Sagging Floor Joists
Whenever there are noticeable un-level or sagging areas on the first floor of a home, it is likely caused from sagging floor joists. This problem is often associated with having moisture beneath the home in the crawl space or crawl space.
When there is a crawl space under the home, it needs to be properly sealed off from the outside environment so that moisture and humidity can’t get inside and cause problems. Water and wooden materials are not friends, and when they come in contact with each other, it can cause a lot of issues.
Moisture is able to get into an un-sealed crawl space through vents, access doors, over the footing, or it could come up through the ground. Once inside of the crawl space, it will cause damage to all wooden materials, and this includes support beams and floor joists. These materials are partially responsible for holding up the weight of the home.
Eventually, the moisture will cause the wooden materials to warp, rot, deteriorate, and decay. This will inevitably cause problems for the overall structural integrity of the home. Additionally, all of the damaged wood will become very inviting to unwanted pests, including: termites, roaches, spiders, snakes, rats, mice, skunks, or even raccoons.
Warning Signs of Crawl Space Moisture
Below are some of the indications that there is water in this space below the home:
- Home smells very musty – can indicate the growth of mold.
- Puddles of water can be seen building up next to the crawl space from outside the home.
- Certain spots on the first floor of the home do not feel very level or safe.
- Noticeable damage to the structure’s wooden materials can be seen when looking inside of the space.
To take care of this common issue, the source of water to the crawl space environment will need to be stopped. This can be taken care of with the use of encapsulation products and systems.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl space encapsulation involves the installation of: vapor barriers, floor liners, insulation, vents and vent doors, dehumidifiers, sump pumps, or special drainage systems. All of the products are specially-designed to keep moisture out where it belongs.
It will also be important to have the deteriorating wood replaced so that the home’s load can be properly supported once again, and this will also help to eliminate the critter infestation seen below the home.
Additionally, special crawl space stabilizers can be installed to keep weakened areas supported an in position beneath the home. This can help to make un-level areas safe and level once again.