How to Avoid Water in Your Crawlspace

September is a rainy month in Anchorage, Alaska.

As a Home Inspector, I have been privy to a number of problems that rain can generate in Anchorage homes. One of the major causes of concern that often goes unnoticed is the excess water that can accumulate in crawlspaces.

Although standing water generally does not affect a structure, it can quickly develop into issues of decay, mold growth and high moisture content throughout the home.

Naturally, it behooves homeowners to take a few minutes to examine their crawlspaces for any excess water.

See below for a few tips to help keep your crawlspace dry.

Don’t Forget!

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Tips to Keep Your Crawlspace Dry

  1. Start by checking the crawlspace sump pumps to ensure that they are working properly.
  2. Exterior drainage should also be checked. Make sure soils slope away from the foundation, gutters are clean and downspouts direct the roof run-off well away from the foundation.
  3. Water can also enter a crawlspace if it sits on top of the vapor barrier and is not being removed by the sump pump correctly.
  4. Good ventilation, particularly in damp crawl spaces, can help minimize mold growth and decay. Ventilation is usually best in the form of crawlspace floor joist passive vents, or properly installed exhaust crawlspace fans or heat recovery vents.

A helpful tip for sellers is to check on these items before the home inspector shows up. It is always more expedient for me to inspect a dry or properly maintained crawlspace. It is a pleasure to tell my client that the home they want to buy is in decent shape and without issues in the foundation.

Just like you would look under the hood of any car you are about to sell, take a few minutes to examine your crawl space. It only takes a little of your time up-front, but it could save you time and complications in the ensuing sale process.

Happy buying and selling, Everyone!

~ Jon Schultz, Home Inspector

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