Not all crawl space problems have to be complicated. Sometimes, your problems start and end with the condition of your crawl space door. Your crawl space door can end up loose for a variety of reasons. So long as you catch it quickly, however, area professionals can tighten your door back up and send you on your way.
Unfortunately, while crawl space maintenance can be that simple, it isn’t always. If you let your crawl space door fall off its frame or otherwise fail to protect your home, then you may find yourself dealing with significant internal damage. The good news is that the contractors serving Columbus and Cincinnati, OH, are well versed in the art of crawl space repair. No matter what problems have stemmed from a damaged crawl space door, you can count on them to help you through the repair and waterproofing process to follow.
The Impact of a Loose Crawl Space Door on Your Home
At first glance, a loose crawl space door may not seem like an especially severe problem to contend with. After all, a damaged door doesn’t have the same immediacy as a mold infestation. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should let a damaged door remain loose for an extended period of time. Instead, you’ll still want to reach out to the professionals in your area to get ahead of any damage that may come your way.
Damaged doors, after all, are damage gateways. The longer you leave a crawl space door improperly fitted, the more likely you are to have to deal with things like:
- Pest infestations
- Water damage
- Failing insulation
An Improper Fit or Structural Damage?
There are a few different forces at work that may have destabilized your crawl space’s door. The most common to have a detrimental impact on your crawl space’s seal include but are not limited to:
- An improper fit – Your crawl space door covers up water’s biggest and best entrance into your home. If your door doesn’t fit into its frame, then that water is going to rush straight for any utilities you have tucked away in your crawl space. Once the water’s inside, it’s only a matter of time before your crawl space door starts to sustain damage, whether it be at the hinges or in the meat of the door.
- Structural shifting beneath your home – The soil around your home isn’t always stable. If you live on top of clay or around several trees, your foundation is at higher risk for slippage than it might be otherwise. What does your foundation have to do with your crawl space? The supports therein hold your crawl space supports in place. If your foundation starts to slip, then your crawl space door may fall out of alignment. A frame that’s out of alignment will let more moisture into your crawl space, making it even more complicated to deal with.
- Material wear and tear – If you go in and out of your crawl space on a regular basis, your door is going to take on some wear and tear. That’s nothing, however, compared to the kind of wear and tear that weather can foist upon your door. Over time, all crawl space door is going to endure some damage. If you don’t make a point of maintaining your door, however, it may start to show signs of weakness sooner rather than later.
- Pests – Animals and insects are also determined dangers to the structural integrity of your crawl space door. Mammals like rabbits and groundhogs can dig hollows beneath your crawl space, causing your door to fall out of place as its frame shifts. Insects like carpenter ants and termites can eat away at your door frame until your door no longer fits appropriately. All these pests make it easier for water to get into your home, compounding the problems you’re already having.
Signs of Crawl Space Problems Throughout Your Home
If you catch a loose crawl space door early, you can get ahead of the worst of the related damage. It’s not always easy to tell if you’ve got additional crawl space damage on your hands. Professionals who come out to inspect your home have a better chance of identifying door-related problems than your average homeowner does. That said, you can still keep an eye out for some of the following symptoms if you think something’s wrong in your crawl space:
- Unpleasant smells originating in your crawl space
- Animal or insect droppings
- Frosted or foggy windows and utilities
- Standing water
- Higher levels of humidity
- Higher energy bills throughout your home
- Lowered water pressure throughout your home
- Bowing walls or a sinking floor
Unfortunately, these signs aren’t singular in the damage they can indicate. Rather, they are all conditions that unusually high levels of crawl space moisture can bring about in your home. Similarly, they can also indicate that something else is wrong in your home. For example, standing water in your crawl space is just as likely to suggest a crawl space leak as it is foundation damage.
This is where the benefit of working with an area professional comes in handy. The contractors in Columbus and Cincinnati, OH, can conduct a comprehensive inspection of your crawl space to first repair the damage therein and then determine just how deep that damage runs.
Repairing a Damaged Crawl Space Door
The good news for homeowners with loose crawl space doors is that repairs are relatively straightforward. You should still reach out to area professionals for guidance, especially if you think there are additional problems with your crawl space. However, you can trust professionals to tighten a loose door or install a new airtight door in little to no time at all.
If it seems like your crawl space door has been forced out of its position due to door frame damage, however, you may have a more significant problem on your hands. Door frame damage tends to be the result of some kind of structural damage throughout your home, be it specifically in your crawl space or further down in your foundation. You can work with area professionals to determine what the source of your door’s damage is and how best to treat it.
Loose Crawl Space Doors
Do you get anxious when you start to think about money? If you’re the type who’s really concerned about your budget, you may be reluctant to delegate repair funds to professional crawl space treatment, especially if you’re just dealing with a damaged crawl space door. There are some inherent risks, however, to attempting DIY crawl space repair without professional experience.
Paying For DIY Repair
Most homeowners first dive into DIY home repair because they believe it will be less expensive than working with the professionals in their area. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. When you first start planning out your DIY repairs, you’re going to need to work out just how much material, single-use tools, and any safety materials you need are going to cost you. If, for example, you want to replace your loose crawl space door, you may think that these costs are negligible.
This is not the case. Purchasing a new crawl space door is an expense in and of itself. If you make a mistake during the installation process, however, you can add to your costs as you work to repair your door frame. Furthermore, replacing your crawl space door doesn’t solve all your problems for you. If you have any kind of water damage in your crawl space, you’re going to need to repair it before washing your hands of your job. If you don’t, the damage that the rest of your house sustains from a leak or a crack can turn out to be severe.
