Common Crawl Space Issues & Solutions
Many houses have crawl spaces for convenience and affordability. They allow homes to be built off the ground while keeping expenses low and allowing extra space for heating and air conditioning units or water and sewage lines. Although crawl spaces are cost-effective, they often are more exposed and vulnerable to the elements. As a result, several problems come with crawl spaces. Here are some of the most common crawl space issues:
- Moisture & Condensation
- Mold & Mildew
- High Humidity
- Missing/Loose Insulation
- Structural Issues
- High Energy Bills
Moisture & Condensation
Does your crawl space have a dirt floor? Whether you’re missing a vapor barrier or there’s not adequate coverage, having exposed ground leaves you more susceptible to excess moisture. Although the soil isn’t directly exposed to the elements, the ground still soaks up all the moisture from the surrounding area. Excess moisture is the culprit for many other common crawl space issues. If you have a moisture control problem, chances are you have a laundry list of other symptoms too.
Mold & Mildew
With moisture comes mold and mildew. Mold thrives in damp areas, feeding off decaying organic items like dead insects, leaves, and wood. As mold spores are carried through the air, a moldy crawl space can carry contaminated air throughout your home. That’s why it’s important to know the causes of mold growth and the signs of mold in your home. Mold can cause asthma, trigger allergies, and make you sick.
The more moisture is in the air, the higher the humidity. Air rises, meaning hot and humid air floating throughout the crawl space will infiltrate living spaces. Moist, humid air can cause health problems if there’s mold in the crawl space. Along with being a health hazard, humid air can also damage walls and other furnishings.
Some crawl spaces are either poorly insulated or not insulated at all. Not having the proper insulation reduces efficiency, making it harder to heat and cool your home. Even though the crawl space is underneath your home, not having insulation makes it difficult to maintain a comfortable interior temperature.
Moisture and condensation can eventually lead to extensive water damage if not treated quickly and properly. What starts as a water stain can lead to structural damage, including rusty metal, rotting wood, and sagging floors. Does your crawl space have a dirt floor? Whether you’re missing a vapor barrier or there’s not adequate coverage, having exposed ground leaves you more susceptible to excess moisture. Although the soil isn’t directly exposed to the elements, the ground still soaks up all the moisture from the surrounding area. Excess moisture is the culprit for many other common crawl space issues. If you have a moisture control problem, chances are you have a laundry list of other symptoms too (know the signs of water damage in your home).
Pests and creepy crawlies love dark and damp areas. You might not think moisture would be the cause, but dampness actually attracts wood-loving termites, ants, and other insects. Managing the moisture problem can help keep insects at bay.
Larger rodents and animals like opossums, raccoons, and skunks can also find their way into the crawl space through cracks or openings in the foundation. Sealing the crawl space will help prevent any other living creatures from making your house their home.
High Energy Bills
Maybe you haven’t seen any crawl space damage yet, but it’s possible that it could be the cause of your high energy bills. Exposed ground, little to no insulation, and zero moisture control make heating and cooling your house more challenging. The harder your heating and cooling units have to work, the more it’s going to cost you to maintain a comfortable interior temperature.
Solutions for Common Crawl Space Issues
Even though crawl spaces have their fair share of issues, there are some solutions that can easily remedy these common problems.
- Vapor Barriers: Vapor barriers are plastic or foil sheets that line the crawl space to keep moisture out. They’ll also give your crawl space a nice, clean look.
- Dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers eliminate extra moisture in the air, making it cleaner and safer to breathe.
- Encapsulation: Encapsulation seals the crawl space, strengthens waterproofing, and provides insulation.
- Insulation: Fixing any partial, missing, or loose insulation will improve efficiency and reduce energy bills.
- Drainage Services: Extending downspouts, installing French drains, and cleaning or repairing gutters are all ways to improve drainage to keep water away from the home’s foundation and out of the crawl space.
- Crawl Space Repair: Repairing or replacing any rotten wood framing, floor boards, or rusted metal can improve the structural integrity of your home.
Get a Free Crawl Space Repair Estimate
You may know you have a crawl space issue, but you might not know the root cause. Our moisture control experts would love to help diagnose the issue and find the perfect solution. Contact us today for a free estimate.
Since 2008, Managed Services Group has provided comprehensive moisture control and basement waterproofing services to homeowners throughout the Greater Richmond area. As a licensed and insured Class A contractor, we have the experience and knowledge to back up our passion for home improvement. Give us a call today at (804) 972-3007 (434-299-9382 for Charlottesville) for a free estimate. We’ll schedule an inspection with you, make a recommendation, and, in most cases, give you an estimate right on the spot.