A crawl space is essentially a hollow area under the floors of some homes between the ground and the first floor. Some crawl spaces are built full-height like a basement or shorter at just two feet. Building a crawl space is cost-efficient as it negates the need to move dirt to level a sloping lot. A crawl space allows the easy installation of the HVAC unit and pipe network, which facilitates water and sewer distribution throughout the house; future repairs are easier and more affordable. It also allows air to circulate beneath a house. In locations where termites thrive, a crawl space keeps wooden structural components off the ground to reduce potential damage.
However, a crawl space can also be a recurring source of dampness. Combined with low-light conditions and cooler temperature, it creates a hospitable environment for toxic mold growth. Chronically wet conditions also inflict structural water damage, rotting wooden joists as well as the sub-floor.
It is important to keep crawl spaces dry and reduce the risk of water damage. Homeowners can follow these tips:
Make sure you have an efficient drainage system. Water may enter the crawl space if the ground surrounding the perimeter of the house isn’t graded properly. Create surface drainage by grading an area so that water collects and flows to a lower elevation away from the site. The grade should slant away from the house at a rate of at least 0.5 inch per foot.
Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts regularly. Water cascading from clogged, overflowing gutters during a downpour deeply saturates the soil, which spreads moisture into the crawl space.
Repair leaking pipes immediately, no matter how small. Drips from pinhole pipe leaks, as well as water seeping around pipe joints, keep the crawl spaces wet. Schedule an inspection with a plumber and have the necessary repairs made.
Install a vapor barrier. Moisture rising from the soil often creates chronically damp conditions inside the crawl space. A vapor barrier need not be expensive; it’s usually just a heavy-duty plastic sheet that covers the entire floor of the crawl space. Most of the time, this prevents moisture from seeping through.
Increase ventilation. Original crawl space vents may be too small to allow proper air circulation, which helps dry out moisture. Wider vents can be installed to augment passive ventilation and can be closed as needed, especially during high-humidity days.
Rytech Nashville’s IICRC-certified mold remediation team strives to deliver expert solutions in the most professional and ethical way possible. Our technicians will thoroughly inspect your home or building. If mold damage is present, our team will work closely with you and an indoor air quality professional to develop an immediate and efficient plan of action to remove the mold and detect the moisture causing it. Once Rytech’s work is complete, an independent indoor air quality professional will verify that your home or building has been successfully remediated. Schedule an appointment today – a member of Rytech Nashville’s Customer Service Team will contact you right away to confirm your appointment and answer any questions on getting started.
Rytech Nashville has become a leader in the water damage restoration and mold remediation industry. From its humble beginnings in one location, the company has reached exponential growth and currently provides service to 49 major markets across 25 states. Call (615) 751-8445 for more information.