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
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 (also known as brown rot) is one of the most damaging forces on household wood in the world.
Indiana Foundation Service
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
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.
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)
The inspection was very detailed, and I received a detailed quote at the time of inspection. The crew that came to do the work were very professional, and did an amazing job.
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Brian Foy's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Stephen did an excellent re-burying the drain pipe that was placed last fall and popped out of ground over the winter. Thank you.
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Linda Hillers's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Steven arrived today to fix some concerns we had after our encapsulation. Steven completed all the work in a timely manner. Was very professional, providing pictures and going over everything in detail.
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Don Evans's review for Indiana Foundation Service
The most inclusive inspection from any foundation company that we had and there were several
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Tina Mahurin's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Dylan was the foreman, he did a fantastic job. He Was short on helpers the first couple days, but on the last day he and 4 new guys showed up and got the job done. Very pleased with the work. Dehumidifier was damaged so they told me I would get a…
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Leslie B's review for Indiana Foundation Service
The foundation on our 101 year old home in Woodruff Place was starting to bulge and needed help. We looked at several options and Indiana Foundation Services had the best plan and reasonable pricing. The sales staff examined the situation and…
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Bill Lambert's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Robert Rini took GREAT care of us and was timely and professional. Highly recommend them!
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Tim Parsons's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Overall a great experience, timely inspection and fix. Professional laborers. Our only complaint is they do not offer itemized billing, only your “contract” which only has the total price and the job description. It’s nice to know what you are…
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Katherine Schreffler's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Steven came out and checked over all the work and finished up the areas that needed completion! All three crews were very professional and hard-working!
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Elaine Coleman's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Great company to work with from start to finish. Daniel did a great job explaining process and executing my project.
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Vicki Z's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Great work super happy even with the bumps we hit. ********************* and *************************** were super friendly and did an amazing job
IFS_MainView review Read Kodiak K's review for IFS_Main
Had Indiana Foundations come out and do another part of my project. Job was great and quick. Had a few minor rough patches that wasn’t able to be controlled . Kyle Martin and Jeffrey Sutton were nice and worked hard and made sure everything was…
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Kodiak Kite's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Crawlspace encapsulation included quality materials and good work by Donavan and Trey.
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Sylvia Turchyn's review for Indiana Foundation Service
The work being done was explained well. Even when a change needed to be made, the new plan was explained and compleres quickly.
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Greg Carpenter's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Steven T, our technician, replaced a sill plate that had rotted above our crawl space foundation wall. He took photos at our request since we couldn’t access the crawl space ourselves. Steven took both ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots. He…
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Susan Stratigos-scanlon's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Very professional service. From the initial appointment with Nick Davis, he was very informed on his product and was able to guide our decision on our driveway repair. The day of service Robert W showed up on time and did a fantastic job with the…
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Rdavis1002's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Steven T. came out to install an additional pump line to my existing line. He was extremely detailed in walking me through what he was going to do, and even making sure everything was to my standards before leaving. He has been the best rep from…
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Connor Iuni's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Was really happy with the install team. Anthony, Alex, and Marvin removed deck boards and reinstalled them precisely!!
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Landon Smith's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Robert N. was professional and friendly
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Judy Nguyen's review for Indiana Foundation Service
Conner Avera conducted himself in a professional manner. The quality of his work represented a top notch company. Highly recommend him and this company.
Indiana Foundation ServiceView review Read Nathan Padgett'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
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
Foundation, concrete, and basement or crawl space problems are common throughout Lafayette. Local experts can install trusted solutions to repair and protect your home!
Wet weather and poorly drained soil common throughout Kokomo create water and foundation damage for your home. Protect it with trusted solutions from local experts.
Bloomington is wet and humid, and it has varying soils. None of these do your home any favors. Repair and protect your home from water and foundation damage today!
Terre Haute, IN
Constantly wet soil surrounding your Terre Haute home is bad news for its safety and structural integrity. Fix water and foundation damage for good with expert help!
Muncie’s wet weather and varying soils create a recipe for disaster for your home. Don’t let water and foundation damage continue – fix it forever with the right solutions.
Homes old and new throughout Indianapolis can experience foundation damage and water management issues. Don’t wait for it to worsen – repair and protect your home today!