Crawl Space Repair

Crawl spaces come with their own unique challenges. They can often be forgotten about since it’s not a main part of the house, however, the health of your crawl space can impact the air quality inside your home.

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Causes

Crawl spaces generally are “out of sight, out of mind” for homeowners, but they should not be. It is crucial to be aware of what is underneath your living space.

The biggest problem is that most crawl spaces were constructed to be vented. While building code calls for vented crawl spaces for air drying purposes, this is harmful to the home. Because of The Stack Effect, air circulates through your home from top to bottom, like a chimney.

In winter, rising warm air increases pressure at the top of the building, which pushes hot air out at the top and sucks cold air in at the bottom. The reverse occurs in summer, when cool inside air tends to get pushed out at the bottom, which draws hot air in at the top. This ends up creating a comfort problem that feeds on itself, moisture damage, and energy loss. (Source: Pro Remodeler)

As hot and humid air contributes to high levels of moisture and humidity in the crawl space and home, this can lead to sagging, soft, buckling floors above, and result in problems to hardwood floors. Similarly, cold wintertime air that is vented inside will make the above floors feel chilly and overtax your furnace. (Additional resource: Liabilities of Vented Crawl Spaces, Their Impacts on Indoor Air Quality in Southeastern U.S. Homes and One Intervention Strategy).

Whether entering from vents, plumbing leaks, or through porous block walls, water in the crawl space is never a good sign. Moisture and standing water attract bugs and other pests, leads to wood rot and weakening support systems, and contributes to mold and mildew growth on insulation and throughout the crawl space and home.

Humidity is another culprit that can wreak havoc on your living environment. The ideal range for humidity in your home is 35 to 40 percent. If it is above 50 percent, you need to take action such as running a dehumidifier. (Source: Bob Vila).

It is common for crawl spaces to have high relative humidity and moisture, which promotes mold growth, especially on organic materials like wood and insulation. The moisture that accumulates in a crawl space may also enter another part of the building and contribute to mold growth there. Moisture can pass from a crawl space into a building through cracks in walls, floors and ceilings. (Source: EPA)

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Paul Winder gave me a very thorough inspection. He helped me better understand the environment in my crawl space.

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FAQs

Sometimes, people may refer to a crawl space as a “cubby hole” closet, or even the attic above the rest of the home. But typical crawl spaces are underneath the home.

Not all homes have a crawl space, but it is a common practice to build houses with this hollow area, usually one to three feet high, underneath. The crawl space elevates the home off the ground, and it is a convenient place for HVAC units, ductwork, plumbing, and electrical wiring. (Source: Realtor.com) These areas also typically have dirt floors, because it is cheaper than pouring concrete.

Crawl spaces generally are “out of sight, out of mind” for homeowners, but they should not be. It is crucial to be aware of what is underneath your living space. Would you feel comfortable knowing there could be nasty conditions like mold growth, standing water, failing support beams, insects, and rodents under your feet?

Health — You and your loved ones deserve to live in a safe and healthy home. Houses with excessive moisture and mold growth are far from healthy. These conditions can lead to and worsen health issues such as allergies and asthma. Through crawl space encapsulation and dehumidification, your home will be isolated from the earth and the air quality will be greatly improved.

Structural Integrity — Wet, damp crawl spaces with water and high humidity can have rotting and weakening wooden support systems. Wooden supports and floor joists that are compromised lead to sagging and uneven floors.

Function and Energy Efficiency — A properly encapsulated, insulated and waterproofed crawl space is bright and clean, and is a more ideal area for storage. Your belongings will be safe and dry because of our reliable solutions. The above floors also will feel warmer in the winter, and your energy costs could be reduced by up to 20 percent. (Source: Energy Vanguard)

Real Estate Value — Various factors impact your home’s appraisal value, but structural integrity, water issues, and other problems are important areas you need to be aware of. When selling your house, it is important to disclose any past or current damage. You are not required by the state of Missouri to reveal damaging defects about your property beyond certain criminal histories. However, it sets clear expectations regarding the quality and condition of the home. (Source: Nolo)

If you live in St. Louis, Kansas City, or the surrounding areas, contact us! We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you with one of our highly trained foundation repair inspectors. Inspections are free and no obligation to you, and our specialist will complete a thorough evaluation of your home. We also are proud to work with realtors, commercial property owners, and other various affiliates.

If you are concerned with foundation repair needs and insurance coverage, be sure to check with your insurance carrier, as all policies are different.

Here are some helpful tips for selecting a reputable contractor, courtesy of Today’s Homeowner. We are proud to meet and exceed expectations on these points:

  • No Contract Labor: Make sure the people performing the repairs work for the company.
  • Financial Commitment: Does the contractor own or rent his equipment?
  • Supervisors on Site: Is the company large enough to provide full time supervision, or will the crew be dropped off at your home to do the work?
  • References: Make sure references are not hand-picked.
  • Warranties: Warranties are only as good as the company that offers them. A reputable company who has been in business for at least 25 years should be your best bet.
  • Insurance: Ask for current insurance certificates.

  • A thorough evaluation of the home’s interior and exterior. This includes looking for sources of water such as cracks or even plumbing sources.
  • Discussing your goals with a repair project.
  • A same-day proposal of recommended repair solutions.
  • Customized solutions uniquely designed to meet your foundation repair needs.
  • Discussing payment and financing options.

