Crawl Space Problem Signs
When you first think about your crawl space, you may think of a damp, musty, and grimy area, filled with rodents, pests, and mold. If that’s the case, you may be in need of crawl space repairs. Here are some common problem signs associated with crawl space damage.
Indiana Foundation Service
Crawl Space Humidity
If you don’t manage your crawl space humidity correctly, it could lead to wood rot, mold growth, and ruined crawl space insulation
Indiana Foundation Service
Dry Rot Damage
Dry rot (also known as brown rot) is one of the most damaging forces on household wood in the world.
Indiana Foundation Service
Termite Damage Repair
Damage from wood-destroying pests such as termites and carpenter ants is a slow process. If you can catch it before the problem becomes too severe, you can prevent the lion’s share of the damage before it occurs.
Indiana Foundation Service
Mold Damage and Crawl Spaces
When mold and rot are allowed to grow in crawl spaces, they lead to health and structural problems that will affect the entire home.
An unsealed and exposed crawl space can develop an extensive list of moisture-related problems over the years. This can result in high energy bills, mold and mildew growth, rotted floor joists, and wet insulation. In severe cases, your home’s structure may be at risk as well. For most situations, crawl space encapsulation is a multi-step process that addresses each aspect of moisture damage and prevention in your crawl space. At Indiana Foundation Service, our team has almost three decades of experience in solving even the most complex of crawl space problems. With our proven solutions, we can transform your crawl space from wet and dirty into a dry, clean, usable space.
A Crack in Your Foundation Shouldn't Break the BankLearn More About This Promotion
Take advantage of
(if paid in full within 12 months)
Causes of Crawl Space Damage
More than 50% of the air you breathe in your house comes from the crawl space. That means that whatever is in your crawl space also is in the rest of your home and affecting you and your family.
Air pressure also comes into play with air movement. Air flows from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. When there is a greater difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more significant this airflow becomes.
Even though you can’t actually see airflow, it might help to see this in action to get a better understanding of the stack effect. The Cold Climate Housing Research Center has several informational YouTube videos, including “Your Northern Home: Stack Effect” that illustrates the stack effect.
So, if there’s humid air or mold in your crawl space, it’s also in the air that is circulating throughout your home.
Any kind of water in your crawl space is a bad sign. It can enter through open vents, porous block walls, the ground, and plumbing leaks and lead to a variety of problems. Water in damp, dark areas like crawl spaces attracts bugs and pests. It also can saturate and weaken wooden structural supports, lead to corrosion and rust on metal supports, and result in mold growth.
Coupled with water intrusion and outside air being ventilated into the crawl space, humidity is a major crawl space culprit. High humidity – any level above 50% – contributes to mold growth, unpleasant odors, failing support systems and more.
