low-profile dehumidifier self-drains and can be directed to the sump pump system so there are no buckets or reservoirs to have to worry about emptying.
Additional waterproofing solutions: exterior drainage
To help further ensure your crawl space will stay free of water, we can install a variety of exterior drainage solutions.
Water being pumped out of the crawl space by a sump pump system exits the home through a discharge line. This line is directed through the wall and out to the home’s exterior. The line can be terminated in the ground far away from the house or tied into any existing gutter downspout conductor line.
These downspout conductor lines are the lines that touch the ground. Gutters along your roof collect rainwater and send it down a downspout attached to the side of the house. The water then flows out through the end of the downspout conductor line and is drained away from the house.
An extra step we can take with exterior sump pump discharge lines and downspout conductor lines is placing them in the ground and leading them far away from the home’s foundation. It’s important to have thick and durable pipes if they are placed in the ground to prevent splits and blockages. We use a triple wall 3”-4” thick polyethylene pipe.
These lines can terminate at a street side curb, out to the edge of the property or in the yard. When the latter is used, we conceal the end of the line with a YardWell™ outlet. This outlet blends into the ground, is durable enough to withstand lawnmower traffic, and can easily be removed for maintenance and cleaning.
French drains also can be used to help deter groundwater from seeping inside. French drains include installing a perforated pipe in the ground, seated in non-compactable gravel, to allow water to slowly leach in and drain to the appropriate area away from your home’s foundation.
Grated drainage pipes can be used in front of garages, steps, and doors to collect unwanted water that can pool in these areas. This drain is usually connected to a drainage pipe or sump pump to dispose of the water away from the home.
Contact your local crawl space and drainage experts for assistance
So, what’s holding you back from having a dry, healthy, and safe home? If you’ve got a wet crawl space, don’t let it go and have it negatively impact your loved ones. The expert team at Florida Foundation Authority is eager to help you fix your wet crawl space once and for all with trusted and proven solutions.
You can expect a world-class experience with us, unlike one you’ve ever had with a company before.
One of our certified inspectors will complete a thorough assessment of your crawl space and recommend solutions specifically tailored to your repair needs with a free, no-obligation estimate. The cost of repair greatly depends on the severity of damage and repairs needed, material used, and labor, but the inspector will discuss payment and financing options with you.
Then, our experienced crews will install the best products to protect your home. And we’ll be with you every step of the way. Once the work is done and you are 100% satisfied with the job, it doesn’t end there. We offer service and maintenance opportunities to ensure the products we installed continue to work at a high level to keep your home dry and healthy.
Let us prove to you that we’re different from other contractors. Contact us today to help ensure your peace of mind and the health of your family!
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