Water Damage In Your Crawlspace
If there is one thing about water damage, it is that it has the unique ability to crop up pretty much anywhere in your home. This includes places that a) you may not think to look, or b) places that are all but impossible to get to and work with. For homes with crawlspaces, both options tend to apply equally. Crawlspaces don’t even allow you to stand up as you would in your basement, and reaching all of the water that may accumulate there can prove to be problematic.
There are a number of problems that go with having a crawlspace. Excess humidity caused by the evaporation of standing water or wet soil can cause mold growth, both on the wooden foundation as well as the bottom of the sub-flooring. It may also produce water damage related warping and buckling of the finish flooring and mold growth in the actual living area of the home. If there is HVAC ducting in the crawlspace and it is compromised by excess moisture, or worse, sewage, then it may result in an unhealthy indoor air quality.
If there is plumbing running through the crawlspace, then any leaks may result in serious damage, especially if your plumber is unable to reach the source of the leaks and shut it off. The crawlspace will have to be pumped free of any and all standing water and the area dried out, not something that most crawlspaces lend themselves to readily. A water restoration professional will be able to devise a plan for removing the excess water and drying the affected area out completely in order to avoid damage.
If the water in your crawlspace is sewage based, then you may have a whole new set of problems on your hands, since raw sewage presents not only a disagreeable odor within the home, but also a very real health threat, what with the presence of harmful bacteria, fungi, parasites, and other toxins present. You don’t even have to come into contact with the water, simply inhaling sewage fumes is enough to cause serious health concerns. A qualified and competent water damage contractor will be able to remove the sewage based water problem while simultaneously using a negative air machine or sewer gas evacuator to remove all of the disagreeable odors within the home, making the air safe and more comfortable to breath. It also introduces fresh air back into the crawlspace, making it a more stable environment. The moving air also helps to dry the cement and wooden pier blocks as well as the wet soil in and around your crawlspace.
Speaking of the soil, it may have to be removed as a part of the restoration process, especially if it has been contaminated by sewage problems. The amount of soil removed will depend on the level of the contamination and the length of time that the problem has existed. The remaining soil may be treated and covered with thick plastic for an added layer of protection.
This type of work should only be performed by a trained and experienced water damage restoration company. Health issues will need to be addressed and paid proper attention to during all phases of the operation.