Crawl Space Problem Signs
Problems with high humidity, poor air quality, and mold and mildew growth can negatively impact the health and safety of your home and family. Learn what you should keep an eye out for by browsing through common crawl space problems below.
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Condensation in your crawl space is a sign that all is not well. Do not ignore this problem sign or you could end up with a hefty repair bill on your hands.
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Mold poses as more of a threat to your family’s health than it does to the structural integrity of your home. Prevent it from taking root in your crawl space now.
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Wood rot and mold aren’t the same things, but both can have a detrimental impact on your crawl space’s health. Address them with professional help.
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Water damage in your crawl space can cause the floors in the upper levels of your home to sag. Professionals can help you kick off repairs.
Does your home have sagging, bouncy floors? Do your floors feel cold in winter? Have you noticed unpleasant smells and mold growth? These and other crawl space problems could be lurking beneath your living space and turn into widespread issues. A vented dirt crawl space may be a building tradition, but it does your home and family more harm than good. The presence of mold can be detrimental to anyone with preexisting health conditions, pest infestations are unsightly and unsanitary, and water and structural damage can put your safety at risk.
Nip these problems in the bud once and for all with high-quality crawl space repair and encapsulation from trusted local experts at Ohio Basement Authority. Get started today by scheduling your free inspection and repair estimate.
Causes of Crawl Space Problems
Crawl space issues can happen for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most common causes of problems you may be noticing with your crawl space.
However water gets into your crawl space – the ground, porous block walls, plumbing leaks, or open vents – any kind of leakage spells trouble for your home. Leaking, standing water in a damp, dark area is very attractive to pests, and wet fiberglass insulation is a breeding ground for mold. Water also can saturate wooden and metal supports, which leads to wood rot, rust, weakening support systems, and sagging floors.
Paired with water intrusion, high humidity is one of the biggest crawl space issues affecting homes. If humidity is above 50 percent, the best thing you can do is run a dehumidifier to keep it in check.
Crawl spaces commonly have high relative humidity and moisture – the ideal conditions for mold growth, especially on organic materials like wood and insulation. Any moisture in a crawl space also may enter another part of the structure and contribute to mold growth there. Moisture can pass from a crawl space and into other areas through cracks in walls, floors and ceilings. (Source: EPA)
You know how oppressive Ohio summertime humidity can feel. Your home is no stranger to this, either. When hot and humid air is vented into the crawl space during warm months, this can lead to sagging, soft, buckling floors above, as well as affect hardwood floors.
You also know how cold the Ohio winters can get, and your house feels this pain too. Any cold wintertime air that is vented inside the crawl space will make above floors feel cold and causes the furnace to work even harder to keep your house warm and cozy. The more your furnace or air conditioner runs, the more money you are spending on utility bills.
The work a completed sooner than expected. William Holmes was there each day and did most of the work himself. He was very polite and did a wonderful job. The last day he received assistance from Avery Webber and Brad Roberts too. They were all…
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Excellent team work by William, Cory, and Ben to complete the job in one day. They were polite and did exactly what they said and cleaned up. I would recommend them to anyone. William explained what he was doing along the way and discussed required…
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We had a few issues at first, but Caleb W, Blake B, and Slade R were very efficient and helpful, in making sure our issues were taken care of right away. They were very professional and attentative to our needs and expectations. Thank you three, for…
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Bradley & Colby did an excellent job. Start to finish. I’m a happy Ohio Basement Authorty customer and would recommend this 2 gentlemen to work for you. Ask for them by name for your next waterproofing job. You will be happy with there work.
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Jake , Kyle and Nate provided an excellent service to fix an issue with a recently installed sump pump. They are professional helpful and courteous. William Holmes and and Ben S. did a great job fixing the leaking crack. They were professional and…
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Travis came out to the house on time and was super friendly and helpful. Turns out my walls were already fixed and didn’t need to be repaired by then. He was very helpful and letting me know how I could fix it on my own and didn’t need their…
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My initial call to OBA did not set very high expectations. However, when Travis Burkart came out and look at our problem, he more than made up for the initial impression. Travis was very straight forward, detailed in his explanations and easy to…
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O.b.a came in the morning was very nice respectful. They went right to work no goofing off.. hard workers my guys were Keevon.b was my foreman and workers Colby.b and ILiam.m did a wonderful job.. very nice young men. Had a great experience.would…
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Jonathan Reno came out and walked me through my water problems and how they could be fixed. Alleviated a lot of stress and gave a great deal looking forward to the install!
