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Is Water in the Crawl Space Normal?

Wet ground in a crawl space.

Finding water in the crawl space of your home is worrisome and it’s not normal.

It’s important to deal with this issue to avoid damage and health problems. Let’s explore in detail why water might end up in your crawl space, what problems it can cause, and how you can fix or prevent these issues.

Why Does Water Get Into the Crawl Space?

Water accumulation in crawl spaces is a common issue that many homeowners encounter, and it can stem from a variety of sources. Each source contributes differently to the problem, but they all share the potential to cause significant damage if not addressed promptly.

Understanding these sources is the first step towards taking effective preventative measures.

  • Leaking Pipes: Sometimes, the plumbing under your house can have leaks. These leaks can drip or gush water into the crawl space.
  • Foundation Cracks: If there are cracks or openings in the foundation of your house, water can seep through these and into the crawl space.
  • Improper Grading: The ground around your house should slope away to help water flow away from your home. If it doesn’t, water may gather near the foundation and leak into the crawl space.
  • Inadequate Drainage: Without proper gutters and downspouts, water from rain might not be channeled away from the house properly. This can lead to water pooling around the base of your home.
  • Groundwater Pressure: Sometimes, especially after a lot of rain, the groundwater level can rise. This pressure can push water into your crawl space.

What Problems Can Water in the Crawl Space Cause?

The presence of water in your crawl space is not just a minor inconvenience; it can lead to a series of problematic outcomes that impact the integrity of your home and the health of its inhabitants. Identifying these potential issues early on is crucial for maintaining a safe and stable home environment.

Rotting wood, falling insulation, and rusted pipes in a damp crawl space.
  • Structural Damage: Water can make wooden parts of your house’s structure weak and rotten, which might risk the house’s stability.
  • Mold and Mildew: Damp conditions are perfect for mold and mildew to grow. This can spread to other parts of your house and cause health problems.
  • Pests: Many pests, like termites and mice, are attracted to moist areas. They might start living in your crawl space if it’s wet.
  • Health Risks: Mold and other allergens in a wet crawl space can cause respiratory problems and other health issues for people living in the house.

How to Spot Water Problems in Your Crawl Space

Being able to recognize the early signs of water issues in your crawl space is essential for preventing the escalation of potential damages. Here are some indicators that homeowners should be vigilant about:

Using Crawl Space Encapsulation to Control Moisture

Crawl space encapsulation is a comprehensive method used to protect and improve the conditions under your home. This process involves sealing the crawl space with various materials and systems to prevent water-related issues that can lead to structural damage, mold growth, pest infestations, and health risks.

Here’s how encapsulation can address these issues using specific solutions:

Person installing a vapor barrier.

Vapor Barrier

A vapor barrier is a thick, durable plastic sheet that covers the ground and sometimes the walls of the crawl space. This barrier prevents moisture from the soil from entering the crawl space.

It also significantly reduces the risk of moisture damaging the wooden structures of your home. By keeping the area dry, the vapor barrier helps prevent the wood from becoming weak and rotten, maintaining the stability of your home’s foundation.

Dehumidifier in a crawl space.


Installing a dehumidifier in the crawl space helps control the humidity levels, creating a dry and stable environment. This is crucial for preventing the growth of mold and mildew, which thrive in damp conditions.

By reducing humidity, the dehumidifier helps prevent the spread of these fungi, thus safeguarding the air quality in your home and reducing health risks associated with mold exposure.

Close up of a crawl space drain.

Crawl Space Drainage

A proper drainage system is essential for effectively managing water that may enter the crawl space. This system often includes interior perimeter drains that channel water away from the foundation and toward a sump pump.

This removes any water accumulating around or under your home, preventing it from causing damage.

Sump pump in a crawl space.

Sump Pump

A sump pump is an integral part of the crawl space encapsulation system. This device pumps out water collected by the drainage system. By actively removing water, the sump pump prevents water from pooling and stagnating in the crawl space, thus reducing the likelihood of structural damage and pest infestation.

Foam board insulation being installed.

Thermal Foam Board Insulation

Attaching foam board insulation to the walls of the encapsulated crawl space will improve energy efficiency. This type of insulation helps maintain a consistent temperature in the crawl space, reducing the risk of condensation and the energy costs associated with heating and cooling your home.

Additionally, it contributes to the overall comfort and thermal stability of the living spaces above.

3D diagram of crawl space vent covers.

Vent Covers

Sealing off the crawl space vents with durable vent covers is another key step in encapsulation. This prevents outside air, which can be humid or carry moisture, from entering the crawl space.

It also helps keep out pests and rodents that might otherwise enter through vent openings, seeking shelter in the damp and dark environment of an unsealed crawl space.

Saving Money and Energy With Encapsulation

Keeping your crawl space dry can help you save money, especially on heating and cooling. Damp air is harder to heat or cool, so by reducing moisture, your home’s heating and cooling systems don’t have to work as hard.

This can lower your energy bills. The amount you can save depends on your home’s size, the climate you live in, and how your house is built.

Understanding the Impact of Climate and Soil

The climate in your area and the type of soil around your home can affect how much moisture gets into your crawl space. Places with a lot of rain or near large bodies of water might have more issues with crawl space moisture. Also, certain types of soil that hold water or drain poorly can make moisture problems worse, needing specific solutions for those conditions.


Signs you may need a dehumidifier include visible mold growth, musty odors, condensation on insulation or pipes, and increased allergy symptoms due to poor indoor air quality.

The cost of crawl space insulation varies based on the severity of the crawl space condition, its size, and the solutions needed. Following a complimentary inspection, our experts at Dry Pro will provide you with a detailed, obligation-free estimate, including various financing options

The water pumped out by the sump pump is typically directed away from your home’s foundation to a place where it can drain without causing problems, such as a municipal storm drain or a dry well. It’s important to ensure the discharge point is legal and doesn’t cause water issues for neighbors.

Schedule a Free Crawl Space Inspection With Dry Pro

Dry Pro installer taping crawl space liner to the wall.

It’s important to take water in your crawl space seriously. By understanding the causes, recognizing the signs, and using effective solutions, you can protect your home from damage, make it healthier to live in, and save on energy costs.

Regular checks and professional help are important to ensure your crawl space stays dry and useful. Dry Pro Foundation and Crawlspace Specialists can help; contact us for a free inspection today!

Related Resources

Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.

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