Poor Backfill Soil

Backfill soil is the soil that is put back into place after a home’s foundation has been built, and this extends about 3-5 feet out from the foundation walls. When it isn’t properly put back, a lot of problems can happen as a result. There may be dips in the lawn next to the foundation, and these areas will collect a lot of moisture whenever it rains, or when there is a warm spring day with melting snow.

All of this moisture eventually seeps into the ground, and it can make its way into the crawl space environment below a home if it hasn’t been properly sealed off from the outside environment.

Warning Signs of a Backfill Problem

Puddles
Puddles can be a warning sign of a backfill problem

Below are some of the things a homeowner can be on the look-out for which may indicate that there is a problem with their backfilled soil:

  1. There are sunken, low-lying areas next to the foundation of the home.
  2. Water can be seen in puddles in certain spots on the lawn or up next to the crawl space footing.
  3. Piers that help to support the weight of the home are sinking into the earth.
  4. Certain spots on the first level of the home no longer feel very level, sturdy, or safe.
  5. Water can be seen inside of the crawl space, or there is noticeable wood rot or mold growth.

The soil around the home will likely need to be re-backfilled so that the problem doesn’t keep happening again and again. Your local crawl space repair contractor will be able to evaluate the terrain and grading of your lawn to determine the best way to go about fixing the problem.

Crawl Space Encapsulation

This is the most effective and most common way to prevent water from seeping into the crawl space of a home. It seals the area off from both ground water and from moisture, excessive humidity, and critters who may try to get into this space at ground level.

Typically speaking, the encapsulation process will involve all or some of the following products and systems: vapor barriers, floor liners, sump pumps, drainage systems, insulating material, dehumidifiers, and more. These products will help to keep moisture out where it belongs so that it can no longer cause problems in or around the home.

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If You've Got Crawl Space Questions, We've Got Crawl Space Answers!

At Crawl Space Maintenance, we get a lot of questions from people concerning their crawl spaces. In this section we answer the most commonly asked questions. If we do not have the answer you are looking for, you can submit your question to an Expert in our Network.