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Caleb Watkins came to do an estimate and was very helpful in helping me determine the best fix for my problem. Very professional!
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Annual maintenance service, great service, very knowledgeable.
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The Ohio Basement Authority team, Dustin, Ahmed, and Ricky did an excellent job in waterproofing my basement. They were informative and provided excellent service for. They were very professional. I recommend this company and team.
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Francis Purcell and his crew came out and saved our house, we had water damage, mold and drainage issues. they took care of all of this in about two weeks without barely coming in our house at all. very friendly and professional. i appreciated…
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Really impressed 👏 as they listened to what I wanted for drainage and new sump pump quickly and efficiently completing the job at a reasonable price. I will call them in future for any basement needs. Thanks for doing business with us.
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Francis Purcell came and viewed the project. He presented me with numerous options for solutions to my basement foundation issues. I decided on an option and we set a date. They actually called a few days prior to see if I wished to move the…
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Ivan, Chris & Ben waterproofed my Mothers basement. All three were very professional & did an efficient & clean job. All construction debris was cleaned up and removed, the finish product looks great. This is my second job that I have had them do,…
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Iran H. And Chris M. were very efficient. They came in and finished the job in less than the time expected. Afterwards, there wasn’t any clean up on my behalf. I was pleased with the service. Thanks!
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Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation Solutions
Repairing and protecting your home from the damaging effects of crawl space problems like humidity and mold is critical, but it can be difficult to navigate. That’s where our trusted crawl space repair and encapsulation solutions come in. Browse through some of them below.
Ohio Basement Authority
Keeping your property’s crawl space dry and safe can feel like an uphill battle sometimes, but the right sump pump can make all the difference.
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Ohio Basement Authority installs the patented CrawlSeal™ vapor barrier to stop crawl space moisture problems.
Ohio Basement Authority
The dehumidifier easily fits in small crawl spaces, yet has a powerful blower to effectively dry large areas.
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The CrawlDrain™ is the ideal way to drain water in a dirt crawl space without clogging or drain failure.
Is Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation the Right Solution for Me?
While most homes throughout Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton-Springfield, Lima, Richwood, Hilliard, Defiance and Scioto County, have a basement, some have a crawl space or a partial crawl space adjacent to a basement. These below-grade spaces are common in these areas of the Buckeye State largely due to the deeper frost line.
Traditional construction practice called for crawl spaces to be built with vents to allow for better airflow underneath the home and prevent the buildup of moisture and mold. Foundation experts have found this method to be outdated and unhealthy for homes, as vented dirt crawl spaces invite water intrusion, high humidity, mold growth, pest infestations, poor air quality, and more.
These problems are all too familiar for Central and Southern Ohio homeowners like you, and they don’t have to be. The best way to combat the negative effects of a vented dirt crawl space is with permanent crawl space repair and encapsulation solutions that will fortify your home and create a safer and healthier living environment.
This is one of the most common questions we hear from homeowners. And rightly so.
According to Home Advisor’s State of Home Spending Report, consumer spending on home improvement increased significantly – rising 17% – from April 2018 to April 2019, with average home improvement spending totaling $7,560 in 2018. Home improvement rather than home maintenance has been the focus for homeowners who want to replace or repair damage, defects and decay.
All this being said, it is difficult to give an actual cost of crawl space repair. We understand how frustrating it is to not get an exact number or ballpark figure when you contact our office. But there are so many factors to consider with repair projects.
First off, it’s important for one of our inspectors to physically visit your house and look at the crawl space. It’s not fair to you to just give a ballpark estimate without seeing what we’re dealing with.
The cost also depends on specifics like the square footage to determine how much material will be used, as well as the extent of any damage.
Our solutions are not “one size fits all” fixes. Every home is different, and each project requires different solutions. We can customize these solutions to be specific to your repair needs. So, what worked for a friend or family member might not necessarily be what your home needs.
Our inspectors also will take your repair goals and budget into consideration, and they can discuss various payment and financing options with you. We will not try to slap a quick bandage on the problems with sub-standard products or push you to buy unnecessary items. Crawl space cleaning (mold, wet falling insulation, and whatever the years have ‘given’ to your crawl space) structural soundness, safety, and security are our goal – your crawl space becomes ours and we take tremendous pride in our work.
When you choose to work with the Ohio Basement Authority team, what you are really investing in is your home’s safety, your family’s health, and your peace of mind.
