Common Crawl Space Problems and How to Fix Them
In February of 2022, it was reported that roughly 77 percent of homebuyers face unexpected repair costs. Unfortunately, crawl spaces can cause unexpected costs, but what are the signs of crawl space problems?
With crawl space problems, the longer you leave the problem the more expensive crawl space repair costs can get. So to avoid this from happening you have to be able to spot the signs of a crawl space problem quickly.
The thing is, these problems can be hard to find especially if you don’t recognize the warning signs.
So if you want to learn about common crawl space problems and how to get rid of them, keep reading.
A big sign that your crawl space may have a problem is if you start to notice damp or musty smells. These smells often rise from your crawl space and linger into other areas of your property.
The smell can come from the groundwater stimulating minerals that smell bad in your soil. Another cause of odors is rodents or rodent droppings and mold.
If it rises it not only affects the smell of your home but it can also affect both your health and your family’s health.
To get rid of musty smells you’ll need to:
- Establish what the smell is and where it’s coming from
- Fully drain the crawl space, and remove any odorous items, and rodents (a professional can do this for you)
- Install a new vapor barrier or crawl space encapsulation
- Control the climate of the crawl space to ensure that the odor doesn’t come back
Another common problem with crawl spaces is having an uneven floor. This is usually because the support holding up the floor is inadequate and it can be caused by things like water damage, groundwater, and more.
However, one big cause of an uneven floor is wood rotting. So if you find this issue in your crawl space then you must pay attention to it. This is because the rotting wood can compromise the structural integrity of both your crawl space and other areas of your home.
The main cause for wood rotting is moisture in your crawl space. This can be caused by moisture from the groundwater, from the damp earth, or outdoor humidity.
How to get rid of an uneven floor:
- Establish whether the areas that need repairing or replacing
- Remove the floor and insulation
- Remove the rotting wood and contaminated items including groundwater
- Kill any wood-destroying fungus and thoroughly clean the area
- Replace the wooden beams and flooring
Mold and Mildew
When it comes to mold there are different stages, and some stages can cause bigger problems than others. For example, if you have mild mold then it may be fairly quick to get rid of it.
However, if the mold has been building up for a long time then it can start to create bigger issues for you.
The mold is usually caused by a high level of humidity or moisture. Mold can rise into the upper home and cause problems not only for your property but also for your family.
Some of the symptoms that mold can cause are asthma, bronchitis, itchy eyes, migraines, and breathing problems. This is why mold in your crawl space should be taken seriously and dealt with right away.
To get rid of mold you’ll need to:
- Locate the mold and access it while wearing protective gear
- Clean the affected area with a foaming spray specifically for mold
- Use a mold-removal cleaner to kill any mold
- Wait until the affected areas dry then scrub them with a bristle brush
- Dispose of all the contaminated materials appropriately
- Prevent future mold by controlling the climate of the crawl space (dehumidifiers are effective for this)
Of course, you can always get a professional to do crawl space repair for you.
Aside from mold, standing water can cause you a lot of problems. Some homeowners don’t realize that your crawl space can flood and fill with water.
The water that gathers in your crawl space can stay for long periods of time and it may not be draining because there is a vapor barrier.
Not only this, but the water will try to escape by releasing itself as moisture into the air which can cause even more problems.
So if you see pools of water forming on your floor then it’s a good idea to check on your crawl space.
To get rid of standing water you’ll need to:
- Locate the standing water
- Use a dry vacuum or a submersible pump to drain the water
- Remove any saturated or contaminated items
- Dehumidify the space
- Repair and replace any damage
Whether it’s in the summer or the winter, your floors should never feel cold because of your crawl space. Especially if your crawl space has been sealed off with insulation.
So if you notice that your floors are colder than usual, it could be cold airflow coming from your crawl space.
In this case, either your insulation has been damaged or it wasn’t properly insulated in the first place. Whatever the reason is, it can cause your energy bills to increase particularly in the winter.
How to get rid of cold floors:
- If you have poor insulation then remove it
- Identify areas where the insulation is missing
- Add high-quality insulation and ensure there are no air gaps
Whether it’s cold air or any other problem that you find with your crawl space, you can always use a professional to take care of it for you.
Eliminating Crawl Space Problems
While it’s not always possible to prevent crawl space problems it is possible to fix them. We hope that this blog has helped you to learn more about common crawl space problems.
If you ever find that you have a crawl space issue or if you need help with waterproofing your home, then reach out and contact us.