Are you suspecting problems in your crawl space?
Generally, until there is a serious problem, the crawl space tends to be forgotten about in homes. That said, it’s crucial to inspect this area regularly for any unwanted developments.
Among other issues, crawl space problems can lead to:
- Severe health risks
- Pest infestation
- Foundation issues
- More costly energy bills
In this blog, we’ll cover the top six signs of crawl space problems. By learning about these common issues, you’ll be able to better protect your health and property.
A faulty crawl space increases the risk of pest intrusion. Every crawl space is surrounded by concrete, but that isn’t enough to completely eliminate the critters. Pests often tunnel under the concrete perimeter.
A variety of pests can enter and live in the crawl space. Some of the most common ones include rats, mice and spiders. That said, you may also find skunks, snakes, and bats in your crawl space as well.
You may be thinking “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to your crawl space. However, this isn’t a good approach. Even if you don’t see the pests, they can still cause serious problems.
For instance, they can leave droppings. After some time, these droppings start ruining your indoor air quality. Additionally, rodents may chew on the crawl space insulation or any exposed wires.
2. Expensive Bills
Did you know that costlier electricity bills can indicate issues with your crawl space?
When moisture and air enter the crawl space, your A/C or furnace will use more electricity. That’s because the crawl space and your rooms experience a heat transfer. Your heating unit must work harder to compensate for this loss of heat.
If you want solid protection against this type of crawl space problem, you should install new insulation. You’ll save money monthly, it’s more sustainable, and you’ll extend the useful lifetime of your A/C unit.
3. Floor Issues
Another sign of a crawl space problem could be cold floors, even if you’re properly heating your home. If your crawl space has inadequate insulation, your floors won’t be warm.
Ignoring this problem can lead to more serious issues such as frozen pipes. To solve this issue, you have to better insulate your crawl space.
Cold floors aren’t the only possible flooring issue associated with crawl space problems. You may also discover that:
- Your floors are sagging, damaged, or cupped.
- The support beams are failing.
- There is termite damage.
All these problems require quick intervention in order to prevent costlier repairs down the line.
4. Mold & Mildew
Mold and mildew start growing when moisture levels exceed normal. If there’s water in your crawl space, it’s likely that mold will grow. Pooling water can also create other issues. For instance, accumulated water in your crawl space can warp your wood flooring.
Since there may be electrical wiring and utility components in your crawl space, it’s important to immediately fix the problem. This means sealing the openings that let the moisture in and making sure the crawl space is adequately ventilated in the future.
Be certain that the crawlspace is properly vented and that the vents aren’t blocked. A good rule of thumb is one square foot of vent for every 150 square feet of the crawlspace. Poor ventilation will cause mold, mildew, and rotting timber.
5. Bad Air Quality
The main reasons for moisture in your crawl space are usually either that there’s a lack of ground vapor barriers to block the moisture from developing or that the space is inadequately vented. Excess moisture may also appear in rainy seasons or when there’s a major temperature change.
When you have high moisture levels in the crawl space, the enclosed area may become a breeding ground for potentially harmful and toxic mold, bacteria, and germs. This impacts the indoor air quality as these harmful vapors enter the home through your floorboards.
Any detected issues should be fixed at the earliest opportunity.
6. Foundation Cracks
Potentially the most serious issue, perimeter foundation cracks can be a sign of excess water or hydrostatic pressure in your crawl space. In order to fix this problem, you need to install a vapor barrier or insulate cold water pipes. Cracks may also indicate movement in exterior perimeter pipes. We recommend hiring a professional to do this job.
To maintain the crawl space, consider putting a dehumidifier in it.
7. Water Accumulation
Poor drainage can lead to water accumulation in the crawlspace. While the exterior of the home is normally supported by deep drilled piers, the interior rests upon pad and blocks. Too moist and the interior piers may either raise—causing a bump in the floor—or drop, leading to a depression. Check for ponding under the house. The crawl space should be bone dry.
In a Nutshell: Crawl Space Problems
As a homeowner, you’ve probably paid little attention to your crawl space. However, you should regularly inspect it and observe what’s going on under your flooring. If common crawl space problems aren’t dealt with early, they can lead to expensive repairs, increased energy bills, and even health illnesses.
Here are the top six signs of crawl space problems:
- You are dealing with unexplainable mold and mildew growth.
- There is pest intrusion in your home.
- The indoor air quality has dropped significantly.
- Your home’s floors are cold, even though you use proper heating.
- There are cracks in your home’s foundation.
- The energy costs haven’t changed, but your electricity bills have increased.
For further inquiries or concerns, contact Granite Foundation Repair.