When it comes to being a homeowner, there are many projects that one must consider. The best way to keep up with all of your home’s needs is by keeping a maintenance checklist. There are so many systems that require maintenance, it is important not to forget about the outside of the home and areas that are exposed. If your home has a crawl space, you will want to keep it clean. Often times it could flood or water could pool up after a storm. How to dry out a crawl space? Your main options are a dehumidifier, wet-vac, vapor barrier, or even a drainage system.
Let’s take a look below at all of the options and determine the best way to dry out a crawl space.
What Is A Crawl Space
A typical crawl space is an area located under the home. It allows homeowners to have an elevated first floor off the ground. If you happen to live in a flood zone, this is especially good to have your home up on piers and beams to keep it from flooding. The crawl space does house plumbing, electrical, ventilation, and gas hookups. So, gaining access to it is important. Also, in some cases, ductwork will be run underneath the first floor and through the crawl space. Many homeowners will also use the space for storage.
What Are My Options
When it comes to drying out your crawl space it is important to keep in mind what is the safest and most economical way. There are a few ways to handle this project, so let’s take a look at the options and see which one might best fit your needs.
- Dehumidifier – this item can be installed permanently under the home with some electrical wiring run to your breaker box, or you could place a temporary one in. It is completely up to you. Installing a dehumidifier works to remove excess moisture from the area and prevent moisture from building up.
- Vapor Barrier – since your wood beams and foundation of the first floor are exposed, some homeowners will opt to install a moisture vapor barrier on the exposed wood. This will ensure that any flood waters will not get to the wood. They are great at preventing mold build-up in these puddling or flooding situations.
- Wet-Dry Vac – these vacuums are great for sucking up puddles of water that are the result of a leak in your plumbing. However, you will want to hire a company with industrial-grade equipment if you need large amounts of water removed after heavy rain or flooding.
- Drainage system – Just like with any foundation of a home, you could install a french drain or something more elaborate. The idea is to get water flowing away from the home. You could also consider re-grading the yard so that the slope has a steeper pitch.
How Can I Prevent It
Believe it or not, limiting the ways for water to get into your crawl space is the biggest option for prevention. As a homeowner, you should always look for the ways that water would typically get into the crawl space. Regardless of heavy rain or flooding caused by heavy rain, you can prevent water from gaining access to the crawl space. Let’s take a look below at what we can do.
- Exposed holes or cracks – if there are cracks or holes in your foundation, water now has access to the crawlspace. Additionally, any windows or vents could have worn seals or busted glass. Make sure to check those as well.
- Gutters – having gutters that are full of debris is not a good thing. If you don’t regularly clean the gutters, water can gain access to the crawl space. Always ensure that the gutters are clear of debris and working properly.
- Yard grading – over time, rainwater can cause sunken areas of your yard, and even animals can create holes. If these holes or sunken areas are near the foundation, you will want to re-grade the yard or make the repair. Allowing water to puddle up near the foundation will only allow the water access to your crawl space.
- Equipment – if you have a moisture barrier or dehumidifier installed to assist with keeping the crawl space dry, make sure that they are working properly. Be sure to replace any damaged items so that your crawl space continues to stay dry.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you understand how to dry out a crawl space, you might want to look into cleaning the crawl space. It is vital to maintain all areas of your home. You wouldn’t want to ignore your crawl space and end up finding mold growing and a possible rodent infestation. Be sure to keep a maintenance log on your crawl space, just like you do your HVAC system. A clean crawl space promotes the strong structural longevity of your home.
Next, some times of the year, the air may be dry in the home. Many people will buy a humidifier to help put moisture in the air. However, a humidifier can grow mold if it is not cleaned and taken care of. One place it is found is in the water basin of the unit. It is important to make sure the water basin is cleaned frequently so this does not happen.
Lastly, there are different types of insulation for the attic as well as different amounts. Take the time to find out what is recommended in your area so you know if you have the proper amount. If you aren’t sure, reach out to a professional or local home inspector for help.
When Do I Call A Professional
Calling on a professional to assist with the crawl space cleaning or drying out is a great decision. Most homeowners do not have the time or energy to go exploring underneath the home. Also, in some cases, there are rodents and reptiles that use the dark and damp space. Be sure to call on a crawl space professional to assist with the drying out of your crawl space. If you aren’t sure who to call, reach out to your local home inspection team. They can assess the damages or need for drainage in order to keep your crawl space dry. Also, they can recommend the correct professional to complete the project.
Making sure that your crawl space stays dry is very important to the structure of your home, and the health of your family. If you let moisture build up under your home, it can become a breeding ground for mold to grow. If you aren’t properly maintaining your crawl space the mold could grow rapidly and become a structural issue to your wood beams, as well as a huge health risk. Call on Enviroquest Home Inspections for a crawl space and complete home inspections in Harrisburg, PA.