Remove Standing Water
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Remove Standing Water in Your Crawlspace

You might think that basements in America are the most common form of foundation. That is a fair inference, but it is inaccurate. Fifty-four percent of homes are constructed on concrete slabs. Only 30% have a full or partial basement of the three primary residential home foundation forms (full or partial basement, crawlspace, and concrete slabs).

So, what are the foundations of the remaining 16 percent of houses? Crawlspaces are found in 15% (roughly 27 million) of these homes, while the remaining 1% are constructed on rooftops or breakwaters. Basements are well-known, and a concrete slab is precisely that: a slab of concrete. “What is a crawlspace?” is a question that many homebuyers have. The short answer is that a crawlspace is a basement that provides a barrier between the ground and the first floor of your home, which is why basement waterproofing and/or crawlspace waterproofing is a needful thing.

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What effect does standing water in a crawlspace have on a home’s value?

In and of itself, standing water in the crawlspace does not affect a home’s worth. Mold is a factor that affects a home’s value when there is stagnant water in the crawlspace. Mold can have a significant impact on a home’s appraised value. For example, FHA appraisers must note whether mold is growing in a home, the type of mold, and its position. If you discover black mold growing in your house, there are a few things you should know. Toxic black mold can harm your health for the rest of your life, and in some cases, it can even kill you.

What is the best way to get rid of water in the crawlspace?

Crawlspace moisture control problems are exacerbated by improper grading and the lack of rain gutters, which enable excess rain or groundwater to enter the crawlspace. Poor crawlspace ventilation exacerbates the issue by mixing warm and cold air, causing surface condensation and raising moisture in the crawlspace underneath the building. This regular wetting of building materials creates the ideal environment for mold to flourish, termites to thrive, and structural damage to occur underneath your house. Contact us for the best crawlspace water removal services in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. When dealing with water in the crawlspace, standard solutions include:

  • Moisture is directed away from the structure by proper grading around the building.
  • Gutter and downspout installation, repair, and cleaning
  • To transfer water away from the building, add downspout extensions and exit lines
  • Waterproofing may be done on the inside or outside of a building
  • Isolating the crawlspace from the ground with vapor barriers or encapsulation devices.
  • Crawlspace ventilation, such as crawlspace dehumidifiers and/or crawlspace ventilation fans, should be installed.

Crawlspace Ventilation vs. Crawlspace Conditioning

Crawlspaces with ventilation: Several air vents are situated at the top of the foundation wall in ventilated crawlspaces. Outside air flows freely across the room, since the vents are positioned across from one another. Nonetheless, since the airflow is unregulated and unconditioned, the air (whether hot or cold) can be full of moisture, and vents have been shown to do more harm than good. It is possible, but not fast, to insulate a vented crawlspace. Insulation is usually mounted between floor joists, but it can be difficult to install insulation around plumbing, wiring, and other obstructions. This form of installation, as tricky as it may be, is used in some new homes.

Crawlspaces that have been conditioned: Crawlspaces with air conditioning have insulated walls and a vapor barrier installation on the floor that is connected to the HVAC system. There are no more vents to the outside, and there is no need for insulation between the floor joists in this form of crawlspace. A vapor barrier covering the soil in a crawlspace is needed to reduce moisture from the ground. Crawlspaces with no vapor barrier can absorb even more moisture. The vapor barrier also maintains a consistent temperature throughout the year, allowing the heating and cooling system to operate efficiently.

Vapor barriers

A vapor barrier is necessary for crawlspaces, but what exactly is it? Randy Reeds, a top-rated real estate agent in Kent County, Michigan, explains: “I deal with 72 percent or more single-family homes than the average agent in my field. In a crawlspace that isn’t concrete, there are fabrics that contractors can lay down to serve as a vapor barrier. They’ll lay thick plastic under the entire house today to seal it, similar to rubberized roofing material.”

To eliminate any extra moisture in a crawlspace with a dirt floor, use cross-ventilation, a dehumidifier, or an exhaust fan. Keep in mind that a dehumidifier’s moisture removal capacity is determined by how many quarts of water it can extract every hour. Also, since ambient air contains moisture, it’s essential to keep air flowing to and from the dehumidifier. To maximize airflow, you’ll probably want to add multiple fans in the crawlspace. The crawlspace may become flooded during a heavy rainstorm, necessitating a professional’s use to drain out the water and the installation of a sump pump.

