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Do You Need a Sump Pump in the Crawl Space?

A sump pump needs to be installed to keep the crawl space dry. With it, you will ensure the stability and safety of your home.

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One of the biggest problems a homeowner can face is a flooded or even a humid crawl space. High moisture levels can damage the foundation of the home, its structural integrity, lower the air quality, and make the home far less comfortable to live in.  

Luckily, there are ways to deal with this problem before it even arises. Installing a sump pump in the crawl space is one of them. It will remove the excess water from the home and take it outside where it can’t do any damage. 

Crawl space sump pump

Why Does Crawl Space Flooding and Humidity Happen?  

There’s a variety of reasons why a crawl space may get wet and it’s important for homeowners to remove the water as well as to address the underlying cause of the problem and find a way to fix it. Unfortunately, it takes so much more than drying out the crawl space to determine the cause of the problem.  

This is why a professional should examine the crawl space to find the source of the humidity or flooding and recommend the next step. That’s the best way to get to the bottom of the problem and choose the best option to fix it. Here are just some of the reasons why you may be experiencing flooding issues in your crawl space:  

  • When the drains and gutters are full, groundwater may get into the crawl space and end up damaging the wooden construction in the process.  
  • If the water seems to be coming from nowhere, it is probably coming from the oversaturated soil. This can happen during heavy rainfall that is not rare in areas such as Grand Rapids, MI.  
  • A lot of pipes run through the crawl space and if they leak, they can cause standing water in this area. Sometimes the cause of the leak isn’t a hole in the pipe, just a loose connection between two pipes.  

How Can Humidity Damage a Crawl Space? 

Keeping water away from your crawl space isn’t just about preventing an inconvenience, it’s also a way to protect your home from the damage caused by moisture. Not only can it cause your wooden elements to rot leading to structural issues in the long run, but it can also create a pleasant and hospitable environment for pests.  

Wet and dark places such as a crawl space attract insects and rodents, which carry a variety of different diseases and infections. They can also cause damage to the property and make it inhabitable, at least until they are exterminated.  

A humid crawl space can cause your energy bills to go up since humid air can infiltrate your living area and make you use your HVAC system more.  

What Does a Sump Pump Do?  

A sump pump is used to move the water out of a crawl space and away from the home’s perimeter where it can’t cause any harm to the structure. The best time to install a sump pump in your crawl space is before you notice any water or humidity damage. Since the water can infiltrate a crawl space much easier than, for example, a basement, a sump pump is a solution that every homeowner with a crawl space should consider.  

How to Maintain a Sump Pump 

A pump needs to be maintained to work properly and protect the crawl space from water damage. It’s activated when there’s enough water in the pit and it’s recommended to make sure that the pump is functional even when it is not needed.  

The best way to do so is to pour a bucket of water into the sump pit. That will mimic the rainfall and it should activate the pump. It’s also useful to periodically check the valves and the pipes, just to make sure they are connected and working.  

Crawl Space Encapsulation 

A sump pump isn’t enough to keep the crawl space dry. This area should be encapsulated, as well. That’s done by installing a vapor barrier used to stop the humidity from entering the area below your home. The barrier is attached to the walls and floors of the crawl space.  

Do you wish to install a sump pump in your crawl space? Before you take any further steps, schedule a free inspection with an expert from FSM. They will help you choose the pump that will best suit your needs and install it properly.

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