It’s common for crawl spaces to have high relative humidity and moisture. These conditions promote mold growth, especially on organic materials like wood and insulation. Moisture in the crawl space also can enter other areas of the home through wall, ceiling and floor cracks, and contribute to mold growth there. (Source: EPA)
After contacting IFS, I met with Doug Caister who provided an on time inspection. He provided full details of findings, along with guidance of services and options available to repair areas. He was very professional and explained step by step what…View review Read Dennis Davis's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Had a GREAT talk today with Chuck Bravdo We had an issue that needed address, we all came to a salution that was good for both.View review Read Luan Adams's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Crawlspace encapsulation. Great company to work with.View review Read Ryan Gregory's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Nick Z., DakotaC., Zach, Taylor and Quiten did an excellent job in our crawl space. They had to scrape out old spray on insulation and prepare the area for a dehumidifier. The work was completed in half the time estimated. They were pleasant, on…View review Read Pam Spainhower's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Gavin was a valuable (and patient) resource for us in identifying potential future concerns with deflection/bowing in our basement block walls. He provided a good service with minimal cost to help us deal with a leak we were having in one corner.View review Read David Durica's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Andrew P Dylan B Chris K These guys earned their money, very tough job. Thanks guys for a job well done.View review Read Jeff Steele's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Gavin G. performed a 2 year follow up service on our waterproofing system and was excellent. IFS is a very thorough and professional company. I would highly recommend their services.View review Read Jared Boyd's review for Indiana Foundation Service
We are very happy with the service from Indiana Foundation. We had them work in our crawl space and outside our home. The men that came (Cory Moore, Dakota Culp, and Brian something) were all very professional and pleasant. I would recommend their…View review Read Lee Enkoff's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Had basement wall repaired . Logan H., Chris K, and Andrew P. are hard workers and very professional. They cleaned up afterwards left the place on good shape. I would hire them again. Thanks guys!View review Read Dixie Foley's review for Indiana Foundation Service
We have used Indiana Foundation in multiple homes for a variety of jobs. Every experience working with the company has been excellent. Today, the crew of Dylan and Dylan reinforced the floor in our 140 year old basement. They were professional,…View review Read Rob Dunn's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Doug C. was great. He came out and gave us a detailed estimate for the work we needed and sent everything over very quickly. He also got back with me very quickly with a follow up question I had.View review Read Ross Kimble's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Would definitely would use Indiana Foundation again. Cody Fargo, James Vest-Patton and Eddie Crister explained what they were doing and were very good at getting the job done. Very thorough work. Thank youView review Read Tom Doherty's review for Indiana Foundation Service
We had to have our entire crawlspace redone due to water damage. Dane, Nate, and Brian came out to do the scheduled repairs, and they were on time and professional. Dane walked us through the progress each day so we were kept in the loop on the…View review Read Rebecca's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Doug C provided me a quote after giving my crawl space a thorough inspection. He was friendly and explained the entire process to me in a way that way digestible.View review Read Alyson Alde's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Joe called prior to his visit to let me know when he would arrive. He introduced himself and told me what exactly he was going to do. He was polite and professional and friendly, and went about his business. When finished, he explained what he…View review Read Anne Roberts's review for Indiana Foundation Service
The experience I had with Indiana Foundation Service was excellent. The representative who did the initial inspection was very thorough and he was able to correctly identify the issues causing the problem as well as how to correct them. The three…View review Read Deborah Mcintyre's review for Indiana Foundation Service
They came for annual check. Joe Carson was very helpful and professional. Thank youView review Read Kelly Little's review for Indiana Foundation Service
They were asking if we needed more info or had questions. We appreciated their suggestions plus the patience with Noodle(our dog)as he was overseeing their work. You have a wonderful company and the comfort between customer and the service techs was…View review Read Leslie Mitting's review for Indiana Foundation Service
The crew that came out to work on my basement ( Christian R. Chad B. Dylan A. And Tim M.) did a great job. They finished the job quickly and it turned out better than I had imagined. It has rained and stormed twice now since the put up the water…View review Read Dennie Brown's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Indiana Foundation Service waterproofed our basement last year. Today was our one year inspection. We really appreciated the service provided by Phillip and Joe C. They were both friendly and personable while also very professional and efficient.…View review Read Robyn Crook's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Crawl Space Repair Solutions
After diving in to the damage your crawl space can cause to the rest of your home and how to prevent it, you may be ready to drive to your nearest hardware store and take action yourself. It’s best to resist this urge and turn to your trusted local experts at Indiana Foundation Service instead. Here are some of the proven solutions we offer.
Indiana Foundation Service
Termites, carpenter ants, wood-eating beetles, and crickets are especially attracted to moldy, rotting wood, and your vents serve as an open invitation for them.
Indiana Foundation Service
By keeping your crawl space dry, you protect your structure and insulation from mold and rot.
Indiana Foundation Service
Crawl Space Dehumidifier
Adding a dehumidifier to your encapsulation is improved health and energy savings. A dehumidifier is a great solution to crawl space problems such as wet insulation of high indoor humidity.
