How to Spot Crawl Space Problems for New Homeowners

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Imagine this: you’re in the new home you just bought, and you’re walking around, checking out every area. Everything seems fine. Flash forward a few years, and you have some serious problems going on with your home’s foundation.

An expert comes by to check out what’s going on, and it turns out that there was a hidden, serious issue in your crawl space that caused this problem.

If you have crawl space problems, it’s best to know now, when you’ve just bought your new home. That way, you can avoid any serious, costly problems with your home later on.

But how do you know if there’s an issue with your crawl space? After all, it’s a part of your home you rarely go into. It’s stressful not to know if there’s a serious problem with your new home.

That’s why we’ve put together this article. In it, you’ll find out about all the different ways you can identify crawl space issues.

Finally, you can rest easy knowing that your crawl space is fine—or call in an expert if you need to. Read on to learn more.

Musty or Damp Smells

One of the biggest signs that show there are crawl space issues in your home is a damp or musty smell coming from the ground. If it’s gotten so bad that you can smell it when walking around, you probably have a buildup of mildew or mold.

This is a problem in itself because mold can be dangerous to your and your family’s health.

According to the CDC, you can get itchy skin, itchy or red eyes, or wheezing from mold. If you have asthma, then this can give you a severe reaction. People with allergies can also have intense reactions to mold.

It may not seem like the air in your home is affected by the crawl space, given that there’s a floor between you and the crawl space. However, the opposite is in fact true.

Because heat rises, the air in your crawl space easily goes into your home.

40% of the air you inhale in your home originates from your crawl space. So you need to deal with this mold issue as soon as you can.

Additionally, the buildup of mold or mildew can be a sign of something more serious going on in your crawl space. You could have a water seepage problem or a leaking pipe.

Considering that the cost of flooding can be $25,000 for just one inch of water, it’s best to call in crawl space contractors to identify the cause ASAP.

Cold Floors

If your crawl space isn’t designed correctly, then you might end up with cold floors. Have you recently been walking around your home on your tiptoes, or have to put on slippers every time you get out of bed to stay warm?

In this case, your crawl space isn’t properly insulated. Heat naturally rises, so it goes up throughout your house, leaving the crawl space (on the other side of your floors) cold. This is called the stack effect.

Not only is this uncomfortable, but it can also lead to serious issues such as frozen pipes. If a frozen pipe bursts, it can cause huge amounts of flooding, which can damage your home’s foundation, furniture, and walls.

To avoid this from happening, you should discuss crawl space solutions with an expert. They’ll help you get the crawl space insulated properly.

Uneven Floors

Do you have uneven floors in your home? This can be a serious problem since it can mean that there’s an issue with the foundation of your home. Even though crawl spaces are a part of your home, a damaged crawl space can cause serious support issues in your floors.

If you’ve just moved in, you should get these uneven floors checked out. That way, you’ll know if you need crawl space repair or if it’s simply warped flooring.

High Energy Bills

If you’ve recently been getting high energy bills, but you have your heat cranked up as high as it can go, then your crawl space might be the cause. Especially if you have carpet, you won’t notice how cold your floors actually are.

Your HVAC system is working extra hard to warm up the cold area in your crawl space. As a result, you’re paying way more than you need to.

Fortunately, experts have crawl space solutions, such as re-structuring your crawl space or insulating it properly. Even though you’ll have to pay for the repair, it will be way cheaper than paying for high energy bills every winter.

Groundwater Seepage

Another reason for fixing crawl spaces is groundwater seepage. If you’ve noticed this issue, it could end up with mold growth or damaged wooden beams. Additionally, you could end up with water damage in your home.

Your floors or other structures made of wood could rot, bow, or warp.

Even worse? If you’ve just noticed the groundwater seepage in your crawl space, it’s possible that it’s been flooded multiple times. There could already be a lot of damage that has occurred to your home.

Additionally, if there’s stagnant water in your crawl space, this could create a mold issue.

Given that all these issues could compromise your home’s structure, cause costly repairs, or create health problems, you should have a repair service come in to fix your crawl space so the groundwater seepage doesn’t continue.

Unsightly Mold Growth

If you’ve gone into your crawl space and see that there’s a lot of mold growing there, you need to deal with this issue for two reasons. First of all, the mold itself can be dangerous to your health. But there’s another problem.

If there’s mold growth, this might because of a build-up of moisture, humidity coming in from outside, or flooding. All of these causes can cause different issues not only in your crawl space but throughout your home.

To determine what’s causing the mold growth, you can call a professional in. This way, you can address the issue directly.

Pests

One of the most common issues with crawl spaces is pest infestations. If you’ve noticed small droppings around your home or small holes in the walls, then you might have some rodents who are currently living in your crawl space.

If you have another type of infestation, such as an insect infestation, it’s easy for them to hide in your crawl space, too.

Also, if you notice them scattering under furniture when you turn the lights on, then you should have a professional come in.

While an infestation expert can help you get rid of the animals, a repair expert can help you determine if the pests have done any damage to the interior of your home.

Make sure you call them to find out if there’s been any damage inflicted on your crawl space, walls, or foundations.

Sagging Floors

If you’re walking around your home and notice that your floors actually move down when you step on them, this means you have sagging floors. Often, the cause of this is a damaged crawl space. However, there many other issues that could be causing it.

Sagging floors can also be caused by foundation cracks, water seepage, poor soil compaction, failing support beams, poor foundation installation, termite or rot damage.

Poor soil compaction is something you should most definitely worry about. If the soil your home is entrenched in isn’t compacted correctly, this could cause some serious issues with your home’s foundation.

Additionally, sagging floors can be caused by deteriorating wood supports and an excess of moisture in your crawl space.

The only way you can find out what the underlying cause is is by calling in an expert who can go into your crawl space and take a look.

Need Help With Your Crawl Space Problems?

Now that you’ve learned about the different signs of crawl space problems, you might need some help. Maybe you want to learn whether the type of mold you see growing is highly toxic to you and your family.

Or maybe you want an expert to come in and determine whether your foundation is in danger of collapsing.

Whatever you need help with, we can help you. At Crawl Space Medic, we’re experts when it comes to repairing crawl spaces. We also offer crawl space repair services. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us now.

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