Many homeowners tend to overlook the crawl space when planning their next home improvement projects. And while aesthetic upgrades may be all the rage, revamping the crawl space should be your top priority. Not only does it improve indoor air quality, but it also protects the structural integrity of your home or property.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to determine whether the crawl space needs a touch-up or an overhaul. This is because leaks can go unnoticed for several weeks unless there is extreme plumbing failure. So how do you know when you have a leak and need to revamp the crawl space in Richmond, VA?
Signs of Crawl Space Leakage
Crawl space leaks can occur at any time of the year because of uncovered soil, clogged downspouts and gutters, plumbing leaks, sewer backups, porous foundation walls, and poor grading. Telltale signs include:
- Pungent or musty smells
- Mold and mildew
- Puddles of water on the floor
- Warping wood
- Damp insulation material
When Should I Revamp the Crawl Space?
Knowing when to revamp the crawl space isn’t that hard. A good place to start is to perform a visual inspection. You can get in yourself or ask your contractor to come and do it. A thorough inspection will uncover existing problems and the situation down there and inform your next move.
Ruined Fiberglass Insulation
Fiberglass insulation is a cottony material, which is another way to say it soaks up moisture quickly. A slow leak easily degrades it and lowers its insulating ability. Wet fiberglass also creates a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms.
Damaged Structural Wood
When subjected to moisture for a long time, the structural wood starts rotting. Mold loves and feeds on this wood. Cracks in the drywall, sagging floors, musty smells, and jamming doors are all signs that accompany damaged structural wood. Sealing the crawl space with a vapor barrier can stop wood deterioration and structural damage.
Rotting wood and decomposing organic materials naturally release odors, which can get to your home thanks to the upward movement of air. As well as being smelly, the crawl space air might contain allergens such as dust mite waste and mold spores. Installing a dehumidifier with an air filter ensures the crawl space remains dry and free of allergens.
Rodents and Pests
Long-term plumbing leaks aren’t just a constant source of water, but they also invite rodents and pests escaping the torrid weather outside. When they come in, they will settle and breed as conditions are conducive for them. Rotting wood will provide nourishment while leaking water will quench their thirst. Crawl space encapsulation and dehumidification can help make it difficult for pests to get into your crawl space so there will be less chance of infestation and breeding.
Revamp Your Crawl Space
Like everyone with a crawl space leak in Richmond, VA, it’s normal to wonder what kind of repairs are due. Should you DIY the project or enlist the help of an experienced contractor? A DIY is not advised as the repairs are extensive.
If you notice structural damage like cracked walls, rotting wood, and mold in joists and beams, call your local contractor to revamp and waterproof the crawl space. Repairs can take any of these forms:
- Replacing the old, torn, and soggy insulation
- Installing an interior drain to ensure that any water that gets in the space drains away before causing damage
- Installing a sump pump at the lowest section of the crawl space and connecting it to your internal drainage
- Installing a dehumidifier to absorb existing moisture so as to create a dry crawl space
- Laying a vapor barrier over the walls and floor of the crawl space to lock out moisture and water, and discourage pests
Say Goodbye to Crawl Space Problems
Your home shouldn’t just be beautiful and comfortable. It should also be structurally sound, energy-efficient, and have great indoor air quality. You can only create such a home by paying attention to what happens in the crawl space, especially with regard to humidity levels and moisture.
For a hassle-free inspection and a free crawl space repair quote, get in touch with your local crawl space experts in Richmond, VA. We’re happy to examine your crawl space and tell you what repairs you should undertake.