Indiana Foundation Service
ExTremeBloc™ boasts a radiant barrier, which reflects heat back into your crawl space for ultimate energy savings.
Is Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation the Right Solution for Me?
We are committed to helping you protect your most valuable asset – your home. That is why we only use the very best products that are tested and proven to keep your crawl space dry, safe, and healthy. The solutions we use are manufactured right here in the United States, and they carry longtime warranties. All these solutions are also designed to work together to give you the most bang for your buck and prevent any further problems such as mold, dry rot, and pests.
If you have a dirt crawl space floor, it’s important to isolate the rest of the home environment from the earth. The CrawlSeal™ moisture and vapor barrier does just that. This thick and durable liner, which is similar to a swimming pool liner, completely seals the crawl space. It is a true 20-mil liner rated above 25-mil strength at the seams, and it has been treated to resist mold and water. CrawlSeal™ is puncture-resistant and tough enough to crawl on because it is over three times the thickness of builder’s grade liner.
If you have any questions along the way, aren’t sure of where to start, or just want some advice, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We are committed to helping you create a safe and healthy home for your family.
What comes to mind when you hear the term “crawl space?” Are you picturing a small door leading to a closet that’s perfect for kids playing hide-and-go-seek? Or are you thinking about attic space?
What we’re referring to is the space underneath your house without full headroom, only enough space to crawl around – hence the name, crawl space. While not every single house has a crawl space, it is a common practice to build homes with this 1-3′ hollow area underneath the structure to elevate it off the ground. Dirt floors are the norm for crawl spaces, as it is cheaper than pouring concrete. Crawl spaces also house the “guts” of the home, as they are convenient places to have HVAC units, plumbing, duct work, and electrical wiring. (Source: Realtor.com)
That being said, your crawl space could be harming the rest of your house and impacting the welfare of your loved ones. Crawl spaces typically are grimy, dank, intimidating areas with monsters like bugs, rodents and mold. Most people never venture into their crawl spaces because who in the world would want to be around those nasty conditions? It’s out of sight, out of mind, right?
Having that outlook about your crawl space is what puts your health and your family’s health in danger. There could be more lurking under your home than you realize. That’s why it’s important to be aware of your crawl space conditions and to act soon if there is a problem.
It all has to do with the way your house was built. There could have been a problem from day one. It is a common building practice to construct homes with crawl space vents. Building code has called for crawl spaces to have open vents for air drying purposes, but this is an outdated practice that is harmful to the house and its occupants.
Some resources still encourage open crawl space vents, but the hard truth is that this is what causes a lot of problems under and throughout your home. Open vents are invitations that allow outside air, water and pests inside. Why would you want those things inside your house?
More than 50% of the air you breathe in your house comes from the crawl space. That means that whatever is in your crawl space also is in the rest of your home and affecting you and your family. This is because air is drawn up through the house in a chimney-like pattern from bottom to top. This also is what is known as the stack effect.
Now that you’ve read about the problems with most crawl spaces and their negative effects, don’t you think it’s time to fix them? There are so many reasons why addressing crawl space problems is beneficial, but here are a few major perks:
- Health – By properly waterproofing, sealing, and insulating your crawl space, you are taking a major step in improving the health of your home and family. If anyone in your house suffers from asthma or allergies, a cleaner crawl space can help prevent flare-ups and other sickness. If you choose solutions such as a dehumidifier, the air quality will be greatly improved throughout the entire home.
- Structural Stability – Wet, damp crawl spaces with water and high humidity can have rotting and weakening support systems, which then leads to sagging and uneven floors. When you choose sturdy solutions to shore up the floors and floor joists, your home will be better supported and structurally sound.
