There are perks that come with having a crawl space in your home.
For example, it can be easier to get to components that may need maintenance or repair. This can help ease worries about damage from intense storms that may cause temporary flooding.
However, owning a home with a crawl space can come with certain drawbacks as well. These drawbacks often become more apparent with age, climate change or as the surrounding terrain changes.
Often, your crawl space will try to communicate with you to let you know something is wrong. Warning signs can include musty odours, standing water that persists, support beams that appear to be leaning or rotting in places, flooring changes and similar signals.
If you know that these types of warning signs indicate your crawl space may need maintenance or repair, you can nip crawl space problems in the bud before expenses skyrocket!
Why Tackle Crawl Space Repairs Now Instead of Waiting?
It is never fun to hear that your crawl space needs maintenance or repairs. But there is a bright side: once you repair and update your crawl space as needed, you may save up to 25 percent on home energy bills year-round!
A savings of just 25 percent translates to $377 back in your pocket annually, which means your crawl space repair is likely to pay for itself in just a year or two!
6 Warning Signs Your Crawl Space Needs Maintenance
These are six of the most common crawl space maintenance and repair issues that homeowners report.
Strange odours tend to be one of the most immediately noticeable warning signs that something may be amiss inside your crawl space.
The odour of lingering humidity, mould or mildew spores, dead animals, rotting wood and similar debris can smell like dirty gym socks, unwashed swimsuits, bagged grass clippings, decaying waste and, even worse, a combination of these.
When odours begin to accumulate, this means the cause has been present for some days or perhaps weeks or longer. So you don’t want to wait to get in there and investigate to find the cause!
Mould and mildew
Mould and mildew can be hard to spot initially unless there is a sufficient quantity to give off odours.
This is because mould and mildew can form in cracks and crevices and up inside the interior of the crawl space support structure, where it is hard to see even if you shine a flashlight on it.
Often, it is a scent that first alerts you to growing mould or mildew colonies. At other times, rotting support beams or sagging soft flooring can indicate that mould or mildew may be growing.
At certain times of year, it is natural to see more insects and small animals lurking in and around your crawl space. After all, to a small creature, the relative darkness and dampness of the crawl space can look like a great refuge from predators and a fine place to raise a family.
But if you start seeing a rise in the local insect or animal population, or if odours such as waste or decay alert you to their presence, this means the issue has become sufficiently problematic to warrant further investigation.
Insects and rodents, in particular, can wreak havoc by burrowing into wood, chewing electrical wires and creating a very dangerous situation for all involved.
Humidity is one of the most common issues that crawl space owners face, especially if your crawl space is of an older vintage.
This is why crawl spaces are typically recommended only for homes built in drier climates, but even this doesn’t prevent seasonal moisture or climate change from allowing humidity or water to accumulate.
Humidity isn’t necessarily a problem in its own right—it is what humidity attracts that causes issues. Mould and mildew are naturally attracted to dark, cool, humid places. Insects and animals are attracted to a natural supply of water or moisture as well.
As humidity, moisture, mould or mildew accumulates consistently, the organic materials used to build and support your crawl space can begin to degrade and, over time, flat-out rot.
Sometimes you can see this in the support beams as they begin to degrade on the surface, complete with soft spots and shedding particulate matter as proof. Other times, you may actually see the supports start to lean as they rot from beneath.
Old, creaky, squeaky floors do lend some ambiance to older dwellings, but a well-built floor is really not supposed to sound like the rhythm section in a garage band!
If your floors are getting squeakier, creakier, saggier or bouncier, this is a potential sign that your crawl space is being invaded or degraded by any of the issues we just reviewed here.
Affordable Crawl Space Solutions That Really Work
Most crawl space solutions are really quite affordable, especially if you catch the problem early!
The most common solutions we recommend include adding dehumidification, ventilation and drainage, insulation and encapsulation.
Dehumidification, ventilation and drainage ensures that existing, lingering humidity, moisture and water are swiftly and permanently ushered out of your crawl space.
Insulation and encapsulation then damp-proofs your crawl space to prevent moisture, insects, animals and other issues from invading your crawl space in the future.
Get in Touch
Has your crawl space recently started smelling funny, collecting water, leaning or sagging or rotting, or is something else amiss and you can’t quite figure out what is going on? We can help!
Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.