Hurricane season has just begun here in the southeast. So, what does that mean for us here in central Alabama? RAIN and lots of it. What do you do if that water finds its way into your crawlspace? Today we are sharing tips for drying out your crawlspace from your waterproofing experts! Overwhelmed with the task? We are a phone call away and ready to help!
Remove Wet Debris
As overwhelming as drying out your crawlspace may seem, it is able to be accomplished. Begin by first removing any wet debris from the entire crawlspace. This includes any wet insulation. (Go ahead and dispose of it-it will need to be replaced.) Clear out any storage you may have had there and then evaluate the scene. As tempting as it may be to move wet or damp materials to an area in your crawlspace that is dry, don’t. Those materials are holding water and increasing the humidity level in the air. The entire crawlspace will dry out faster when they are removed.
Inspect all wiring and outlets before plugging in any electrical equipment. If you suspect there is damage to outlets or wiring, have a professional electrician evaluate before you plug it in please!
Remove Standing Water
If there are only a few puddles here and there, a wet-vac may be able to handle removing the water. If the floor is level and the water is no more than an inch deep, you can try pushing the water out with a push broom. You will need to make sure that it drains properly away as you push it out or it may come right back in!
The most efficient way to remove standing water is to use a pump. This is also the most practical way when dealing with a severely flooded crawlspace. Place the pump’s suction hose into the water and be sure that the drainage hose is releasing the water away from your house. (Again this is very important or the water may flow right back in!) Turn the pump on and then let it run. You will need to check on it every so often to reposition the suction hose to ensure it is pumping most efficiently. (In a severely flooded crawlspace you could start the pump and then remove wet debris to work more efficiently)
Water in your crawlspace is never a good thing. Even small levels of water that you may deem insignificant can cause major problems over time. Increased humidity levels can cause condensation. Condensation can cause deterioration of your floor joists, support beams, and an unstable foundation. You must also consider mold, mildew, and fungi growth. The healthiest crawlspaces are dry and water is diverted away from the foundation of your home.
Drying Out Your Crawlspace
Once the standing water is removed, the real work begins. Examine the wood framing, the floor of your crawlspace, and the floor joists. Look for signs of moisture and mold. By noting how wet they are, it will be easier to evaluate the progress as they dry out. Then begin cleaning with an antifungal cleaner. Please research what chemical you choose to use before spraying. Some chemicals can be harmful if inhaled and remember you are working in a tight space! Additionally, some chemicals are only appropriate for certain materials. Never mix your own cleaning products or deadly gases could be released.
Please note that if the crawlspace is severely molded it would be better and safer to have a professional deal with the mold. Mold in your crawlspace creates an unpleasant musty smell and can greatly affect the air quality in your home causing a host of health problems.
Finally, you will need to remove humidity from the crawlspace. If your crawlspace is smaller a dehumidifier designed for a large room will more than likely do the job. If your crawlspace is larger then you may need to rent a commercial grade dehumidifier. Turn it on and set the level between 35 and 50% and let it run. It will need at least 8-10 hours to do its job.
A Word to the Wise
As you can see, drying out your crawlspace is no easy task. Unless the proper precautions are taken, you may end up repeating this process after any heavy rain. Our professionals at Aqua-Guard can help remove the water and create a plan to keep the water from ever entering again. There are several options for waterproofing your crawlspace and after assessing your current crawlspace situation, our experienced professionals can explain your options. This estimate is free of charge! Solutions could include exterior grading to divert water away, sump pump installation, crawlspace waterproofing remedies, or crawlspace encapsulation. No matter the solution you can rest assured that your crawlspace will have its water problem solved! Contact us today. We are your waterproofing experts!