If you have a crawl space under your home that does not get much airflow, chances are the structures under your house stay wet. If so, there are certain hazards, both structural and health, that result from having a wet crawl space under your house.
Rots Wooden Support Structures
One of the main hazards of a wet crawl space is that the constant exposure to moisture can rot any wooden structures inside the space. This rotting can affect the strength of the support beams, compromising the integrity of the structures.
If the wood stays wet for several years, the rot that occurs can make the beams compress and start to break. When this happens, the floor these beams support may start to sag, possibly leading to holes in your floor if you step on a support beam that has rotted through.
Encourages Mold Growth
Another problem with a wet crawl space is that it encourages mold growth. Along with the constant moisture, the minimal airflow and darkness make an ideal environment in which mold can thrive. Once it takes root in your crawl space under your home, mold can cause a couple of issues for your house and your health.
First, mold contributes to the further rotting of the support beams. In areas where there is fungal growth, the wood stays even wetter because the mold blocks all airflow to the surface. Also, the mold secretes fluids that further soften the wood, leading to further structural breakdown and weakening.
Second, spores from the mold can make their way up through the floorboards as well as penetrate any holes in the ductwork so that they circulate throughout your home. Once they are in the air of your home, the mold spores could adversely affect the health of you and your family.
Along with rotting wood and possible health risks for your family, a wet crawl space can attract termites to the wooden structures. Since the wood is usually soft and weak, termites find it an ideal location for their new nest since they do not have to work as hard to burrow into it.
And if you also have mold growth, the possibility of an infestation is increased. Not only does the mold speed up wood rot, but its secretions make it taste better to the termites
If your home's crawl space constantly stays wet, you risk structural damage, health risks to your family, and possible termite infestation. To keep these scenarios, contact a damage contractor to discuss your options for crawl space waterproofing.