Vapor barrierCrawlSeal™ is used to completely isolate the crawl space environment from the earth. The durable 20-mil-thick liner, similar to swimming pool liner, is puncture-resistant, prevents mold growth, and brightens up the crawl space.

InsulationExTremeBloc™ panels placed on crawl space walls will better insulate the crawl space and will not droop or develop mold like fiberglass insulation. These 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.

Perimater drainage systemCrawlDrain™ is placed in the crawl space floor to collect seeping water. Its custom design includes holes on the top and front to accept water from the soil and surface of your crawl space. A special wall flange collects water from the crawl space walls and the footing/wall joint.

Sump pumps — Water collected by CrawlDrain™ is directed to drain to a sump pump system to be pumped out of the crawl space. We have a variety of sump pump systems to meet your needs -  SafeDri ™ Pro Crawl Space Sump Pump System, SafeDri ™ Pro X Premier Sump Pump System,  SafeDri ™ Battery Backup System, and SafeDri™ TripleSump™ Pump System.

Drainage matting — Thick and durable drainage matting can be placed on the crawl space floor to help direct water to the CrawlDrain ™ system. This material also enhances the strength of the CrawlSeal™ encapsulation material.

Frozen discharge line prevention — The FreezeGuard™ can be attached to the exterior sump pump drainage line to prevent flooding if the line freezes or becomes blocked.

Dehumidifiers — 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.

Floor stabilization — Floor joists and floor supports can rot and decay, weaken and fail in wet and humid crawl spaces. But IntelliJacks™ are made of galvanized steel, so they are more reliable crawl space supports that can stabilize and lift floors and floor joists back to level.

Access wells — Typical exterior crawl space access wells are concrete, wood, or metal and can easily rust and rot. But our durable plastic crawl space access wells are safe and sturdy.

Vent covers — Along with encapsulating your crawl space, you need to seal it from outside air, water and pests. Our durable vent covers install quickly, attaching mechanically to form an airtight bond.

Our patented, top-quality solutions are tested and proven to keep water and pests out of your crawl space for a safer and healthier home.

Cheaper quick fixes like generic plastic floor liners and wooden access doors are only temporary bandages that will not address the problem.

So, don’t waste your time and money on fast fixes. You need our quality permanent solutions. We use reliable, custom equipment and state-of-the-art technology to install these various systems.

While we can’t control the weather, we can control what’s inside your house. That’s why it’s best to completely seal your home – and what’s underneath it – from outside air, water and pests. An encapsulation project including CrawlSeal ™ and vent covers will isolate your home from the earth to ensure its health and safety.

Not only does CrawlSeal™ help isolate your home from the earth, this thick and water-resistant material also acts as a moisture and vapor barrier.

When warm air comes in contact with a cool surface, condensation forms. When this happens inside the crawl space, the moisture can lead to mold growth, cause wood beams to rot, and attract pests. But a vapor barrier slows or prevents ground water seepage from evaporating into the crawl space air.

CrawlSeal ™ is a true 20-mil liner rated above 25-mil strength at the seams, and it is over three times the thickness of builder’s grade liner. Its conforming shape can be sealed around existing infrastructure and hardware to create a uniform, unbroken barrier. The radiant liner lays flat; has a clean, white finish; and is strong enough to walk on or crawl on without ripping or tearing.

Our dehumidifiers also will help keep your home healthy and improve the air quality by cleaning and filtering the air, controlling moisture and humidity, and reducing odors and the potential for mold growth.

For leaking crawl spaces, the best waterproofing system involves interior drainage. Our waterproofing system has three parts. To fix the leaking or standing water problem, we need to catch the water, get the water to a sump pump, and send the water away from the home. The CrawlDrain™ and SafeDri™ Pro Crawl Space Sump Pump System work perfectly together and with the rest of our crawl space repair solutions to keep water out of this area of your home.

Failing support systems in crawl spaces can be replaced or shored up with steel support beams that are further reinforced by IntelliJacks ™. These sturdy support jacks permanently stabilize and can lift sagging floors back to level.

All these solutions also are designed to work together to give you the most bang for your buck and prevent any further issues.

Every home is unique, and each project calls for different solutions. We can customize solutions specific to your repair needs. Your inspector will take into consideration your repair goals, the severity of damage or problem areas, square footage, and your budget. It’s not just a “one size fits all” fix. So, what works for your neighbor down the street may not necessarily be what your home needs.

Contacting us for an expert opinion is your best bet. We will not try to throw Band-Aids on the problems, push you to buy “everything but the kitchen sink,” or offer sub-standard quick fixes.

Here are some telltale signs of crawl space problems that are not mended by a do it yourself fix. You should instead seek reliable advice if you notice:

  • Any kind of water seepage on crawl space walls and/or floor
  • Excessive dampness or humidity
  • Sagging, uneven, or bouncy floors
  • Wood rot
  • Cold floors during the winter

Along with top-notch solutions installed by a reliable team when you choose to work with us, what you are really paying for is peace of mind and a safer home.

Not only will this benefit you during the time you live in the house, but it will have a lasting impact for the future resale of the house. You are investing in the health and wellness of the structure.

When having your home inspected for real estate transactions, even partial fixes or temporary bandages could raise a red flag along with water or structural damage. You’ll have to spend more time and money trying to address the issues, so why not make an educated decision and sound investment with us and our trustworthy repair solutions?

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