Is It Normal For A Crawl Space To Be Damp?

Many homeowners have problems with their crawl spaces but they don’t really take the time and effort to address these concerns. Sadly, not solving these crawl space concerns right away may lead to damages to your home and different health issues for you and your family. Ignoring these problems for as long as you can result in more expenses. 

Is it normal for a crawl space to be damp? Since a crawl space is the perfect example of a below-grade space under your house, it is normal for it to be damp. The ground can get dry and wet throughout the seasons and as a result of different weather patterns and events.

However, a dry crawl space is much superior. It is better to address damp crawl space problems as soon as possible to avoid more serious concerns. 

Reasons Why Your Crawl Space is Damp 

Before you can solve the issue of a damp crawl space, the first step is to identify what causes the water issue.

There are actually three primary reasons why there is water in your crawl space:

  1. Groundwater can cause several problems for your crawl space in different ways. The foundation’s soil can get saturated after long periods of snow or heavy rain. Water coming from surrounding soil can push against the foundation’s wall and eventually find its way in. 
  2. Surface water that can get into your crawl space is usually from overflowing gutters, roof drainage, leaky window wells, and basement windows, or grading issues. 
  3. Plumbing issues such as a burst pipe or a plumbing leak can also introduce water to the crawl space. Even though your crawl space has a vapor barrier, the ware is going to sit above the liner until this evaporates. 

Negative Effects of Damp Crawl Space

A damp crawl space can result in numerous safety and health issues in your house. These often include pest invasions, rotted floor joists, and mold growth. The best and easiest way to free yourself from the worries brought about by such problems is to keep your crawl space dried out and sealed. 

It is important to stress out what a wet or damp crawl space can do. It is never recommended to wait for your crawl space to be leaking or flooded before you pay attention to it.

A damp and wet crawl space can turn into a full-blown nightmare if you just ignore it.  Avoid this nightmare and ensure that your home stays safe by making sure that everything under the house remains dry at all times.

Through proper control of moisture, your house will become a safer, more comfortable, and more energy-efficient living environment that is cheaper to cool and heat. 

More often than not, water in crawl space can get there through one of the following three ways – seepage of water from surrounding soil usually following heavy rain, condensation, or a leak in the plumbing system. Humidity will condense on cold surfaces such as ducts and drip on the floor of the crawl space. 

Water puddles in your crawl space are never good but your home won’t get ruined because of the water itself. Instead, it is the moisture or water vapor that can cause mold, rot, energy loss, and attract pests.

The bad news is that these issues will not only stay inside your crawl space. Up to 50% of the air on the upper levels of your home comes from below. It means musty smells, mold spores, and humid air dust mites love can also spread all around your living spaces. 

Pools of water in your crawl space is as obvious as damage like rot and mold. What is not obvious is how a damp or wet crawl space can affect other parts of your home and your health.

The major problems that you might have to deal with as a result of a damp crawl space include the following:

1. Mold

Moisture is the one thing mold loves in this world. Mold also loves to feast on dead organic materials such as cardboard, paper, and wood.

Unfortunately, high amounts of moisture can be found in most crawl spaces together with wood and other types of organic materials where mold can grow on. Dead insects also serve as food sources for mold and lots of them are often found in crawl spaces.

Vents in a crawl space are like a door that warmly welcomes these pests and insects. Vents are also the culprits why moisture gets in and creates the perfect sanctuary for mold. 

The worse thing that can happen is when mold releases their airborne spores. These can eventually find their way to the upper levels of your home. Mold in crawl spaces is never good news for your health or the value of your property. After all, no one would be interested to buy a moldy house. 

2. Pests and dust mites 

Dust mites tend to thrive in humid places so they always love houses that have a dirt crawl space below them. Dust mites are those microscopic parasites living in your beddings, carpets, and furniture pieces.

Droppings of dust mites float around the air that can trigger asthma and allergies. Other pests such as rats, mice, spiders, termites, and even snakes also love damp crawl spaces. Of course, the last thing you want is to deal with these pests, right? 

3. Higher energy bills 

It usually costs more to cool and heat a house with a crawl space. This is because the damp air requires higher amounts of energy to cool or heat and when more energy is used, it means higher energy bills for you. 

Keep Your Crawl Space Clean and Dry All the Time

To prevent dampness, moisture and water damage in your crawl space, make sure you add a dehumidifier to this part of your house.

Installing a sump pump system can also help to ensure that your crawl space will not become an environment where mold and other negative things can thrive and grow.