Crawl Space Problems and Solutions

Crawl Space Problems

Muddy, dirty, moldy crawl space

The crawl space is a very important part of your home. It supports the entire structure. If a problem arises with your crawl space, it could possibly lead to major issues in other areas of your home. Some common crawl space 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–including crawl space encapsulation–to fix all of your crawl space problems.

One very common issue that many homeowners struggle with is moisture in your crawl space. Excess moisture in your crawl space 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 in your crawl space. Much of the air you breathe in your home, however, comes from your crawl space or basement. This means that you and your family could breathe in the mold-infected air from your crawl space!

Some signs that your crawl space may have a moisture problem are:

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

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

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

Solutions for Crawl Spaces

Vapor Barrier Illustration

The best way to prevent moisture from entering your crawl space 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 crawl space to seal out moisture. This process is called crawl space encapsulation. Not only will a vapor barrier protect your crawl space from moisture problems, but it will also make your crawl space look cleaner and more finished. If the water problem in your crawl space 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 crawl space problems, you may need to invest in crawl space support piers. Products such as a helical pier or steel push pier work well to support a failing crawl space. Push piers and helical piers both work by driving into the ground, deep into the 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 the stable soil, the weight of the structure is transferred onto it and it is raised to its original position.

If you notice any of these crawl space 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 crawl space solutions for your home.