- Energy Efficiency – A crawl space that is sealed from outside elements and properly insulated does not require as much energy usage. Unvented crawl spaces are estimated to use 15 to 18% less energy for heating and cooling while reducing humidity by over 20% when compared to vented crawl space homes. (Source: Hunker – Code Requirements for Crawl Spaces)
- Functional Space – When proper waterproofing and encapsulation measures are in place, your crawl space will be transformed into a more useable area! You will be able to store various belongings in the crawl space without worrying about any damage.
- Real Estate Value – There are different factors that affect your home’s appraisal value, but structural integrity, water issues, and other problems such as with crawl spaces are important areas you need to be aware of. When selling your house, it is important to disclose any known past or current damage. This sets clear expectations regarding the quality and condition of the home. Indiana homeowners selling their house must fill out the Seller’s Residential Real Estate Sales Disclosure form to the best of their ability. Some areas of the form include noting any foundation problems; water or moisture problems in the basement or crawl space; and damage due to flood, termites, or rodents.
After learning more about crawl spaces and how downright gross they can be, aren’t you motivated to take charge and transform this area of your home? You might be itching to head over to your local hardware or home improvement store to pick up repair supplies. But resist that urge.
Crawl space repair is not a project you can just tackle on a weekend and be done with it, especially if your crawl space is in serious disrepair. Even if you are a handy jack of all trades, it’s best to leave these kinds of repairs to experienced professionals. Plus, when it comes to real estate transactions, things like quick fixes could raise red flags and you’d have to spend more time and money to fix them.
Below are some highlights from a blog post from our friends and neighbors at Ohio Basement Authority in Columbus, OH. It further illustrates how crawl space repair is not a do-it-yourself undertaking.
Worst advice we’ve heard about crawl spaces:
- “What you don’t see can’t hurt you!”
People typically have no clue that a crawl space can be wet, moldy, have wood rot, insects and rodents are living there, and that this air is being breathed in their home.
- “Just put in some vents!”
If it is raining or humid outside, all that moisture will get into the crawl space instead of going out. Vents also give insects and rodents great entry points into your home.
- “Use pink insulation on the walls to prevent heat loss.”
If any moisture gets into the crawl space, which it most likely will, it will ruin this insulation.
- “Just use a car jack!”
Sometimes homeowners will use car jacks to “repair” the sagging floor above their crawl space. When it sinks again, they just jack it back up. This is NOT a good idea.
- “Use painter’s plastic to encapsulate.”
As the name implies, painter’s plastic is for painters. It isn’t meant to keep mold and moisture out.
Preventing dampness, humidity, and damage to your crawl space requires several measures to be taken. Proper maintenance and full waterproofing are your best bet if you want to ensure the long-term health and wellbeing of your property.
As is often the case, maintenance is crucial to ensuring the health of your property’s crawl space doors and vent covers, and of course the space as a whole. The seasons that are most likely to cause damage to your crawl space vent covers or doors are fall and spring. This may seem strange, but you must remember that it is rapid change that is most often responsible for damage to any surface. Rapid freeze-thaw cycles, for example, can wreak havoc on any home by causing the soil around it to expand and contract repeatedly.
Catching the first signs of this damage can be tough when it comes to your crawl space – this area is so rarely traversed. However, if you make just a few changes to your property maintenance schedule you could have a hugely positive impact on your property. Checking all of your crawl space vent covers and doors when you walk the perimeter of your property to clear the gutters, for example, is all it takes to notice a damaged or loose door. If possible, you should also check the inside of your crawl space for damage on a seasonal basis. Check the health of your joists, the state of your insulation, and the condition of your vent covers. You should also look for signs of wood rot, mold formation, and damage to your wires and pipes.
If you have to deal with structural damage in your property’s crawl space at some point, waterproofing really should be a part of the repair process, even if you have undertaken it the space in the past. After all, structural damage is very likely to cause damage to your insulation, drains, and moisture barriers. This can cause a huge amount of damage to your wider home as the partially intact waterproofing measures are likely to create a hothouse atmosphere that amplifies dampness and humidity, thereby exacerbating the issues at work. Dealing with your loose or damaged crawl space door or vent covers will likely require replacing them altogether; we recommend that you also invest in waterproofing measures.
