What Causes Crawl Space Problems?
Crawl Space Articles – JES Explains…
Crawl Space Problems – The Causes:
Moisture problems, house settlement, and poor construction can all create crawl space problems.
Crawl Space Problems – Moisture:
Crawl space moisture can be the source of many of your wet crawl space issues, including that moldy crawl space smell. As the water in your crawl space evaporates it rises, going through your insulation, floor, and through the rest of your home – creating a trail of destruction. Moisture and humidity problems are caused by:
Open Crawl Space Vents
Open crawl space vents let in moisture, which creates the perfect environment for wood rot, mold, mildew, and dust mites. Plus a vented dirt crawl space can also cause your energy bill to be nearly 20% higher!
The rainy season & a humid summer can wreak havoc on your crawl space. If your crawl space leaks then that water will eventually evaporate, rising through your home & create problems like wet insulation & crawl space mold.
Dirt Crawl Space
Exposed dirt in your crawl space absorbs moisture open crawl space vents allow inside. As damp soil dries, it rises through your house, changing relative humidity inside your home, contributing to high energy bills.
Crawl Space Problems – House Settling:
Your home’s crawl space problems can also be caused by your house settling. A house will settle when the soil it’s built on can no longer support the weight of the house. Aside from poor soil preparation, moisture is the biggest player in how the soil acts around your foundation. The soil surrounding your crawl space foundation can be affected by:
Poor Drainage and Grading
If your home doesn’t have a drainage system in place, then all the water that flows out of your gutters or roof will land near your foundation. That water forces the soil to expand & will push against your crawl space foundation, forcing water in & creating cracks.
Most of us think about the damage to the inside of our home when we find a plumbing leak. Those problems spread to your crawl space. Cracks in pipes or water lines leading to your home create a mess out of your lawn but can also harm your foundation, & create water damage in your crawl space.
Mother Nature & Expansive Soils
Spring showers are great for your flowers & landscaping, but create problems for your crawl space. Extra moisture forces the soil to expand & press against your crawl space foundation, eventually causing cracks.
Crawl Space Problems – Construction:
The construction of your home’s support system – foundation, floor joists, and support beams – plays a major role in the stability and health of your crawl space. If the support pier columns aren’t spaced properly it can cause sagging floor joists which result in squeaky floors, uneven floors, and sagging floors.
The type of crawl space foundation also impacts how dry, or wet, your crawl space can get. Some crawl space foundations let in more water and air, creating problems and unnecessary stress.
Block walls are the easiest and cheapest type of foundation to install. They also let in the most water and air, creating a lot of mold, water, and wood rot problems.
A poured concrete foundation is a solid surface and is common in newer homes. Unless there’s a hole or crack, these foundations don’t allow air or water in.
This type of crawl space foundation is found in older homes and can let a lot of water and air leak into your crawl space.
Crawl Space Problems – Mother Nature:
The temperamental East Coast weather can create a lot of crawl space problems:
Summer brings warm weather, sunshine, and hurricane season. The strong winds can blow water into your crawl space while the heavy rains, coastal flooding, and tidal flooding can inundate your crawl space with water.
Meet the hurricane’s winter cousin, the Nor’easter. This storm can create a lot of damage in your crawl space. From flooding & extra moisture to expanding the soil, chances are you’ve been left to clean up after a Nor’easter has blown through your town.
On the opposite end of the weather spectrum is drought. The hot, dry summers suck moisture from the soil, and your crawl space, which leads to settlement problems.
If you’re worried about your crawl space and need help now, request your free inspection. One of our crawl space repair specialists will conduct an in-depth investigation of your home’s crawl space and will recommend a solution that is designed for your crawl space. And if we find that your crawl space doesn’t need to be repaired, we’ll tell you!
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