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Crawlspace Problems and Solutions

clock October 28, 2013 11:19 by author
Crawlspaces are often overlooked and forgotten. Install a vapor barrier if your crawlspace is wet and damp to prevent water damage.

Crawlspace Problems

The crawlspace is a very important part of your home. It supports the entire structure. If a problem arises with your crawlspace, it could possibly lead to major issues in other areas of your home. Some common crawlspace problems are moisture issues - water damage or water stains, mold, etc., and structural issues - failing supports, sinking or settlement. Fortunately, a professional foundation repair contractor can supply you with the necessary skills and tools to fix all of your crawlspace problems.

One very common issue that many homeowners struggle with is moisture in your crawlspace. Excess moisture in your crawlspace can lead to a lot of annoying problems, such as decayed supports, water stains or damage, and mold. The formation of mold is an especially dangerous issue, as the mold can infect the air. This might not seem like such a big deal, as you probably don't spend a whole lot of time on your crawlspace. Much of the air you breathe throughout your home, however, comes from your crawlspace or basement. This means that you and your family could breathe in the mold-infected air from your crawlspace! Some signs that your crawlspace may have a moisture problem are:

  • Mold or mildew in crawlspace
  • Musty odors in living area
  • Condensation on duct work, insulation, or water pipes
  • Rotting wooden framing
  • Pests or insects in crawlspace
  • Rusty metal surfaces in crawlspace
  • High humidity in living area
  • Buckled hardwood floor

If you notice any of these symptoms, chances are that your crawlspace has a moisture problem. Contact a specialist immediately to have your crawlspace repaired.

Another problem that can arise in a crawlspace is structural failing. This happen when your crawlspace starts to shift or settle, leading to cracks and other problems. If your crawlspace has structural issues, it is a serious danger to the rest of your home, as the entire structure rests on the crawlspace and relies on it for support.

Crawlspace Solutions

Crawlspace Problems, Crawlspace Solutions

The best way to prevent moisture from entering your crawlspace is to install a vapor barrier. Vapor barriers are moisture resistant materials such as plastic or foil sheeting that are installed over the entire area of your crawlspace to seal out moisture. This process is called crawlspace encapsulation. Not only will a vapor barrier protect your crawlspace from moisture problems, but it will also make your crawlspace look cleaner and more finished. If the water problem in your crawlspace is severe enough, you may also need to invest in a new or improved basement waterproofing system. This includes your sump pump system and your interior drainage system.

For structural crawlspace problems, you may need to invest in crawlspace support piers. Products such as a helical pier or steel push pier work well to support a failing crawlspace. Push piers and helical piers both work by driving into the ground, deep into stable soil beneath the void or shifting soil that is causing the problem. The difference is that helical piers, instead of merely being driven into the ground, are screwed into the ground to provide more support. Once the pier has been driven into stable soil, the weight of the structure is transferred onto it and it is raised to it's original position.

If you notice any of these crawlspace problems developing in your home, it is time to find a professional foundation repair expert. My Foundation Repairs can help you get in contact with an experienced foundation repair contractor to provide you with a variety of crawlspace solutions for your home.

 



Groundwater Control

clock April 6, 2010 09:45 by author blogadmin
Water drainage foundation systems prevent the build-up of water against foundation walls by eliminating hydrostatic pressure. In the absence of water pressure there is no longer a force to push water through a crack or cold joint in a foundation.

 

Foundation water drainage systems rely on two fundamental principles:

 

  • Keep rain water away from the foundation wall perimeter
  • Drain groundwater with sub-grade perimeter footing drains before it gets to the foundation wall

Water drainage foundation systems are different from waterproofing systems. Waterproofing relies on creating a watertight barrier without holes or other means for water to enter. It can’t be done with concrete. Even boats need pumps or a place for water to run. Water drainage foundation systems prevent the build-up of water against foundation walls, thereby eliminating hydrostatic pressure. No pressure, no force to push water through a hole or crack. Remember, we know concrete walls will have holes or cracks.Mixing control joints with water management is a fundamental requirement for functional foundation systems that provide an extended useful service life.

Damp proofing should not be confused with waterproofing. Damp proofing protects foundation materials from absorbing ground moisture by capillarity (like a wick). Damp proofing is not intended to resist groundwater forces (hydrostatic pressure). If water management is used, 100% waterproofing is not necessary. However, control of capillary water is still required (dampproofing). Damp proofing is typically provided by coating the exterior of a concrete foundation wall with a tar or bituminous paint or coating.Draining groundwater away from foundation wall perimeters is typically done with free-draining backfill such as sand, gravel or drainage boards with drainage properties. At the base of the foundation a footing drain will carry away the water either to daylight or a sump pump. It is a fairly simple process of directing water to a piping system that will carry the water away from where it can do damage.Remember, step 1 is to guide rain water away from the foundation. Step 2 is to drain the ground water to a collection point so that it can be safely removed.



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