The Danger of the DIY Learning Curve
It also takes a reasonable amount of time to learn how to properly repair your crawl space. This holds true, even if the primary problem with your space is your door. It’s all too easy to make mistakes while installing or repairing your crawl space door, and those mistakes can spell trouble for the rest of your home as well as for your budget.
For starters, if you damage a part of your crawl space while repairing your door, you’re going to need to figure out how to replace or repair what you’ve damaged, as well. Not only will you have to pay for new materials and/or any tools that got damaged in the process. What’s more, you may walk away from a crawl space door replacement only to discover that you didn’t install the door appropriately. When you do call in professionals to help you out, they’re going to have to remove the door you installed before they can get on with the rest of their repairs. Not only will your time and hard work go down the drain, but your money will as well.
It’s usually not too difficult to determine whether the door to your crawl space is loose. That said, it takes a little more work to determine whether a loose door has damaged your crawl space. Luckily, the professionals serving Columbus and Cincinnati, OH, have a long history of conducting crawl space inspections. When you call a contractor out to your property, you can trust them to look over your space and keep you up to date on any potential repairs you may need.
The Initial Inspection
Most crawl space contractors break their inspections down into three phases, starting with an inspection of your crawl space entryway. Your crawl space entryway needs to be up to code, meaning area professionals need to be able to pass through it without putting themselves in danger. If contractors cannot get into your crawl space, you’ll need to invest in reconstruction or repairs until it is safe for them to do so. It’s at this stage that most contractors will be able to identify a loose crawl space door if you have one. You can opt to either replace the door you have in place or see whether repairs may make it usable again.
After the entryway inspection comes a more superficial inspection of your crawl space. During this stage of your inspection, the professionals in your area can identify any glaringly obvious signs of damage. This includes drooping insulation, damaged joists, extensive mold growth, and standing water. The professionals in your area can give you a free quote at this stage letting you know what your potential repairs may look like and how much you may need to set aside for them.
The Thorough Inspection
After repairing your damaged crawl space door and addressing any large-scale damage, professionals will take a closer look at your home as well as the rest of your crawl space. The lack of obvious damage means that your crawl space should be in good condition, but that doesn’t mean that it’s damage-free. If professionals can identify small cracks or the signs of future trouble, you can invest in repairs before those problems get out of hand.
Furthermore, professionals can use this stage of the inspection process to figure out what home waterproofing measures might suit you best. Crawl space waterproofing measures, from vapor barriers to non-commercial dehumidifiers, can work in tandem with one another to prevent the worst of your home’s water damage, even if your crawl space door comes loose.
The trick professionals use to limit the impact of crawl space damage is threefold. For starters, they conduct regular inspections to make sure that all parts of your crawl space, from the door to your joists, are in good condition. From there, they make regular repairs. Finally, they encourage homeowners to engage in consistent and comprehensive crawl space waterproofing.
Repairing Your Crawl Space
The benefit of initial crawl space inspections cannot be overstated. These regular inspections, when conducted by the professionals serving your area, can help you get ahead of all kinds of damage, large and small. If you have the opportunity to repair this damage before it gets out of hand, you can limit the impact that your crawl space has on the rest of your home.
The minute you’re able to tend to your crawl space, the rest of your home should show signs of improvement. For example, if unusual amounts of moisture have destabilized your I-beams and joists, repairs can make the floors above your crawl space feel more secure. Even handling something as small as a superficial crack can bring your monthly electric bill down.
Waterproofing Your Crawl Space
Your work isn’t done after you’ve repaired your crawl space. It doesn’t matter what kind of damage you had to contend with. If you don’t waterproof your crawl space after your repairs, all a professional’s hard work can easily be undone.
What’s more, waterproofing your crawl space can protect the rest of your home. Not only will the supports in your crawl space do their jobs for longer when they’re protected by home waterproofing measures, but that moisture will have a harder time reaching the rest of your home. In turn, you can expect humidity levels to drop in the upper levels of your home, making your home more comfortable. Your home will also be safer, as any mold spores lying in wait in your HVAC system won’t have access to the nutrients they need to thrive.
Repairing Additional Crawl Space Damage
Your work isn’t done after you’ve repaired your crawl space door. If professionals believe that your space has taken on some kind of additional damage, then you’re going to have to invest in additional repairs.
There’s no sense in leaving this kind of damage untreated. Doing so, in fact, can invalidate all the steps you took to repair your crawl space door. Luckily, you can continue to work with the professionals in your area to determine what home waterproofing measures might suit your property best. Some of the most effective to install in a crawl space include but are not limited to:
- Interior drainage system
- Sump pump
- Crawl space encapsulation with a vapor barrier
- Non-commercial dehumidifier
- Waterproof insulation
When you install waterproofing measures in your crawl space, you can prevent unwanted moisture from traveling through the rest of your home. Above all else, you can limit the impact any remaining humidity or moisture can have on the new additions to your crawl space.
You may have the option to use these waterproofing measures and others, like professional grading, in tandem with one another. If you’re not sure where to start when exploring your potential options, sit down with the professionals in Columbus and Cincinnati, OH, for a consultation.
Let Area Professionals Do the Hard Work for You
Loose crawl space doors are more inconvenient than you might think. If the exterior door to your crawl space is loose, you may find yourself contending with all manner of water damage, from standing water in your crawl space to mold throughout the whole of your home. The good news is if you catch a loose door early, you may not have to worry about significant damage. Instead, area professionals can help you tighten your door and protect your crawl space from unwanted moisture.
Even if you can’t catch a damaged crawl space early, there’s still hope for you. The experts at Ohio Basement Authority who serve Columbus and Cincinnati, OH, can help you overcome any degree of damage that your crawl space has to contend with. You can reach out today to schedule a free home inspection and to benefit from a free services quote.