Rain, snow, plumbing leaks, condensation and landscape irrigation are all sources of water that can silently turn your crawlspace or basement into a home maintenance nightmare. Damp conditions or standing water can lead to serious damage in the form of wood-destroying insects, rot and mold. These conditions will eventually cause structural damage that is costly to repair, as well as contributing to poor indoor air quality that is detrimental to your health and comfort.
Winter is an optimal time to inspect your crawlspace, as it allows you to see wetness on the ground and where it is coming from. You are also less likely to encounter insects and other pests during the winter than in the warmer months. Look for standing water, wetness or discoloration of the foundation walls, or a damp feel or smell.
One of your best defenses against crawlspace moisture is your termite control inspector. By scheduling an annual inspection for termites, you’ll likely receive a professional inspection for standing water, high moisture levels and the presence of pests in your crawlspace. Many water proofers and pest control companies periodically offer free crawlspace surveys with checklists regarding your crawlspace “health.”
Regardless of who performs your crawlspace inspection, make it a priority and take immediate action to stop any water intrusion. There’s nothing worse than ignoring this dark, scary place until the day you are trying to sell your home, and an inspector discovers a problem.