Replacing, upgrading, or installing crawl space waterproofing for the first time will have a hugely beneficial impact on your crawl space and property as a whole. Waterproofing will not only prevent mold formation and pest infestation but it will improve the climate of your whole property very quickly. The decrease in humidity will ensure that your HVAC systems work more efficiently, that the temperatures in your home are more stable, and the cost of your energy bills drops in the future. This makes waterproofing an excellent investment in the future of your home.
We are committed to helping you protect your most valuable asset – your home. That is why we only use the very best products that are tested and proven to keep your crawl space dry, safe and healthy. The solutions we use are manufactured right here in the United States, and they carry longtime warranties. All these solutions also are designed to work together to give you the most bang for your buck and prevent any further problems.
Here are the different ways we address crawl space problems, as well as the solutions we use and how they work:
- Address Leaking Water – If you have a crawl space that leaks or floods, we need to attack the water at the source. Water often enters crawl spaces through vents, porous block walls, and the ground. Our CrawlDrain™ drainage system is installed in the floor throughout the crawl space perimeter to catch seeping water.
This water is then directed to drain into a sump pump system that will pump the water out of the crawl space and away from the home. Any of our SafeDri™ systems can be installed, but the SafeDri™ Pro Crawl Space Sump Pump is designed specifically with crawl spaces in mind. A FreezeGuard™ also can be attached to the exterior sump pump discharge line to prevent flooding if the line freezes or becomes blocked.
- Seal the Crawl Space from Outside Elements – Your first line of defense in protecting your crawl space is to seal it from outside air, water and pests. Placing vent covers over any crawl space will prevent intrusion from unwanted crawl space nuisances. Our reliable crawl space doors and access wells also can be installed to replace older systems.
If you have a dirt crawl space floor, it’s important to isolate the rest of the home environment from the earth. The CrawlSeal™ moisture and vapor barrier does just that. This thick and durable liner, which is similar to swimming pool liner, completely seals the crawl space. It is a true 20-mil liner rated above 25-mil strength at the seams, and it has been treated to resist mold and water. CrawlSeal™ is puncture-resistant and tough enough to crawl on because it is over three times the thickness of builder’s grade liner.
Additionaly, drainage matting can be placed on the crawl space floor before encapsulating to further enhance the strength of CrawlSeal™, as well as help direct water to the perimeter CrawlDrain™ system.
- Properly Insulate the Crawl Space – Instead of fluffy insulation that can easily fail and harbor mold and pests, we use rigid insulation panels in crawl spaces. These panels placed on crawl space walls will better insulate the crawl space and will not droop or develop mold like fiberglass insulation. The panels are moisture resistant, and an integrated termiticide is added to deter termites below grade. CrawlSeal™ also helps insulate the crawl space, and spray foam can be added to rim joists to seal gaps around the perimeter of your foundation. These insulation methods help prevent wood rot and enable termite treatments.
- Condition the Air – Our powerful, yet energy-efficient dehumidifiers will clean and filter the air, control moisture and humidity, and reduce odors and the potential for mold growth. They also are self-draining, which means you don’t have to worry about emptying any reservoirs or buckets like with typical dehumidifiers. They can drain into the perimeter drainage system or sump pump, or a condensate pump can be installed.
- Reinforce Support Systems – Wooden, metal, and even concrete support systems are susceptible to failure. To combat sagging floors, our IntelliJacks™ perfectly fit the bill. These supports may look like typical jack posts, but they are far superior. They are made of galvanized steel, making them more reliable supports that can stabilize and lift sagging floors and floor joists back to level. Each support jack has an allowable load capacity of more than 24,000 pounds.
If you have any questions along the way, aren’t sure of where to start, or just want some advice, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We are committed to helping you create a safe and healthy home!
