foundation cracks and pest infestations

Dealing with a crack in your basement, foundation, or crawl space can be frustrating enough on its own. Dealing with an infestation on top of structural damage can feel like a trial. 
 
Because these two events tend to coincide, it’s easy to assume that you’d be able to ask a local repair contractor for infestation guidance. However, these professionals specialize in repairing and protecting your home by creating healthy conditions for you and an unfavorable atmosphere for critters, and other entities will help address the pests themselves. 

Why Do Cracks and Infestations Coincide? 

What do cracks and infestations have in common? As mentioned, one tends to precede the other. 
 
Think of it this way: Your foundation, basement, or crawl space can crack for a myriad of reasons. It’s easiest to attribute a crack in your home to the presence of localized hydrostatic pressure. This pressure builds up as water does around your home, and it forces the materials supporting your home to rapidly change temperature. As those temperatures change, your support structures will begin to expand and contract. In doing so, they can crack due to the stress of their constant changes. 
 
However, most cracks formed by hydrostatic pressure will leak. At a minimum, these cracks tend to let moisture into your home. Not all cracks are leaks even though most leaks can be attributed to cracks. Other common causes of cracks throughout your home include: 

  • Shifting foundation 
  • Sinking foundation 
  • Tree roots too close to your home 
  • Natural disasters 

When these kinds of cracks form in your home, they create little doorways for the critters living in your yard. While water may not immediately begin to make its way into your home, insects and animals may readily forgo their life in the wild in exchange for consistent temperatures and safety from changing weather. It’s in this sense that a cracked foundation, basement, or crawl space can lead to a home infestation. 

Can Basement and Foundation Repair Contractors Treat Infestations? 

Theoretically, foundation and basement repair professionals can help you put a stop to a home infestation. Professional contractors receive the training and certifications they need from their states of operation. They’re then able to use that training to patch up holes in your home and create healthy and dry conditions for you, effectively keeping any additional critters from making their way inside. 

Because basement and foundation contractors specialize in that type of field, they are trusted professionals who can assist with those particular tasks. They are not “jacks of all trades” that dabble in other areas and allow their quality workmanship to suffer.  

So, these contractors do not provide formal pest control. Removals or exterminations typically go to exterminators who specialize in that field. 
 
Exterminators, as you might guess, are required by state and federal law to receive a different sort of education than repair contractors. As such, they’ll be able to help you overcome ongoing infestations, regardless of whether or not you’ve had part of your home repaired. That said, they will not be able to fill the cracks that may have allowed critters into your home in the first place. 
 
If you find yourself dealing with an infestation on top of structural damage, you’ll want to call on the services of both of the parties mentioned here. You’ll want to reach out to either an exterminator or animal control fairly soon after repair contractors finish their inspection of your home. 

Signs of an Infestation 

When do you know that you’re dealing with an infestation? There are certain signs that give an infestation away. These include: 

  • More insects than normal 
  • Movement in your walls 
  • Unusual amounts of unidentifiable debris 
  • Mud 
  • Peeling paint 
  • Weakened floors 
  • Open containers in the kitchen 
  • Disrupted trash 
  • Water damage 

Note that even after you’ve dealt with an infestation, you may still have foundation, basement, or crawl space damage on your hands. Infestations may be a problem on their own, but they can also be a symptom of something more significant at work. After you’ve cleared up an infestation, be sure to reach out to one of the practicing foundation and basement repair professionals operating out of the Kansas City, MO, area. You’ll benefit from a home inspection and a free quote on repair services
 
Don’t let an infestation make your home repairs more complicated. While professional repair contractors may not be able to solve your infestation for you, they’ll be able to close the doors that let in your unwanted guests in the first place.