Most people would think that having a moist crawl space is nothing to worry about because it’s hidden under their house. After all, crawl spaces usually get wet in severe climates and weather conditions. However, leaving them moist may result in more problems than you think, such as higher electric bills, harmful molds, and dust mites.
Damp crawl spaces release moist air, which is more difficult to heat or cool, resulting in higher energy consumption. Unfortunately, molds love this kind of environment and will surely thrive in wet crawl spaces, causing damage to wood and other organic materials. And don’t forget about the dust mites that may trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
If you have moist crawl spaces, you probably have plumbing leaks. Typically, this situation calls for a professional leak repair service to ensure the root of the problem is properly addressed. But if you’re on a tight budget, you may consider fixing them yourself.
Here are some expert-approved tips that can help you fix your plumbing leaks under your home:
Determine Where The Problematic Pipes Are
The first thing you need to do is determine the location of the leaks. Do a thorough inspection of the area where you noticed a patch of moisture or heard trickling water. However, there’s no certainty that the problems are under that slab of wood where patches are visible.
Generally, the best way to find leaks in your house is to hire professional plumbers who can do it for you. They are equipped with advanced devices that help detect leaks faster and more accurately.
But if you want to take care of it yourself, start checking the pipes for leaks or damage. According to experts, these are usually found in toilet areas, possibly allowing water to seep under your home. Moreover, if you see a puddle of water underneath, you’d want to remove it quickly before it causes serious problems later on.
After locating the leaking pipes, here are three ways you can fix them:
- Replace Or Repair Broken Pipes
Once you’ve located the leaking pipe, it’s time to replace or repair it. Check if the leak is near the slab and manageable for do-it-yourself (DIY) repair. If it’s located deep within your home, it would be best to call in a professional plumber to make sure the repairs won’t compromise the structure of your home.
If you’re taking the DIY route, start by removing the floor slabs. Then, use a simple cement cutter or jackhammer to remove the concrete. This process will generate a lot of dust, so it’s best to cover the furniture before starting.
Then, remove the soil, which may be contaminated by waste materials below. After this, you may install or repair the pipes and finish the job by reinstating the concrete and the flooring.
However, if you find this a daunting task, you better leave the job to the professionals.
- Reroute Your Plumbing Line
Each plumbing problem has a different rerouting solution. Usually, rerouting is best applied to single-floor houses, but if you’re living in a house with multiple levels, you might need to consider hiring a professional to do the job for you.
After locating the leaks, create a new line above the ground that may pass through your walls or even your attic. Then, apply some solutions to hide the repair marks.
If you’re not familiar with the rerouting process, don’t hesitate to seek professional help, whether you’re living in a one-story or two-story house.
- Reline Your Pipes
Before anything else, check if your pipes are suitable for relining. If your pipes are severely crushed, dented, or disjointed, pipe relining may not be the appropriate solution. Instead, consider replacing them with a new set of pipes. However, if the pipes still look fine, pipe relining may suffice.
To reline your pipes, start by cleaning the pipes properly with a jet cleaner and ensuring all grime and debris have been removed thoroughly. Then, prepare the liner to be inserted inside the pipe.
The next step is to insert an inflatable bladder inside the liner. The bladder will make sure the liner is in proper position and alignment as it hardens.
If you see patches of water beneath your flooring and carpets, address the issue right away. Moist crawl spaces and slabs provide the ideal environment for molds, dust mites, and pests. These tiny critters will cause health concerns for your household unless you fix the underlying problem.
You may consider three approaches in addressing slab leaks: pipe replacement or repair, pipe relining, and pipe rerouting. Each strategy works differently, depending on the severity of your plumbing problem.
However, it would be best to hire a professional plumber to determine which strategy is suitable for the plumbing leak in your crawl space. Also, an expert can help you avoid additional costs down the line by detecting leaks and providing the appropriate solution.