When you’re searching for a crawl space expert, crawl space services, or crawl space repair near me, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to assist with protecting your most significant investment – your home – and we look forward to helping create a safer and healthier living environment for you and your family!
Because we are committed to you and your health and safety, we only use the very best solutions to repair and protect your crawl space and home. Our products are manufactured right here in the United States. They are tested and proven to effectively keep water and pests out of your crawl space for a safer and healthier home for you and your family. All these solutions also are designed to work together to give you the most bang for your buck and prevent any further problems.
Cheaper quick fixes like generic plastic floor liners, light duty jack posts, and wooden access doors are only temporary bandages that will not address the problem.
So, don’t waste your time and money on fast fixes. Fix it right the first time. You need quality permanent solutions like the ones we install in homes every day. We use reliable, custom equipment and state-of-the-art technology to install these various systems.
Here are ways we address your crawl space issues, as highlighted in our “Crawl Space Repair Checklist” blog:
- Waterproofing — If leaking or standing water is a problem in your crawl space, we can address that with a perimeter drainage system. Non-clogging CrawlDrain™ is specially designed to sit in the crawl space floor to collect water from the walls and floor, all while filtering out dirt and sediment.
This water is then directed to a sump pump system to be pumped out of the crawl space. Any of our SafeDri™ systems can be installed, but the SafeDri™ Pro Crawl Space Sump Pump specifically is compatible with our complete crawl space vapor barrier system. A sump pump will also help prevent a flooded crawl space. A FreezeGuard® also can be attached to the exterior sump pump discharge line to prevent flooding from frozen or blocked lines.
- Encapsulation — It is important to seal your crawl space from the ground and exterior conditions. The CrawlSeal™ encapsulation system is used to completely isolate the crawl space environment from the earth. This liner, similar to swimming pool liner, is a moisture and vapor barrier, and it is completely waterproof and mold resistant. CrawlSeal™ is extremely durable, puncture-resistant and tough enough to crawl on. It is a true 20-mil liner rated above 25-mil strength at the seams, and it is over three times the thickness of builder’s grade liner.
Drainage matting can be placed on the crawl space floor before encapsulating to further enhance the strength of CrawlSeal™, as well as help direct water to the perimeter CrawlDrain™ system.
It also is important to have properly sealed crawl space vents and doors to prevent outside air, water and pests from entering the crawl space. Our durable vent covers install quickly and attach mechanically to form an airtight bond.
- Insulation — Instead of soft batt insulation that can easily fall off crawl space walls and harbor mold, rigid ExTremeBloc™ panels are the better alternative. These panels are moisture resistant, and an integrated termiticide is added to deter termites below grade. CrawlSeal™ also helps insulate the crawl space, and spray foam can be added to rim joists to seal gaps around the perimeter of your foundation. These insulation methods help prevent wood rot and enable termite treatments.
Your crawl space and home also will greatly benefit from winterization projects!
- Dehumidification — One of the best things you can do for your crawl space is keep the air dry. Our powerful, energy-efficient low-profile crawl space dehumidifier cleans and filters the air under your house, controls moisture and humidity, and reduces odors and potential mold growth.
The dehumidifier also self-drains so you don’t need to worry about emptying any buckets or reservoirs like with typical dehumidifiers. We can direct the unit to drain into the perimeter drainage or sump pump system or install a condensate pump
- Structural Reinforcement — Wooden floor supports often fail in wet and humid crawl space environments. But our sturdy IntelliJacks™ are made of galvanized steel, making them more reliable supports that can stabilize and lift sagging floors and floor joists back to level.
- Access Points — Typical crawl space doors and access points or wells are wooden or metal, and they can easily rot and rust when exposed to outdoor elements. But our durable plastic crawl space doors and access wells are safe and sturdy.
Our experienced and trusted team is ready and eager to help you create a safer and healthier home! Once you contact us to discuss your crawl space issues with our customer care team, we will schedule an appointment for you for a free inspection and estimate with one of our certified field inspectors.
Here’s what you can expect during this consultation. The inspector will:
- Perform a complete evaluation of your home’s interior and exterior. This includes going into the crawl space to check the condition of the area including any water intrusion, damage, pests, etc.
- Discuss his findings with you, as well as your goals with a repair project.
- Offer customized solutions that best fit your repair needs.
- Provide you with a proposal of recommended solutions before leaving your house.
- Discuss payment and financing options with you.
