If your home is equipped with a crawl space, that crawl space could really come in handy. A crawl space is a type of basement under a home that provides access to areas of the home such as pipes and substructures that may otherwise be difficult to approach. Therefore, a crawl space can be a convenient resource for managing and maintaining a home. Crawl spaces can also supply a helpful storage spot, as the low heights of crawl spaces disqualify them as living spaces but make them perfect for packing with infrequently used items.
The Cons of Crawl Spaces
Crawl spaces definitely have their pros, but they also have their cons, and these cons can be very costly to the safety and stability of your home. Though crawl spaces are not heavily trafficked areas, they are still susceptible to significant damage. The nature of their location — just above the damp ground, in the pathway of moisture and water vapor — means that they enter disrepair quite easily. Moisture from the ground can penetrate the air in a crawl space and wreak havoc on both the crawl space and the house above. Common signs of crawl space damage include:
- Water or flooding in the crawlspace
- Mold in the crawlspace
- Condensation on the windows of the home
- Sagging floors in the home
- The failure of a vapor barrier
- Foundation cracks
The Side Effects of Crawl Space Damage
Moisture is obviously the big culprit when it comes to crawl space problems, but other factors can put your crawl space in dire need of attention as well. Causes of crawl space problems can also involve house settling and poor construction.
- Defective drainage and grading
A shoddy drainage setup or a completely nonexistent one will mean that water hitting your house will land near your foundation, and that water will get into the soil below your house. This water will force the soil to expand and push against your crawl space foundation, which could lead to cracks and flooding.
- Wet Weather
While your plants and flowers may appreciate rainy days, your crawl space doesn’t, because once again, a surplus of water in the soil around and under your home can cause the foundation of your crawl space to shift and split. These problems only escalate during hurricanes and tropical storms.
- Dry Weather
Though dry weather leaves the ground in the exact opposite condition of wet weather — completely devoid of moisture — hot summers and droughts can also lead to settlement issues by altering the state of the soil under your crawl space.
- Plumbing Leaks
The consequences of a leaky pipe can be far reaching: they can go all the way down to the foundation of your home and also leave your crawl space with water damage.
The foundation, floor joists, and support beams of your home all influence the long-term status of your crawl space. Certain types of foundations allow more water and air to enter a crawl space than others. For example, concrete blocks, which are a cheap and easy foundation option, as well as stone walls, which are an older and more traditional form of foundation for homes, both let a lot of air and water leak into crawl spaces. Poured concrete, on the other hand, is common in newer homes and also much more impermeable to water and air. The spacing of the support beams in your crawl space also contributes greatly to the enduring stability of your crawl space. If the supporting columns in your crawl space are not properly spaced, they can permit slack in the floor joists over time, and this letdown will lead to sagging floors, squeaky floors, and uneven floors in your home.
If any of these destructive issues — moisture, house settling, or poor construction — have created noticeable problems in your crawl space, then it is essential that you receive a thorough inspection from crawl space professionals and whatever repairs are necessary to remove any hazards from your crawl space.
The Solutions For Crawl Space Repair
- Foundation Support System
Your crawl space impacts the state of the floors in your home, so if you are experiencing sagging, squeaking, or cracked floors, then Solid Foundations will address the root of the problem by supporting the piers in your crawl space. Our foundation support system provides a permanent boost to your piers, which, in turn, pushes your floors back up to the appropriate level. The piers in your crawl space hold up the support beams of your floors from their place deep within the soil, but when the soil beneath the piers begins to settle, the piers themselves sink and can no longer perform their function of bolstering your floors. Therefore, Solid Foundations drives steel push piers deep into the soil beneath your crawl space in order to restore the piers to their proper position. By doing so, we are able to put your crawl space back on solid ground.
The Pros of Crawl Spaces
The crawl space of your home may often be overlooked, but at Solid Foundations, we see the value in giving crawl spaces the attention they deserve. Your crawl space can alter your indoor air quality and endanger the durability of your home, so problems with your crawl space cannot be ignored. If you are noticing any of the signs of crawl space problems in your house, put that unfrequented area of your home into the hands of the professionals who frequent crawl spaces all the time. Solid Foundations is here to solve all of your crawl space problems for the sake of your family, so contact us today to turn your crawl space into something helpful rather than something harmful!