What Causes Crawl Space Problems?

Crawl Space Problems – The Causes:

Moisture problems, house settlement, and poor construction can all create crawl space problems.

Crawl Space Problems – Moisture:

Crawl space moisture can be the source of many of your wet crawl space issues, including that moldy crawl space smell. As the water in your crawl space evaporates it rises, going through your insulation, floor and through the rest of your home – creating a trail of destruction. Moisture and humidity problems are caused by:

Open Crawl Space Vents

Open crawl space vents let in moisture, which creates the perfect environment for wood rot, mold, mildew and dust mites. Plus a vented dirt crawl space can also cause your energy bill to be nearly 20% higher!

Dirt Crawl Space

Exposed dirt in your crawl space absorbs moisture open crawl space vents allow inside. As damp soil dries, it rises through your house, changing relative humidity inside your home, contributing to high energy bills.

Mother Nature

The rainy season & a humid summer can wreak havoc on your crawl space. If your crawl space leaks then that water will eventually evaporate, rising through your home & create problems like wet insulation & crawl space mold.

open vents
crawl space problems

House Settling:

Your home’s crawl space problems can also be caused by your house settling. A house will settle when the soil it’s built on can no longer support the weight of the house. Aside from poor soil preparation, moisture is the biggest player in how the soil acts around your foundation. The soil surrounding your crawl space foundation can be effected by:

Poor Drainage and Grading

If your home doesn’t have a drainage system in place, then all the water that flows out of your gutters or roof will land near your foundation. That water forces the soil to expand & will push against your crawl space foundation, forcing water in & creating cracks.

Plumbing Leaks

Most of us think about the damage to the inside of our home when we find a plumbing leak. Those problems spread to your crawl space. Cracks in pipes or water lines leading to your home create a mess out of your lawn but can also harm your foundation, & create water damage in your crawl space.

Construction:

The construction of your home’s support system – foundation, floor joists and support beams – plays a major role in the stability and health of your crawl space. If the support pier columns aren’t spaced properly it can cause sagging floor joists which result in squeaky floors, uneven floors and sagging floors.

The type of crawl space foundation also impacts how dry, or wet, your crawl space can get. Some crawl space foundations let in more water and air, creating problems and unnecessary stress.