Skip to Main Content

Want a Dry Crawl Space? Avoid These 7 Things

Maintaining a home is a big responsibility, and it can be even more difficult if your house is built on top of a crawl space.

This one-to-three-foot “buffer” between the ground and your house can be functional, but it also has many drawbacks and challenges. 

A wet crawl space can spell trouble in many ways for your home and your family, so keeping it dry and healthy is all-important as a homeowner.

In this article, we explore some commonly used but flawed repair options, what does work, and how local professionals can help with trusted crawl space moisture solutions.

water in crawl space

Dry Out Your Crawl Space: What NOT to Do 

Not only can a wet crawl space negatively impact your health, but it can put the structural stability of your home in danger. The key to a safe and healthy home is drying out your wet crawl space and using proper crawl space moisture control. 

While there are many options for crawl space repair and encapsulation, some just don’t stand the test of time.  

Here’s a list of what not to do when considering how to dry out your crawl space. 

1. Do Nothing

Your crawl space is generally out of sight and out of mind, and it may be tempting to not pay any attention to it.

But your crawl space will not dry out on its own, and any water or moisture issues lingering in this space will only continue to get worse. This also puts your health and the structural integrity of your home at risk, and repairs down the road may be even more expensive.

2. Spread Sand and Place Fans

While sand can be used to cover the dirt floor and help absorb water, this does nothing to address the lingering moisture. Fans placed under your house will only circulate this moisture and the unconditioned air in the crawl space and throughout the rest of the home.

3. Install 6-mil Plastic Just on the Ground

standing water on crawl space vapor barrier

The plastic liners and vapor barriers often sold at hardware stores are very thin and generally do not cover your entire crawl space. They also can puncture easily and condensation continues to form.

This method also does not address the unconditioned air that enters through the walls, vents, dirt floor, and rim joists.

4. Apply Spray Foam

Spray foam can be a great insulating material to help improve energy efficiency, but it does not belong in a crawl space.

It ends up locking moisture in the wood flooring system, which can accelerate rot and decay. The foam also can cover and obstruct any utilities, wiring, and piping running through the crawl space, as well as impede termite and other inspections.

5. Seal Vents and Install a Dehumidifier

It’s important to cut off a major source of moisture and outside air, as well as condition the air in your crawl space, but these are only part of the solution.

Also, typical dehumidifiers are not powerful enough to handle crawl space humidity, and they do not address any leaking or standing water. These methods also do not fully address the various ways unconditioned air can enter the crawl space.

6. Invest in Improper or Partial Encapsulation

bad vapor barrier

While many companies claim to offer crawl space encapsulation, it may not be an all-encompassing project, and corners may be cut for the sake of a quick installation.

Wet insulation may not be removed; vents, pipes, and penetrations may not be sealed; vapor barrier seams may be stapled instead of taped; walls may be left bare and not insulated; groundwater may not be addressed; a termite inspection gap may not be left after solutions are installed; a cheap dehumidifier may be installed; and piers may not be properly wrapped.

7. Attempt DIY Projects

The crawl space is a tight, delicate, and dangerous area underneath your home. If you venture there alone, your safety could be at risk. It also could be difficult for you to install any repairs.

We at Ohio Basement Authority care about your personal health and safety, as well as that of your home. That’s why it’s best to rely on our expert team to inspect your crawl space and deploy the best permanent repair solutions based on its needs. 

Signs Your Crawl Space Needs to Be Repaired

So, if it’s a bad idea to venture into your crawl space on your own, how are you going to know something is wrong with it? 

sagging upper floor with cracked tile

Keep an eye out for these problem signs throughout the rest of your home that can indicate the presence of crawl space water and moisture: 

How Professionals Dry Out a Crawl Space 

When you work with the professional team at Ohio Basement Authority, you will get a complete, customizable solution for your crawl space problems. We thoroughly inspect your home and crawl space before recommending any plans for repair. We want to make sure the solutions we install are the right fit for what’s going on in your house. 

The process can vary depending on the situation in your crawl space, but we typically address repairs and drying out a crawl space in the following ways: 

insulation, vapor barrier, sump pump, and dehumidifier installed in crawl space
  • Address Crawl Space Water Removal with Drainage: An interior drainage system and a sump pump will be installed to intercept and remove leaking water and groundwater. 
  • Properly Seal Vents: Vents are sealed off from the inside to prevent air and water intrusion, as well as make it more difficult for pests to get inside.
  • Install Insulation Panels: Fiberglass can easily fail and harbor pests and mold, but our insulation panels are thick and durable for proper wall insulation. They also are Class A Fire-Rated and have an integrated termiticide. 
  • Full Encapsulation with a Vapor Barrier: Our true 20-mil fiber-reinforced vapor barrier completely seals your crawl space from the earth. It is thick and durable, puncture-resistant, and comes with a long-term warranty. 
  • Crawl Space Moisture Control with a Dehumidifier: Our energy-efficient, self-draining crawl space dehumidifier conditions the air, helps reduce odors, and minimizes the opportunity for mold growth. 
OBA inspector meeting with homeowners

Trust Ohio Basement Authority for Your Crawl Space Repair Needs

Along with drying your crawl space, Ohio Basement Authority can help you create a safer and healthier living environment. Contact us to schedule a free crawl space inspection and repair quote with our experienced professionals.

Our team has been repairing and protecting crawl spaces in homes throughout Central and Southern Ohio for 15 years. We’re excited to help you, too! Simply contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff today to get started!

Holly Richards-Purpura

Holly Richards-Purpura

Content Writer

Holly is a Content Writer for Groundworks who has written and edited web content for the foundation services industry for almost 10 years. With a background in journalism, her passion for the written word runs deep. Holly lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband. Along with educating homeowners, she also has a big heart for the Big Apple.

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Ohio Basement Authority Service area

Our Locations

Akron Office

429 Portage Blvd
Kent, OH 44240

Cincinnati Office

1270 Hillsmith Dr.
Cincinnati, OH 45215

Cleveland Office

7950 Bavaria Rd.
Twinsburg, OH 44087

Columbus Office

2421 McGaw Rd.
Obetz, OH 43207

Dayton Office

70 Birch Alley, Suite 240
Beavercreek, OH, 45440

Dublin Office

5650 Blazer Memorial Pkwy, #124
Dublin, OH 43017