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WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
Stop crawl space water entry: how to stop water from entering a building crawl space. Here we explain the three basic approaches to stopping crawl space leaks & water entry.
This article series describes the steps needed to get into, inspect, clean, and then dry out a building crawl space. We give a step by step crawl space entry, inspection, cleanout, dryout and keep dry guide explains how to get into or inspect a crawl space even if there is no ready access, how to assess crawl space conditions, how to stop water that is entering the crawl area, how to dry out the space, how to clean up and if necessary disinfect or sanitize the crawl space, and how to keep out crawl space water and moisture in the future.
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This means attend to roof gutters and downspouts - the most common cause of crawl space water entry or high moisture in most areas.
Our page top photo shows frozen water in a wet and cold crawl space below a condominium in Poughkeepsie, New York. The very wet masonry blocks along the rear wall of the crawl area and water stains higher on these walls tell us where the water is coming from.
The photo at left shows another crawl space with standing water.
If a building site is unusually wet or springs are adjacent to the building foundation, additional steps such as the installation of a drainage system and sump pump inside or exterior foundation drainage and waterproofing could be necessary.
But before pursuing those costly measures, be absolutely certain that roof runoff and surface runoff have been directed well away from the building.
Inspect the building exterior, from roof to ground, for sources of water that need to be directed away from the structure.
Watch out: by far the most common source of crawl space water entry is improper handling of roof runoff. Spilling water along the building foundation wall because gutters are clogged, leaky, or absent, concentrates water in that location, ultimately overwhelming any foundation drain system.
Don't assume that just because gutters and downspouts are installed that they are working properly. Look more closely for signs of gutter overflow, clogged or leaky downspouts, drip lines under the roof eaves and similar clues. At GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS we include roof drainage system inspection & diagnosis details.
If you see water stains high on the crawl space foundation wall it's a good guess that water is entering from either roof spillage by the foundation or by in-slope grade directing surface water against the building. See GRADING, DRAINAGE & SITE WORK.
Also see BASEMENT WATERPROOFING and see FOUNDATION WATERPROOFING that discuss various methods used to keep water and excessive moisture out of buildings or to get rid of water that has leaked into a building.
Stop water from entering the crawl space from inside sources
Also see FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING.
Should you ventilate the crawl space ?
Crawl space venting – this is a debated topic as in humid weather venting outside air into a cool crawl space might increase crawl space moisture.
When our onsite inspection indicates a long-standing moisture problem in such an area the best current advice is to stop venting the crawl space and to convert the crawl space to a dry, conditioned space.
That means we close off crawl space vents, dry out the area, and add some heat to it.
At CRAWL SPACE DEHUMIDIFICATION we explain the use of heat, dehumidifiers, or crawl space exhaust vents to try to improve the humidity level in crawlspaces.
Crawl space venting practices and building codes specifying crawl space vent areas also discussed at CRAWL SPACE GROUND COVERS.
Watch out: in some conditions, dust containment, negative air, and more protective gear or help from professionals may be needed.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: how much will it cost me to dry out my crawl space?
hey first off great site, very informative.
Questions & answers or comments about how to dry out a wet crawl space & prevent future crawl space water entry.
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