Understanding how water gets into crawl spaces is important for two reasons. First, if you know how water gets in, you can look for signs of water intrusion before a problem gets out of hand. Second, you will be able to choose the right waterproofing solution if you can identify how water is getting into your crawl space. So whether you've already noticed signs of water damage or are concerned about keeping your crawl space safe, read on to discover the three most common ways water gets into your crawl space.
The ground holds varying amounts of water at different depths. When it rains or snows, the ground may become saturated with water, raising the ground water level. This can cause water to seep into your crawl space. This is especially common if your crawl space has a dirt floor and is usually visible as standing water on your floor. However, it can also seep through the walls of your crawl space if they are not properly waterproofed.
As the name implies, surface water comes from the surface of the earth down to your crawl space. Common reasons you may get surface water leaking into your crawl space involve gutter spouts emptying too close to your foundation or a leaky pipe within your home. If water stains appear at the top of your crawl space walls, you will want to look for surface sources and direct the water away from your home as soon as possible. Mitigating excess water can protect your crawl space and help reinforce any waterproofing method you decide on.
The third way water gets into your home is through evaporation and condensation. Even if you live in a dry area, the moisture in the ground will evaporate, move into your crawl space, and then condense in the cooler, open space. Condensation often results in low amounts of moisture that can do significant damage over longer periods of time. If you see water droplets along pipes, wooden beams, and the walls, this is probably due to condensation.
Once you understand the source of your water issues, you can decide how to protect your home from damage. Most solutions involve creating a barrier between the dirt floor of your crawl space and your home. This can help prevent groundwater and evaporation issues. A sump system can also be helpful in case of any unforseen issues.
If you're dealing with water issues in your crawl space, consider speaking with a crawl space waterproofing expert to end the issue entirely.