Questions and Answers
Why Do I Need to Keep My Crawl Space Dry?
A wet crawl space is going to cause problem after problem. Moisture here can cause a lot of damage, including wood rot – which will inevitably endanger the structural integrity of a home – as well as the growth of dangerous molds and bacteria which could make your family really sick. Not only this, but moisture here will devalue your property quite significantly.
How Important is the Crawl Space Below My Home?
Your crawl space acts as the base of your home. If it’s in poor shape, the rest of your home is going to experience a lot of problems in time.
There are Areas on the First Floor of My Home That Feel Like They are Sagging – What is Causing This?
Whenever you have moisture in the crawl space, it will eventually cause all wooden materials, including beams and floor joists, to warp, rot, bend, and decay. Eventually, the floor joist will have problems holding up the weight of the home, and you will notice sagging or un-level areas in some spots. This is a problem that must be taken care of immediately before the damage gets any worse.
What Does it Matter if There is Mold in My Crawl Space? It’s Not Like I Spend Any Time Down There!
Whenever mold grows, wherever it grows, it releases spores up and into the air. Nearly 50% of the air your family breathes each day first originated in the crawl space. This means that those mold spores are in the air. When your family breathes them in, it can cause a wide variety of serious health problems, including: respiratory problems, asthma attacks, skin rashes, eye irritation, allergies, coughing, sneezing, or cold/flu-like symptoms.
Why Should I Worry About the Humidity Levels in My Crawl Space?
Excessive humidity in this area of the home can lead to wood rot, which can lead to problems for the structural integrity of the home. Also, mold needs three things to live, which are moisture, excessive humidity, and organic materials to feed on. These three things are often found inside of the crawl space – get rid of one of these “ingredients” and mold can’t grow.
I Think There are Animals Living in My Crawl Space – Is This a Problem?
Yes! You do not want any animals living under your home. This is incredibly dangerous, and if they die there, you will be dealing with some very foul odors emanating up and into the living areas of your home. Sealing the crawl space off will prevent insects and other unwanted critters from getting inside.
What is Crawl Space Encapsulation?
Encapsulating a crawl space involves sealing it off from the outside environment. All contractors do the work a little differently, but most will install some or all of the following below your home: vapor barriers, floor liners, dehumidifiers, insulating material, sump pumps, drainage systems, and crawl space floor stabilizers.
How Long Does the Encapsulation Process Take?
It varies, depending on what kind of condition your crawl space is currently in – i.e. how much clean up work is going to need to be done? Also, the size of the crawl space will play a role in how much time it will take.
Does it Matter if There is Standing Water Under My Home?
Yes! Standing water indicates that your crawl space has a moisture problem. As mentioned earlier, moisture here is never a good thing, and it can lead to many different serious problems, as well as some very expensive damage.
What is Radon and What Does My Crawl Space Have to Do With It?
Radon is known as a soil gas. It is created from the breakdown of certain types of elements in the earth. When this happens, the gas is released from the earth, and it will seep upward. If the crawl space floor isn’t properly sealed, this gas could make its way up and into your home. Radon is incredibly dangerous, and it’s actually the number one cause of lung cancer in individuals who don’t smoke.
My Home Smells Really Musty. What is This From?
If your home smells musty, like dirty gym socks, then this is a fairly good indication that you have mold growing under your home. To take care of the problem, moisture and humidity issues will need to be dealt with, and this will involve sealing the crawl space off from the outside world through a process known as encapsulation. It’s important to get this problem taken care of quickly since mold doesn’t just make your home smell bad, but it can also cause many different health problems for your family and pets.
I Think I Have Vents Installed in My Crawl Space. When Were They Put There?
Typically, in times past, all that was needed to “ventilate” a crawl space were a couple of vents installed on the walls. However, vents aren’t always the best way to go about dealing with air flow under a home, and your local crawl space repair contractor will be able to help you with this situation after a proper and thorough inspection of this space below your home.
What Should I Do With the Crawl Space Floor?
Depending on the contractor you choose for the encapsulation job, there are different techniques which can be used to take care of the crawl space floor to prevent moisture from the ground being able to seep up. Concrete can be poured over the earth, and this is an impenetrable layer that no mice, rats, snakes, or other animals will be able to get through. Additionally, a floor liner can be installed over the earth, and this will be able to keep moisture from pooling up below the home.