One of the most essential areas of your home is the crawl space. Not paying attention to its maintenance can result in big problems for your home in the future. When moist, your crawl space can easily become a breeding ground for pests, mold, fungi, and rodents. The presence of these creatures can pose a threat to your safety and comfort.
When your crawl space starts giving signs of defects, you should contact a local expert for a repair. In this article, we discuss what signs to watch out for and the effective methods for crawl space repair Shreveport.
Signs that your crawl space needs repair
Crawl space issues can get out of control when not attended to immediately. That is why it is important that you pay attention to the signs that your crawl space may be giving you.
The following are some of the signs that you need crawl space repair:
- Water or Moisture: Damp patches or spots on the floor of your crawl space could be a sign of a big issue. Also, if you notice stagnant water, there could be leaking pipes or poor drainage, and you need to find out the source.
- Mold or Mildew: When the humidity or moisture level inside your crawl space is high, it creates a conducive atmosphere for the growth of mold and mildew. This makes your home dangerous for anyone with respiratory problems or allergies. As soon as you discover mold and mildew growth, you should call a professional to do something about it.
- Sagging Floors: One of the signs that come with a weakened foundation is sagging or sloping floors. This happens when the beams underneath your home get rotten by water damage. Make sure to call a foundation repair contractor to inspect your crawl space as soon as you notice sagging or sloping floors.
- Strange Smells: Any strange smell from your crawl space should be taken seriously; it could be a sign of water damage. You also want to be sure that an animal hasn’t found its way into your crawl space, or worse, died in it, especially if there’s an opening to it from the outside. If this happens, it is time to call a professional for an inspection.
- Increased Humidity: Your home’s humidity levels can start rising beyond normal when there is a buildup of moisture inside your crawl space. Some of the signs you may see are the buildup of condensation on the outside of your metal appliances or the inside of your windows. So, it would do some good to periodically check your crawl space for mold or mildew on the walls, paint or wallpaper peeling off, condensation on the pipe, musty smell in the home, etc.
- Increase in Electric Bill: When the humidity levels inside your crawl space are high or air circulation is poor, your energy bill may start to increase gradually. This is because your HVAC system is forced to work harder to regulate the humidity levels of your home, which starts to reflect in your electric bill. Also, this could also happen when the insulation in or around the crawl space is poor.
Effective crawl space repair methods for your home
The two major effective ways to fix your crawl space are through encapsulation and the installation of a vapor barrier.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
It is easy for most homeowners to ignore their crawl spaces because it’s not a part of the home that is regularly seen. However, where there are cracks in the crawl spaces, excess moisture is inevitable and the home begins to attract insects and rodents. Encapsulation is the way out of these issues and a very effective crawl space repair method.
Encapsulation involves regulating the moisture level of the crawl space by completely sealing it with white plastic. In this process, a sump pump and a dehumidifier are installed to regulate the buildup of moisture inside the crawl space.
The benefits of encapsulating your crawl space
- The air quality of your home is improved. A clean crawl space is good for your health because a huge percentage of the air that circulates in your home comes from the crawl space.
- Crawl space encapsulation will save you as much as 20% on your energy bill because your HVAC system won’t need to work hard to regulate your home’s humidity.
- The risk of mold and mildew growth is reduced because encapsulation reduces humidity.
- It prevents the infestation of insects and further damage to exposed walls and floors.
The installation of a vapor barrier is another common and effective method of fixing your crawl space. In contrast to encapsulation where white plastic is used, vapor barrier involves laying 6mm plastic (known as Visqueen) on the entire floor of the crawl space, and the vents are not sealed as in the case with encapsulation.
This method is more cost-effective because there is no need to install a dehumidifier or a sump pump, thereby saving you some money. Vapor barriers increase your comfort by serving as insulators on your upper floors.
The benefits of vapor barrier
- It allows you to store things in your crawl space
- It improves the air quality of your home
- It saves you money on your electric bill
- By reducing the humidity levels of the home, it reduces the risk of mold issues
- It protects your pipes from rusting and bursting
What is the cost of fixing your crawl space?
There are many factors that determine how much it would cost to repair your crawl space. The determining factors include the scope of the work, the size of your crawl space, the working conditions, your location, etc.
The national average cost of fixing your crawl space is $6,000. However, you will need to engage the service of a professional crawl space contractor to get exact figures. This professional will inspect your crawl space and recommend the most suitable repair option for you.
You may also want to read Home Advisor’s cost guide to have an idea of how much you can expect to spend on your crawl space repair.
The crawl space is a section of your home that you shouldn’t ignore. The two life-saving methods to fix your crawl space issues are encapsulation and the installation of a vapor barrier.
Ensure that you schedule a regular inspection and address any issues that could cause damage to your home. As soon as any defect is noticed, call a professional to help you with your crawl space repair.