The next step, should you choose to work with us, is scheduling your project with one of our installation crews. The crew will use tested and proven solutions to address all your crawl space repair needs. The crew also will treat your home with the utmost care and will not stop until you are completely satisfied with the work. If anything comes up afterwards, you can trust us to respond and not leave you hanging. We offer emergency service, as well as an annual crawl space maintenance program to ensure the solutions we installed continue to properly work in protecting your home.
After seeing the importance of having a healthier crawl space, now’s the time to act. You have a wealth of resources at your fingertips and there are many websites addressing crawl space repair. Many of them are DIY sources that spark ideas, and it may be tempting to head to your favorite hardware store to buy supplies and prepare for a crawl space overhaul.
But crawl space repair is not something you can tackle in a weekend. A lot can go wrong, which we explore in our blog, “The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Crawl Spaces.” We have seen a lot of problems result from fast fixes. Especially concerning real estate transactions, quick fixes can raise red flags. You’ll then have to spend more time and money to repair these issues. It’s best to leave these projects to professional contractors so the problems will be fixed correctly the first time around.
We encourage you to educate yourself to make the best decision and sound investment with trustworthy repair solutions from a reliable crawl space contractor.
Now that you’ve learned more about your crawl space and what could be underneath your living area, aren’t you ready to say goodbye to these nasty conditions? You may never go into your crawl space, but there are so many reasons why it’s a good idea to remedy this area of your home to protect your family.
- Better Health and Quality of Life for Your Family — Everyone deserves to grow up and live in a safe and healthy home. By tackling any unhealthy conditions in your crawl space through proper waterproofing, dehumidification, encapsulation, and insulation, you are keeping mold, allergens and sickness at bay. The air quality of your home will be greatly improved, and so will the well-being of your family.
- Improved Structural Integrity for Your Home — Rotting supports and sagging floors are not safe and could result in significant structural damage and safety hazards. By shoring up the support system in your home, you will have a more stable living environment for your family.
- Improved Energy Efficiency Throughout Your House — By choosing proven crawl space encapsulation and insulation solutions, you could save between 30 and 50% on your energy bills! (Source: Clean Crawls)
- You Gain a Functional Space in Your House — Not only will repairs like waterproofing, encapsulation and insulation create a healthier space, they also create a space that you can use in a whole new way. You’ll be able to use your crawl space to safety store items like holiday decorations and other belongings without the worry of any damage.
- Positive Impact to Your Home’s Real Estate Value — There are a variety of factors that affect a home’s resale value, but things like structural integrity, water issues, and other problems are important areas you need to be aware of. It is important to disclose any known past or current damage when you prepare to sell your house. Ohio homeowners are required to complete the Residential Property Disclosure Form to the best of their knowledge. Some items and issues on the checklist include water intrusion, structural components, wood destroying insects, and basement and/or crawl space. (Source: Nolo)
Here are a few questions we commonly hear from homeowners like you wondering what they should do about the issues they notice with their crawl space:
- Does my crawl space need insulation?
- Do I need a vapor barrier in my crawl space?
- Should you seal a crawl space?
- Will crawl space encapsulation lower my energy costs?
- Can you put a dehumidifier in a crawl space?
The answer to all of them is – you guessed it – YES!
All these measures will greatly improve the health and appearance of the crawl space, and lead to a safer home and healthier, happier family!
Whether or not your house has a fireplace and chimney, think of airflow in your home as having the pattern of a chimney. Air enters at the bottom, rises throughout the structure, and exits at the top. Air flows from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. When there is a greater difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more significant this airflow becomes. (Source: Fine Homebuilding)
While you can’t see airflow, it could be helpful for you to see the stack effect in action. The Cold Climate Housing Research Center has several informational YouTube videos, including “Your Northern Home: Stack Effect” that illustrates the stack effect.
More than 50% of the air you breathe in your home comes from the crawl space. If mold is present in the crawl space, you and your loved ones likely are breathing in these unhealthy spores.
The day your home was built, your house already had a problem. The biggest culprit that leads to other issues is open crawl space vents. Building code traditionally has called for crawl space vents to be open for air drying purposes. However, this is an outdated, ineffective and harmful building practice. (Source: The Ohio Home Inspections Company)
Some “do it yourself” websites and resources still encourage this practice, but the reality is that having open crawl space vents is not safe for your home. Vents are like big flashing “open” signs that allow outside air, water and pests into the crawl space and ultimately into your home.
So, whatever is in your crawl space is in the rest of your home and affecting you and your family. This is because of what is known as the stack effect.