Why Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation is Needed
After reading about the problems that most crawl spaces face and the negative effects that they can have on your home, you may be wondering what needs to be done to fix them. There are plenty of reasons why addressing crawl space problems is beneficial, but here are some of the biggest perks:
Better Air Quality
By properly waterproofing, sealing, and insulating your crawl space, you are taking a major step in improving the health of your home and family. If anyone in your house suffers from asthma or allergies, a cleaner crawl space can help prevent flare-ups and other sicknesses. If you choose solutions such as a dehumidifier, the air quality will be greatly improved throughout the entire home.
Real Estate Value
There are different factors that affect your home’s appraisal value, but structural integrity, water issues, and other problems within your crawl spaces are important areas you need to be aware of. When selling your house, it is important to disclose any known past or current damage. This sets clear expectations regarding the quality and condition of the home. Indiana homeowners selling their house must fill out the Seller’s Residential Real Estate Sales Disclosure form to the best of their ability. Some areas of the form include noting any foundation problems; water or moisture problems in the basement or crawl space; and damage due to flood, termites, or rodents.
Wet, damp crawl spaces with water and high humidity can have rotting and weakening support systems, which then leads to sagging and uneven floors. When you choose sturdy solutions to shore up the floors and floor joists, your home will be better supported and structurally sound.
Common Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation Tips & Mistakes
Over the years, we’ve seen and heard a few things when it comes to crawl space repair. Here are some helpful tips and mistakes to avoid when you’re facing crawl space moisture damage.
- Some resources still encourage open crawl space vents, but the hard truth is that this is what causes a lot of problems under and throughout your home. Open vents are invitations that allow outside air, water, and pests inside. The best first step in preventing damage is to seal these vents with airtight covers.
- Any crawl space repair isn’t a “one size fits all,” situation. What worked for a friend or neighbor down the street might not be exactly what your home needs. Every home and every crawl space is different and requires its own unique set of repair solutions. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about your crawl space and call the experts at Indiana Foundation Service.
- Your plumbing, electrical, and ductwork systems typically run through the crawl space. Plus, there are beams and joists that support the home above. All these need to be protected from moisture and floodwaters. Installing a sump pump ensures water doesn’t rise high enough and damages them. Installing a battery-powered backup can also be a good idea if a power outage happens.
Mistakes to Avoid
- When it comes to repairing your crawl space, we recommend leaving it to the experts and not opting for DIY repairs. This area of your home is usually compact and houses important pipes and other fixtures. The slightest mishap could be a safety hazard or in worse cases, cause serious structural damage.
- If your gutters are damaged or clogged, or your downspout extension is too close to your home, chances are water is able to pool under your home. It’s important to regularly inspect your gutters for damage and to place your extension away from the base of your home to prevent any water from seeping in.
- Any waterproofing measures installed in your home is a step in the right direction to protect it from water damage. Although waterproofing solutions are important, fully encapsulating your crawl space will give you the ultimate peace of mind that your home doesn’t experience any moisture-related problems. Just installing a sump pump, or interior drainage system is not enough to fully combat water or mildew and mold growth.
Find your service area
Lafayette homeowners need to be aware of the area’s above-average rainfall and silty, clay soils. This combination can cause problems for your foundation, but IFS has world-class solutions that protect your most important asset.
Above-average precipitation levels and the area’s clay-based soil leads to big problems for your Kokomo basement, crawl space, and foundation. Indiana Foundation Service has the best products to repair your home permanently.
Bloomington’s climate and above-average precipitation wreak havoc on your foundation. The experts at Indiana Foundation Service know how to protect your home permanently.
Terre Haute, IN
Musty basement? Wet crawl space? Indiana Foundation Service has seen and repaired them all. Let us help.
Wet basements, moldy crawl spaces, cracking foundations and concrete are common in Indianapolis homes, but they are destructive. Indiana Foundation Service has the best solutions to keep your home safe, dry, and stable.