Benefits of a crawlspace

Crawlspace encapsulation is one of the most popular ways to seal the crawlspace. This process entails covering the floor and walls with thick, white, plastic sheets. To keep the crawlspace dry and mold-free, you’ll need to invest in a sump pump and a dehumidifier. It all comes down to having a dry crawlspace, which has a lot of advantages! Let’s take a closer look.

Access

The most significant advantage of a crawlspace over a concrete slab base is that the systems, as mentioned earlier, such as wiring, plumbing, gas hookups, and ventilation, are all readily accessible. If you have an issue with these aspects of your home, you or a contractor can make the required repairs by crawling into the crawlspace underneath the building.

Cost

Basements (finished or unfinished) provide links to the structures mentioned above. They have more livable space (which 44 percent of real estate agents claim their clients want), while a crawlspace doesn’t. The trade-off is that a crawlspace can save you a lot of money when you’re building a house — and most basements aren’t included in a home’s square footage anyway. A crawlspace foundation will cost between $8,000 and $21,000 on average, while a basement will cost between $18,000 and $30,000, based on total square footage.

Versatility

When a traditional basement isn’t an option, such as on a waterfront property or where the ground is sloped, crawlspace foundations are used. In places where the ground is vulnerable to excessive dampness or termites, crawlspaces are also the basis of choice.

The drawbacks of having a crawlspace

Crawlspaces are used to house plumbing, electrical wiring, ductwork, air conditioning, and heating systems, as well as provide unlimited access to these substructures. A crawlspace’s problem is that it can rapidly become filthy and damp. Mold, fungi, termites, and rats may all be a problem in the crawlspace if there is too much moisture.

  • Moisture: Moisture isn’t a crawlspace’s best friend, especially if it’s an older home with a ventilated crawlspace. Excessive moisture may cause rot by compromising the structural integrity of wooden pieces. Replacement of rotted support beams can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the material used (wood or steel) and how easy the issue is to fix.
  • Mold, mildew, and fungi: “If there is some water problem, the combination of that and inadequate ventilation leads to mold and mildew, which eventually rots the floor joists. If this is the case, mold removal is a must. And there’s the health problem of walking on a floor that has a lot of mold beneath it,” Reeds elucidates. When a moisture issue isn’t tackled, the crawlspace becomes an ideal breeding ground for microorganisms like mold and mildew. The harmful microorganisms and bacteria will spread throughout the house if the air from the crawlspace circulates. For residents with respiratory problems or allergies, this could spell disaster!
  • Pest infestations: Crawlspaces that aren’t properly sealed are vulnerable to insect infestation. The warmth and moisture found there attract rodents and small animals. Because of their dander and hair, pest infestations can pollute the air, but their droppings are also a health hazard. Insects such as termites, in addition to small animals, can cause damage to structural components, HVAC ducts, and wiring.
  • Poor insulation: Heating and cooling systems can be hindered by crawlspaces that have not been adequately enclosed or insulated. The furnace or heater may have to work longer to maintain temperature if the outside air is colder or hotter.

Is it a good idea to buy a home with a crawlspace?

You’ve noticed a house that you’d like to buy, but it has a crawlspace. Should you make an offer right now? You can do so as long as a specialist has inspected the crawlspace and determined that there is no mold or standing water and that the walls and footings are in good shape.

Along with adequate crawlspace ventilation, make sure there are no holes in the ground that could cause rodents or small animals to enter the room. Insect screens should be installed on any vents to keep bees, hornets, and other insects out of the building. Remember that having a crawlspace makes it much easier to reach the home’s numerous structures if something goes wrong. You must ensure that there is enough ventilation to avoid excessive humidity, which can be harmful to the structure of the house and its inhabitants.

Call Us Today to Remove Standing Water in Your Crawlspace

Are you thinking of getting an improvement for your home’s crawlspace? Contact us today at Carolina Crawlspace Pros for quality crawlspace water removal services. Our experts are ready to create a healthy crawlspace for your home and family. Contact us today!