Proper drainage under and around your home is your first line of defense and it needs your attention all year long. There are only two problems that cause crawl space moisture. One is drainage and the other is ventilation. Hampton Roads presents many challenges with our high water tables, swampy areas of land, and tides that are rising even fractions of inches a year. And constant development on open land. Water is truly a force of nature that will find its way.
Did you know that just one inch of rain on a roof that is 40x70 dumps approximately 1743 gallons of water around your house (2800 square feet of roof - just think of what size your living area is on the ground floor). That's an average of over 6600 gallons of water per year that falls around your home in an average year!
If you don't have gutters. That water is just falling all around your home. If you have gutters, are they clear so that that water is directed away from your foundation?
Are your gutters dumping right at the corners of your house? Where the water rolls back into a crawl space? What if you had gutter extensions that took that water away a couple of feet from your foundation? Maybe towards a low leaning area of the property?
Are your foundation vents or crawl space access door opening sitting level with the soil outside? This is now a point of no resistance and that will allow water to flow into your crawl space and into the block foundation of your house. This constant flow of water can erode the actual footings of your home's foundation.
Water can't recede and be absorbed into our HIGH water tables in Hampton Roads if there is nowhere for it to go. What if you have a concrete pool deck? Or maybe your neighbors do? Or maybe you took down a few trees? Did you know a mature tree can consume up to 150 gallons of water per day?
It isn't hard to see why one could have a new problem where they never did before. The overall landscape can change and our water tables rise in our coastal region.
Does this sound like something that can be corrected by "encapsulating" your crawl space with foam boards or heavy liners on the foundation walls? Just because you can no longer see it doesn't mean it's not there.
We can help in most of these cases and if not, we can recommend actions you can take or point you in the right direction.