The DFW area is perennially in a drought, and you might think excess moisture is the last thing that could affect your pier and beam foundation. But moisture can collect under your house. If you have a damp crawl space, that could an indication that damage is building up under your foundation. Three problems could be:
1. Poor drainage away from your foundation.
All of that moisture is coming from somewhere, and it could be trapped condensation from the last heavy storm. Ideally, the ground under your house should be raised in comparison to your yard. A gentle slope is even better because it makes water drain away from the edges of your foundation.
But a damp crawlspace could mean water is pooling under your house instead. Not only can that eat away at the piers and beams directly, but it will also make the soil expand and contract unpredictably.
2. Mold or mildew might be growing on the wood.
Water doesn’t just cause direct water damage. It also encourages things to grow. Mold and mildew can start to fester on the wooden parts of your foundation. Given enough time, they can significantly weaken the wood and compromise your foundation. They can also release spores into any potential gaps in your ventilation system that sits in your foundation.
3. Pests will take shelter under your home.
Insects and rodents will also see moisture as an invitation. Crawlspaces are already good shelter for pests, and sitting water or softened wood can bring even more critters under your house. Termites and ants can break down wood just as easily as mold or mildew. And while larger pests might not directly harm your foundation, they can get into your house to cause problems with the wiring and insulation.
If your home’s crawlspace is unusually damp, don’t wait. Call in a foundation inspector from Dodson Foundation Repair to take a look.