Have you noticed any of these issues in your crawl space or throughout your home? If so, it might be time to hire a professional crawl space contractor. Look at this checklist for some common crawl space symptoms:
- Musty odors or stale air
- Dampness or high humidity
- Mold or mildew
- Condensation on windows
- Leaking or standing water in the crawl space
- Interior drywall cracks
- Sagging, uneven or bouncy floors
- Wood rot
- Pest or rodent infestations
- Wet or failing crawl space insulation
- Open crawl space vents
- High energy bills
- Cold floors during winter
Why is Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation Needed?
Your home and family can benefit from crawl space repair and encapsulation with quality solutions in many ways. Here are just a few of them.
Makes Pest Intrusion More Difficult
Open crawl space vents are common fixtures on homes with crawl spaces, but they are welcome signs for bugs and other pests to make your home theirs. Pests can nest and breed in your crawl space, damage insulation and supports, and leave unsanitary conditions behind. But crawl space repair and encapsulation with moisture control measures make it less appealing for pests. Sealing your crawl space with a thick, durable vapor barrier and using airtight vent covers makes it more difficult for pests to get inside.
Creates a Healthier, Conditioned “Bubble”
Along with making it more difficult for pests to get into your crawl space, crawl space encapsulation fully isolates your crawl space from the earth and outside nuisances. Most crawl spaces have dirt floors because it is cheaper than pouring concrete. Groundwater, radon, and pest intrusion are concerns with this open earth. But when a reliable vapor barrier is used to cover the floor and walls, this creates a “bubble” around your crawl space interior. Along with waterproofing and dehumidification, the space is better conditioned and healthier.
Combats the Stack Effect’s Negative Impact
More than half of your home’s air comes from the crawl space, and a problematic crawl space is detrimental to your home because of the stack effect – the flow of air through a house from bottom to top. Vents in your crawl space fuel this process and allow dangers like mold spores and unpleasant odors from pest droppings to circulate in your home’s air. As we’ve mentioned, properly sealing, encapsulating, and dehumidifying your crawl space creates a healthier “bubble.” So, any air that rises from the protected crawl space will be conditioned and healthier for your family to breathe.
Common Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation Tips & Mistakes
We have many years of experience in the foundation and crawl space repair industry, and we have picked up many tips and witnessed our fair share of mistakes along the way. Here are some things to consider and avoid with crawl space repair and encapsulation.
Tips to Consider:
- Take Care of Your Gutters and Downspouts: Having interior crawl space systems is essential, but it is also important to help keep as much water and moisture away from your crawl space as possible. That’s where gutters and downspouts come in. Making sure the gutters are clean and free of clogs and damage, and that the downspouts are in good condition and draining water away from your home are important. Add this to your home maintenance twice a year.
- Maintain Proper Landscape Grading: In a similar vein, having a properly graded yard will help keep water away from your crawl space. Maintaining a positive grade is essential, meaning the earth slopes down and away from your home. Otherwise, a negatively graded property allows water to collect around your foundation, increasing the likelihood of crawl space damage.
- Contact Professionals Instead of Going into Your Crawl Space: Crawl spaces are both delicate and dangerous. Instead of possibly getting stuck, being exposed to mold and pests, or inadvertently causing other damage, contact experts for help if you suspect your crawl space is damaged. Our professional team is well-versed in safely inspecting crawl spaces, diagnosing problems, and recommending and implementing permanent solutions. Leave the “dirty work” and “heavy lifting” to us.
Mistakes to Avoid:
- Only Sealing Crawl Space Vents: It is critical to close off crawl space vents to prevent intrusion from water, moisture, and humidity, and to make it more difficult for pests to get inside. But this is just one piece of the puzzle. This does not completely solve all the crawl space problems. Water, moisture, mold, and other issues could still be at play, so you will need a more comprehensive solution.
- Investing in Minimum Protection: In a similar vein, just having a vapor barrier is not the only solution. It also matters what kind of vapor barrier is used for crawl space encapsulation. Building code calls for a minimum thickness of 6-mil. But this is not enough to adequately protect your crawl space. A 6-mil vapor barrier may not fully cover the crawl space walls and floor, it can easily harbor mold and moisture, and it is quick to puncture and tear.
- Installing DIY Repairs: As we’ve mentioned, it can be dangerous for you to venture into your crawl space. In that same vein, we do not recommend that you try to install potential repair solutions on your own. Getting crawl space repair and encapsulation just right can be difficult, and we don’t want you to get hurt. Plus, many repairs at big box stores may be temporary at best, so the continued investment and installation would be needed.
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