For many homeowners, the crawl space is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind area of the home. So if you notice sagging floors, high humidity levels, higher energy bills, and even pest infestations in your home, you may not pinpoint the crawl space as the source. With help from the experts at Innovative Basement Authority, you can find the root cause of your crawl space’s issues and nip it in the bud. Our certified field inspectors are tried and true, providing detailed inspections of your home and honest customer service. Keep reading to learn about common causes for crawl space damage, and how encapsulation can stop these problems at the source.
Why Is There Water In Your Crawl Space?
Expansive soil gets its name from its absorbent qualities. When expansive soil makes contact with water, it grows larger, impacting the foundation it supports. This can affect the supports and surrounding foundation walls of your crawl space. Expansive soil also reacts to excessively dry weather, too. As moisture is depleted from the soil, it shrivels and shrinks down. The clay soil characteristic of North and South Dakota is particularly affected by this expansive quality.
Weather In The Midwest
Unfortunately, severe weather, no matter how the scale tips, will have a negative effect on your unprotected crawl space. Summers in midwestern states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and parts of South Dakota experience rainy springs, plus snowmelt and wet, humid summers.
Summer flooding is common in these areas, which can infiltrate your crawl space leaving lasting water damage. Standing water, mold, and wood rot commonly arise at this time of year. As mentioned before, excess rain will also cause soils to expand, disrupting the structure of your home’s crawl space and foundation.
On the other hand, North Dakota summer droughts can spark soil shrinkage, which leads to foundation issues like differential settlement.
The construction of a crawl space isn’t an inherently perfect process. This means that there will be imperfections in the materials and installation that allow water and air to forge a path into your home. Once humid air seeps into your crawl space, the stack effect sets into motion.
Warm air naturally rises, and cool air stays close to the ground. The stack effect is a name for when this principle is at play in your home. When hot air enters your crawl space, it rises up through your living space and exits through your roof and chimney. With this hot air comes mold growth, mildew, dust, musty smells, and other toxins from the crawl space. This will ultimately lower indoor air quality and can affect the health of the homeowner and inhabitants.
If your yard has negative grading, meaning water drains toward your home instead of away, your crawl space may be in jeopardy. As water pools around your home’s foundation, it will trickle into the crawl space through vulnerable spots in the structure. Then you may end up with standing water, rotting floor joists, and excess moisture levels in the crawl space.
How Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Help Fix The Root Problems?
Crawl space encapsulation is the treatment of sealing your crawl space and applying multiple repair and drainage systems to protect it from harmful moisture. A fully encapsulated crawl space can include a combination of different waterproofing solutions like:
- Crawl Space Drains
- Crawl Space Fans
- Crawl Space Dehumidifiers
- Access well or window well
- Crawl Space sump pump
- Crawl Space Vapor Barrier
- Crawl Space Insulation
- And more
Explore more crawl space solutions below.
View more crawl space solutions
Does it cost less to not encapsulate Your Crawl Space?
In short, no. Crawl space and foundation problems only increase in complexity, urgency, and cost. DIY is also not recommended, as quick fixes tend to only enable the problem to persist. A crawl space encapsulation system is well worth the investment, as complex mold remediation and crawl space encapsulation projects only increase in cost the longer you wait.
Not to mention, encapsulating your crawl space will increase energy efficiency in your home. Without your crawl space negatively affecting the temperature in your home, your HVAC or air conditioning will take less energy run.
Who to Call For Water in the Crawl Space
If you suspect damage in your crawl space, call the experts at Innovative Basement Authority. It’s our job to keep moisture out of your crawl space, so you can enjoy a healthy home.
We have the long-standing and community-trusted experience needed to provide the unique solution that your North Dakota, South Dakota, or Minnesota home needs. We offer free inspections and no-obligation quotes, so you can feel confident in making the right decision for your home and family. Set up your first appointment with us today!