How to Solve the Foundation Moisture Problems During Winter

As winter approaches, so do foundation moisture problems. Depending on the type of foundation you have, you should be on the lookout for different signs of foundation moisture problems.

Unlike slab foundations, pier and beam foundations tend to have more exposed wood joists therefore experiencing frequent moisture related problems in winter.


Signs and Solutions of Foundation Moisture Problems

Bad Odors

Musty smells in the house and crawl space are a definite sign of moisture problems in your foundation during winter. Even little water will aid in the growth of mold which tends to produce a musty smelling gaseous byproduct. The solution to this problem is to keep the humidity low by waterproofing your foundation, installing a drainage system or a crawlspace vapor barrier.

Related: Proper drainage can prevent costly foundation repairs for Los Angeles homeowners 

Dry Rot

Dry rot is a wood decaying fungus that thrives in the presence of moisture. As the dry rot thrives, the wood joist get rotten and weakens after which they break and bring down whatever they are holding. Keeping the humidity low in the in the crawlspace will help prevent dry rot from damaging the wooden joists and also treating of wood joists will aid in the prevention of  dry rot.

Mold or Mildew in Crawlspace

Poorly ventilated foundations will enable the seepage of water into the crawlspace or basement during winter. As the water settles, moisture increases and encourages the growth of mold and mildew in your crawlspace or basement which can not only damage your crawlspace but is very harmful to your health. The solution to mold and mildew is keeping water away from the foundation by installing a drainage system, or waterproofing the crawlspace and foundation.

Related : Drainage Problems and Your Foundation


When there’s too much moisture in the crawlspace or basement, it accumulates on surfaces into water droplets through a process called condensation. Condensation in your basement or crawlspace is a sign of extreme moisture and should be quickly resolved to prevent bad odors, mold or dry rot from accumulating.

Water in Crawlspace or Basement

Standing water in your basement or crawlspace is a sign of bad drainage or faulty foundation. Standing water will aid in the breeding of insects, thriving of mold and they rot. Installing a proper drainage system and waterproofing your foundation and crawlspace area will prevent any water from settling in your foundation.

Related: It’s rain season again

Contact a Professional

If you have any questions or concerns regarding foundation moisture problems, contact a professional foundation contractor. For a free* foundation inspection and estimate, call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239.