- You are beginning to notice the the first level floors of your home may becoming uneven, or have some sag.
- Your home is beginning to smell, a lot like “gym socks”.
- It smells like there is a dead animal in your home.
- You can notice standing water around the footing of my crawl space.
- The crawl space vents are always left open.
- When you are able to inspect your crawl space and see rotting wood, sagging floor joists, or their is fiberglass insulation that has begin to fall to the ground..
- You have noticed increased pest coming through the crawl space vents.
- Your home has been tested for high levels of radon gas.
- The backfill around your crawl space has low points that collect and trap water.
- The crawl space footer is bending, has noticeable cracks, or has some other damage to it.
The moisture will also aid in the growth of dangerous mold and mildew. As this fungus grows, it will begin to release microscopic spores into the air. These spores over time will find their way into being inhaled in to occupants of the home, and can possible make them very ill. Mold can have a very negative impact on your health, and cause several different health conerns ranging from asthma attacks, other respitory problems, cold and flu like symptoms, headaches, fatigue, skin rashes, and eye irritation.
Did you know that as much as 50% of the air you are breathing in your home came from your crawl space? This is the reason that having mold growing in your crawl space can be so dangerous. If you are seeing mold in your crawl space it may also be a sign that you are experiencing high humidity levels.
- The first floor of your home is experiencing sagging or uneven floors.
- The home is developing some nasty odors.
- You are noticing a lot of pest in your crawl space.
- There is water puddling up along the footing of your crawl space
- Home occupants are experiencing symptoms common to mold problems.
- You have noticed an increase in energy cost to heat and cool your home.
Since the conditioned air inside your home is no longer able to escape outside, you will not be putting any extra burden or your furnace or air conditioner. This helps provide maintain cooler air in the summer, and hotter air in the winter. This will result in an increase in energy efficiency and lower utility bills.
- Use spray foam to insulate the space and prevent conditioned air from escaping the crawl space.
- Install the proper vapor barrier to seal off the walls and earth.
- Ventilation may be added through duct work or a mechanical fan. Vents should be closed or sealed to minimize the transfer of conditioned air.
- Proper installation of sump pumps, drainage, or floor drains to insure that in the event of water entering the crawl space it can be properly controlled and removed.
- Finish sealing the walls and doors of the crawl space.
Concrete is a porous material. When water is built up inside it or behind it, it will cause the concrete to get wet. This moisture will then evaporate inside the crawl space and leave behind white crystal formations.
These three conditions will be present for efflorescence to form:
- Somewhere along the crawl space wall there must be water soluble salts found.
- There will also need to be enough moisture found along the walls to turn these salts into a soluble solution that can be absorbed by the concrete.
- There must be a way for the salt solution to evaporate. This is what leaves the white, chalky substance behind.
The presence of efflorescence is a sign that outside water has found away into your home. The use of an interior waterproofing system is a good way to handle water that has found its way into your home, but the goal is that you want to prevent that moisture from coming in all together.
The best way to do this is with crawl space encapsulation. This includes using products like vapor barriers, drainage systems, sump pumps, and dehumidifiers.
In the event that the home owner does want to clean the walls there are chemical cleaners that contain muriatic acid that are usually used. Before these can be used however, it is essential that the moisture issue leading to the efflorescence has been resolved. Sand blasting is another option that is commonly used.
When moisture from heavy rains or large snow melts finds its way into an un-sealed crawl space, the combination of moisture, high humidity, and the surplus of organic material for mood will easily support mold growth.
Mold has been found to cause many health problems; including, fatigue, asthma attacks, allergies, headaches, sinus infections, skin rashes, eye irritations, asthma attacks, coughing and sneezing, respiratory complications, and several other medical concerns.
To do this properly you will want to encapsulate the crawl space. This includes using products like vapor barriers, drainage systems, sump pumps, and dehumidifiers to seal off the crawl space from the outside.
A crawl space under a home needs to be properly encapsulated to prevent problems that are often associated with excess moisture and humidity. When the excess water or humidity comes in contact with the wood it can cause floor joists to sag along with several other structural issues.
If the water is present long enough the wood will begin to warp, rot, decay and eventually deteriorate. This process quickly weakens the structure of the home and attracts unwanted pests like termites, spiders, roaches, snakes, rats, mice, and even skunks and raccoons.
- A house with a musty smell can be a sign that mold is present..
- There are signs of water pooling or puddling around the outside of the crawl space.
- Areas of the first floor seem to be uneven, sagging, or spongy.
- Visible damage can be seen on the wooden structures.
During this process it is also important to remove any decaying wood that is found. This will help the structure regain strength, prevent further damage, and deter pest.
In some cases it may be necessary to install a crawl space support stabilization system. This can help make un-level portion of the floor level and safe.
- The forming of condensation on crawl space access doors and vents.
- The first floor of the home has areas of the floor that seem un-level.
- The house has a strong musty odor, than many claim smells like old gym socks. This is usually a sure sign that mold is present.
- During a visual inspection mold can be seen growing in the crawl space.
- During a visual inspection wood rot or decay can be seen on the structure of the home.
This dark and wet space will also be an attractive den for many vermin who would love to raise their families in the comfort of your home. As they complete their life cycle in the home the will leave behind food, waste, and decaying corpses.
- A musty smell can be found in the home, which is often caused by mold growth inside of the fiberglass materials.
- Notice an increase in energy bills.
- Seems hard to regulate temperatures in the home. It either gets too hot or too cold.
- Notice un-even floors on the first level of your home. This is often caused from wood that has become wet and beginning to rot.
- Fiberglass insulation can be seen on the ground indicating that it has fallen from the moisture’s added weight .
The wet fiberglass insulation should be removed and disposed of properly to limit any additional damage to the wood and to minimize mold growth. In its place a closed cell spray foam should be used around the perimeter of the crawl space. The spray foam insulation does not absorb water, it protects the wood structures of your home, and is a great pest deterrent.
The drain serves as the main method to prevent outside water from getting into your home. Over time however this drainage may become clogged with tree roots, sediment, and other debris.
At some point this drain will fail to collect and move water away from the home and will need to be serviced. The drain is a crucial element when it comes to keeping your crawl space clean.
- Water has begin to pool or collect along the footing in your crawl space.
- Areas of the homes first floor are un-even or seem to be “sinking”.
- The home is beginning to smell musty.
- Upon inspecting the crawl space you see standing water, wood rot, or notice the insulation has become damaged.
After the problem with the drain has been resolved it is best practice to seal off the crawl space to prevent any further damage from moisture..
Again the best way to do this is encapsulating using various products as needed; including, drainage systems, dehumidifiers, sump pump, reflective thermal barriers, floor liners, vapor barriers, spray foam, and possibly stabilizers to support sagging joists. Using a combination of these products will help provide you with the best chance of having a dry, safe, and healthy crawl space.
Sooner or later as this moisture continues to work its way down to the foundation walls and to the footer, it will find its way into an un-sealed crawl space.
- Dips, low-lying areas, or sunken areas can be seen around the homes foundation.
- Water can be seen pooling or puddling along the foundation.
- If piers are present to support the the weight of the home they may begin to sink further into the earth.
- The first level floor of the home may begin to feel uneven or sturdy.
- Upon visual inspection of the crawl space water is found, damaged wood is found, or mold in present.
There may need to be more soil added to the back fill until the proper grading is reached.