As a homeowner, it’s always important to know the potential problems that can arise with your home. A major concern for many homeowners in Michigan is basement flooding and similar issues within the crawl space. Considering the amount of precipitation the region receives, and how crawl spaces are often neglected, you should be well aware of what can arise and how you can prevent the problems—as well as repair them if and when they occur.

Here at StayDry® Waterproofing, we’ve seen every issue you can imagine when it comes to basement floods and moisture problems within the home. Though basement floods are often of most concern, crawl spaces can present quite the dangers and damages as well. With this, take a moment to read through our homeowner’s guide to common crawl space problems.

Understanding the Dangers of Crawl Space Issues

When it comes to water or moisture in your crawl space, you’re looking to two type of potential problems. Quite often, excessive moisture presents numerous damages to the structure of your home. Not only that, but it can also lead to issues that affect your health, along with anyone living inside the home. We’ve detailed the most common issues to help you understand each.

Structural Damage

As you’ll see in the list below, the potential structural damages from a wet crawl space are probably the most crucial problems to beware of. Take a look at them below:

  • Sagging, drooping, or uneven floors
  • Rotting structure, such as wood beams
  • Cracking or flaking concrete walls

Keep in mind, considering the crawl space is still connected to your house, severe moisture issues can begin to affect more than just this rarely-used area. Unless addressed and repaired, both water and excessive moisture can cause issues throughout the home. Many of which present more environmental and health risks.

Health and Environment Risks

  • Mold growth
  • Increased energy usage (compensating for humidity problems)
  • Odor problems
  • Pest infestations

Though all of these issues should be concerning, mold growth and pests infestations are the most important to prevent. Mold is not only hard to remove, but it can spread quickly through the home and present respiratory issues for anyone inside. Then you have pest infestations. Most often termites, these will only further affect the home’s structure, as they’ll begin feed on the rotting wood in the crawl space. Of course, the first step in preventing or noticing such problems early on, is knowing how to identify them.

Identifying the Water Source

Now that you’re aware of the issues that can arise with a wet crawl space, you’ll know what to look out for in your home. However, you also need to know how to locate the source of the issue, there are several potential causes. Take a look at each below:

  • Surface Flooding: Whether it’s heavy rains or snow melt, oftentimes the ground can’t absorb the water quick enough, and it can begin to seep into your home as the water table fluctuates.
  • Grading: Though the area around homes is typically graded to ensure water flows away from the home, erosion can alter the grade and cause water to actually go towards your home.
  • Foundation Cracks: While moisture can cause foundation cracks, other factors can as well. Those cracks can then allow moisture and water into your home, so it’s important to inspect these areas regularly and repair any cracks you see forming.
  • Gutters & Downspouts: Whether they’re installed incorrectly, clogged, or damaged, the rain gutters and downspouts of your Michigan home are a common cause for water entry. No matter the issue with them, water will fall from your roof closely to your home, and make its way inside.
  • Damaged Water Lines: Often the result of freezing, broken water lines (which supply water to your sinks, toilets, etc.) can allow in a great deal of water.

Determining the Solution

When you do find water or moisture has compromised your crawl space, and you believe you’ve located the source, you’ll need to take action immediately. While the experts at StayDry® will come to your home and assess the problem as well, it’s still important to understand your options for resolving the problem and repairing any damages. We offer a range of waterproofing and repair services to Michigan homeowners, and each can help prevent further issues from arising. Check out our main services below:

  • Crawl Space Encapsulation: To keep water and moisture completely out of the crawl space, we install a vapor barrier along the entire floors, which keeps moisture where it belongs: outside of the crawl space.
  • Concrete Crack Injections: Using high-grade polyurethane, we can seal any cracks that begin to form in your foundation walls and ensure they don’t spread or let any moisture in.
  • Sump Pump Installation: Sump pumps are designed to activate as soon as they sense water in the area. Once activated, the pumps will remove the water from the crawl space, collect the water in the sump basin, and direct the water back away from your home.
  • Dehumidifiers: For less severe problems, dehumidifiers are a great way to control moisture and humidity levels in your home. We provide homeowners with quality dehumidifiers to not only keep moisture out, but to ensure comfort at all times.

Contact StayDry® Today

If you’ve noticed any moisture issues within your home, or problems that may lead to such (like foundation cracks), be sure to call StayDry® so we can assess the problem right away. As you can see above, wet crawl spaces can present quite the damages and dangers to your home, and they should always be prevented. Whenever you need it, give StayDry® a call at 800.782.9379 to get a free estimate.