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Should You Purchase a Home with a Damaged Crawl Space?

You can purchase a home with a damaged crawl space, but you'll want to speak with the previous owners about its condition.

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When you’re searching for your perfect home, you occasionally have to make compromises. Should you compromise on an amazing home if it has a damaged crawl space? 

There are pros and cons of working with a home that has active crawl space damage. It’s up to you, at the end of the day, to determine whether or not you want to take on the challenge of repairs in the months and years to come. 

home with damaged crawl space

The Condition of Homes with Damaged Crawl Spaces 

A home’s crawl space works like a canary in a coal mine—it is your first indicator that something may be amiss throughout the rest of the house. Your crawl space, after all, controls more of your home than you might anticipate. If you start seeing unusual amounts of moisture in a potential home’s crawl space, then it’s only a matter of time before that moisture starts to make its way into other parts of the home. 

A damaged crawl space can spell trouble for a home’s structural supports, for example. Not only can floor joists start to suffer under the influence of the stack effect, but a home’s foundation is at risk of buckling if there are cracks beneath the surface. 

The good news for potential homeowners is that a damaged crawl space reduces the value of a home. This means that any home on the market with a damaged crawl space should be more affordable. However, note that you will still have to invest in repairs after purchasing the home in question and plan your budget accordingly. 

Damaged Crawl Spaces and Your Health 

It’s not just the health of your home that’s at risk if you take on a home with existing crawl space damage. Moisture, as it builds up in your crawl space, can allow mold to flourish even in new homes. The longer you leave the crawl space damage unattended to, the more likely it is that dangerous mold may have taken root in the home you’re interested in. All manner of molds, but black mold in particular, can put your family’s respiratory health at risk. 

The short answer is that you do have the option, if a home becomes available to you, to purchase a home with a damaged crawl space. In doing so, you’ll want to speak with the current owner about what kind of problems to expect in the future. This way, you can know what kind of water leakage you may have to work to prevent. 

You may also want to inspect the potential home with help from a professional contractor serving Baltimore, MD. This way, you can determine early on what the cost of repairs might look like and, in turn, how much you can request off of the current owner’s asking price. 

Inspecting a Home’s Crawl Space 

While it’s always best to work with a professional to inspect a potential home’s crawl space, it’s important for you to also have knowledge about what crawl space issues could be affecting the home. As you make your way through a home for the first time, you can keep a wary eye out for signs of damage. These can indicate that something’s amiss in the home that you can then ask the current owner about. 

Some of the clearest signs of water damage in a home include: 

  • Warping door frames 
  • Misted windows 
  • Unpleasant smells throughout your home 
  • Higher water or electric bills than usual 
  • Decreased water pressure throughout your home 
  • Insects or unwanted animal invaders 

Be careful when considering what kind of damage you might be working with. These signs can often indicate foundation failure in addition to crawl space damage. As mentioned, this does mean that the home in question should be listed as less expensive than those houses in the surrounding area. However, you’ll want to specify what kind of damage you’re contending with so you can get a better estimate of what future repairs might cost you

Repairing and Protecting a Damaged Crawl Space 

In every case, you’ll want to take steps to repair the damage done to a home’s crawl space upon purchasing said home. Leaving the damage, as mentioned, can result in significant damage throughout the rest of the home, from sticking windows to a sunken foundation. 

The good news is that the professionals serving the Baltimore, MD, area can help you determine early on what kind of repairs you might need. Once you’ve patched the leak causing you problems, you can then determine what kinds of waterproofing measures might help you maintain your new space in the years to come. 

Some of the most effective waterproofing measures for your crawl space include: 

  • Interior drainage systems 
  • Sump pumps 
  • Full encapsulation with a vapor barrier 
  • Waterproof insulation 

Not sure where to start when repairing a new home’s crawl space? Contact the experienced team at JES Foundation Repair today to schedule a free inspection and repair quote.

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