‘Standing water’ in your home or business’s crawlspace (under house) can cause a variety of structural problems and health concerns.
Excess humidity caused by the evaporation of standing water or wet soil in your crawlspace can cause mould growth on the wooden foundation and the bottom of sub flooring. It can also cause water damage warping or buckling of the sub or finish flooring and mould growth in the living area of the building.
This normally occurs near the floor where the wall and floor meet. If your home has H.V.A.C. (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) ducting in the crawlspace and the system is compromised with excess moisture or sewage, microbial amplification may result. All of these issues can create unhealthy indoor air quality.
Plumbing leak in the crawlspace
If your home or office has a plumbing leak in the crawlspace, whether from a freshwater line or sewer-drain, chances are; your plumber will not be able to access the problem safely without having the area pumped free of standing water and/or having the sewage waste cleaned up and perhaps the area dried out.
You will need to find an experienced water damage restoration contractor willing to do the “dirty work” of pumping out your crawlspace… and if need be, cleaning up any raw sewage waste a broken drain-line left behind. This will help get your plumber to the leaky area safely, so he can make the necessary repairs or improvements and get your home or business back up and running again.
Your water damage restoration contractor should also let you know if you have any water-damaged (wet) structure in your crawlspace and develop a drying plan and estimate to remediate the problem.
Broken sewer line – a really ‘stinky’ problem
A broken sewer line in your crawlspace and the subsequent release of raw sewage onto your crawlspace soil can create an awful odour problem in your home or business. Also, there are possible health concerns to the constant inhalation of sewer gas from an open or broken sewer line.
If you have this problem, you will need to find a quality water damage contractor to help you. By attaching a negative air machine or sewer gas evacuator to your home while the repairs or remediation is in progress, your contractor can remove all the foul odours in your home, with the added benefit of introducing fresh outside air to your crawlspace. Another benefit of this process is that the moving air (especially when it is hot and dry outdoors) helps to dry the cement and wooden pier blocks as well as the wet soil.
Your soil may have to be removed
If your crawlspace soil is contaminated with raw sewage from a broken sewer line, your water damage restoration contractor may advise you to have some of the soil in the affected area removed. The amount of soil to be removed will depend upon the degree of contamination as well as the length of time the problem had been occurring.
The remaining exposed soil can then be treated and possibly covered with thick plastic. New soil can then be filled back in.
This process should only be done by companies experienced in this type of “crawlspace sewage remediation”. The most important thing to remember in all of these scenarios is the building occupants’ and the remediation workers’ health and safety. Health issues must be addressed and paid attention to during all phases of crawlspace remediation.
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