Crawl Space Repair

What is a crawl space repair service?

Crawl space repair refers to addressing and resolving issues that affect the integrity and functionality of the area directly beneath a building. Since crawlspace foundations are commonly used to elevate the lowest floors in some residential buildings to protect them from flood hazards, issues arise in those spaces. Professional crawl space repair companies assess the condition of the space, identify the underlying problems, and recommend appropriate solutions.

A contractor is a white protective suit inspects a space in preparation for a crawl space repair job.

What are some common problem signs?

Several common signs indicate potential problems, including:

  1. Excessive moisture: Standing water, soggy insulation, condensation on pipes, or high humidity indicate crawl space moisture issues. This can lead to mold or mildew growth, wood rot, wet insulation, and moisture damage to structural components.

  2. Musty odors: Foul or musty smells from under the home can indicate mold growth or mildew. These unpleasant odors can permeate into the living space above.

  3. Pest infestation: Pests such as rodents, insects, carpenter ants, or termites can indicate openings or vulnerabilities that must be addressed.

  4. Sagging floors: If the first floor has uneven floors, it may indicate structural issues, such as weakened wood beams or compromised joists.

  5. Increased energy bills: Poor insulation or air leaks in the crawlspace can result in energy loss and higher utility bills for the home.

  6. Cold floors: If the floors on the lower level of the living space feel unusually cold, it could indicate insufficient insulation or air infiltration under the home.

  7. Allergic reactions or respiratory issues: Poor indoor air quality in the home, caused by mold spores, mildew, or excessive moisture from wet crawl space air, which can increase allergy symptoms or respiratory problems in occupants above.

  8. Pest droppings or damage: Finding unwanted pest droppings, gnawed wires, or damaged insulation under the home indicates the presence of pests and potential structural damage.

  9. Foundation cracks: Cracks in the foundation walls or uneven settling of the foundation can impact the stability of the space and the home’s overall structure.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to have professional foundation and crawl space repair experts assess the condition of the space and determine the improvements needed.

A crawl space repair job underway. New wooden beams have been installed on top concrete support pillars and a vapor barrier lines the crawl space floor.

What crawl space repair solutions do you use?

Several common crawlspace repair solutions can address various issues and improve the overall condition of the space.

  1. Crawl Space Encapsulation Systems: This involves sealing the crawl space from the surrounding environment using a vapor barrier or liner. It helps control excess moisture, prevent water intrusion, and reduce the risk of mildew or mold growth risk. The encapsulation process may also include insulating the foundation walls and floor to improve energy efficiency.

  2. Drainage Systems: Installing a drainage system, such as a French drain or interior/exterior sump pump, can help manage standing water or prevent water issues. These systems redirect water away from the house, mitigating potential moisture-related issues.

  3. Ventilation and Dehumidification: Improving ventilation and installing a crawl space dehumidifier can help regulate moisture levels. Proper airflow and humidity control can prevent mold from growing, reduce musty scents, and protect the structural integrity of the space.

  4. Structural Repairs: If there are issues with sagging floors, damaged support beams, or compromised joists, structural repairs may be necessary. This can involve reinforcing or replacing damaged structural components to ensure stability and prevent further damage.

  5. Pest Control Measures: If pests, such as mice, rats, or bugs, are infesting the area under the home, controlling these pests is crucial. This may include sealing entry points, removing existing pests, and installing barriers or traps to prevent future pest infestations.

  6. Insulation Upgrades: Insulating the crawlspace can reduce energy costs and prevent temperature fluctuations. This can be achieved with spray foam insulation or by installing rigid foam board insulation materials on the walls, floor, or between joists to create a thermal barrier.

  7. Air Sealing: Sealing air leaks in the crawl space can prevent the entry of outside air and pests and regulate indoor humidity levels. This can involve caulking gaps, sealing penetrations, and insulating duct work.

What is the difference between an open and closed crawl space?

These are two fundamentally different approaches to managing the space beneath the house. An open crawlspace allows outside air to circulate freely under the home, while a closed or encapsulated system seals the space from the external environment. 

The open approach was common for a long time, but other options were developed as homes became more energy-efficient and allergy-related symptoms grew. Encapsulated or conditioned systems take more effort and have a higher average cost to set up. Still, they offer better control over the below-grade space, ensuring improved air quality, lower utility costs, and protection from future expensive repairs.

What preparation do you need to do before you can make repairs?

Before undertaking repairs, it is essential to properly prepare the space. First, we get the space clean by removing any debris, clutter, or organic materials. This gives us a clear view of the area and helps facilitate the repair process. Next, is the space dry? We need to address, identify, and repair any sources of water seepage, like leaks, standing water, or indicators of drainage issues. This is crucial to prevent further water damage. If mold is present, it needs to be addressed before proceeding. Mold removal happens before a vapor barrier can be installed. All wooden beams are inspected for signs of wood rot. Finally, a thorough concrete inspection is conducted to identify foundation repair work that needs to be done first. 

A close-up of gloved hands cleaning up debris in a crawl space.

How long does this repair process typically take?

Crawl space repairing projects vary and depend on the specific issues and scope. Generally, the timeline can range from a few days to several weeks. Factors that can influence the duration include the extent of damage, the complexity of the repairs, accessibility to the space, and any additional services required, such as mold remediation, concrete repair, or waterproofing

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to have a crawl space sump pump installed?

No! Every home is different, and your specific crawl space issues will determine the recommended intervention.  Homes with drainage issues often benefit from equipment that will pump the water out and away from the house. 

Is there any other value to the area under my home? It feels like wasted space.

Being such a small space between your home's bottom floor and the ground doesn't make it useless. Many people consider it an extra space to store things they use infrequently.  Homes with crawl space foundations do not have the same amount of space per square foot as those with a basement, but a dry, clean space beneath the home does offer some value.

Where do you provide crawlspace repairs?

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An inspection by a foundation repair specialist is available. Contact us to schedule one today!