Crawl Space Care
YOUR CRAWL SPACE DETERMINES THE HEALTH OF YOUR HOME’S FOUNDATION
The purpose of a crawl space in your home is to provide structure and creating an air space which keeps your home off the earth. It provides an area for equipment installed in your home which is more accessible to homeowners and contractors without sacrificing valuable living space in your Home’s floor plan.
The “pro” accessibility advantages of a crawl space in lieu of a basement is that the Homes infrastructure equipment, electrical, plumbing, HVAC system, and water filtration system and water heater, can all be located within the uninhabitable area of a crawl space.
The “con” to a crawl space, in most cases, is that the entire area of the crawl space has only excavated soil trapped underneath it. Its common practice for builders will lay down a polyethylene vapor barrier but some just leave it in an as excavated state. The purpose of a vapor barrier is to limit any moisture infiltration that could allow your crawl space to get humid or wet. In the construction of your home, the builders will add air flow vents for your home to breathe but unfortunately they are not always effective due to the under sizing of the vents for the crawl space area.
There is no such thing as a perfect foundation. A crawlspace foundation is made up of concrete and there are two rules that every contractor knows about concrete, it hardens and it cracks. It is almost guaranteed to do both. Concrete and block foundations usually have at least a few cracks. The key is recognizing which are insignificant and which are serious. The mistake is ignoring any cracks! After construction and over a period of time, your home’s foundation will shift and settle into position.
Why should you encapsulate your crawlspace?
Small and Large Cracks
Small and large cracks in the crawlspace foundation will appear and are usually a sign of some type of foundation settlement. Holes or cracks should be located and repaired as soon as possible, as they are the easiest way for water and unwanted pests to enter your home.
Do a thorough check for pooling water in your basement? Stagnant water is an open invitation for insects and small animals as well as mold and mildew to linger, which as we mentioned above can be dangerous to your health. If you did not identify obvious cracks or holes before, sitting water is a clear sign that water is seeping in somehow, and you may need a professional to help identify the source.
YOUR HOME’S FOUNDATION IS TELLING YOU IF YOU HAVE A CRAWLSPACE ISSUE
A cracked foundation, cracked ceilings or walls, sagging floors, sticking doors, house settlement and cracked masonry block or cracks in poured concrete foundations can all indicate that your crawlspace foundation needs to be repaired.
Many homes suffer from foundation problems. Crawl space foundations are widely used in building construction throughout the United States, with approximately 250,000 new homes built on crawl spaces every year and an estimated 26 million such homes already in existence. if builders and homeowners are not proactive with all the modern standards and innovations of a crawl space design today, their homes will most likely succumb to environmental moisture issues, mold, ground water infiltration with structural masonry foundation and wood rot problems.
Moist crawlspace issues can also be a result from mechanical failures caused by what is in your crawl space, such as a leaky supply or drainage pipe or condensation from HVAC unit & duct and moisture getting in through the existing foundation penetrations and vents. This undesirable moisture can create optimum conditions for molds and allergens to grow in your crawl space possibly causing unhealthy breathing, allergies and odors in your home’s living space for you and your family. Molds can grow on the structural wood members in your crawl space. Wood absorbs the moisture entering into your unprotected crawl space raising your home’s wood structure moisture levels, possibly jeopardizing the structural strength and integrity of your home.