Not all homes have a basement or slab foundation. Many of a low crawlspace. One benefit of this space is that it makes it easy to service things beneath the home, such as plumbing, radiant heat systems, or even electrical lines. A drawback, though, is moisture and pests can also find refuge in the crawlspace. The following are signs that you may be having such issues in your crawlspace:
Mold and moisture
Moisture that gets into the crawlspace will likely seep up into your home. This is especially true in winter when the warmer air inside the house cause moisture to evaporate upward from the crawlspace. Carpets may smell musty or develop mildew discoloration. Similar moisture damage may also occur on walls, particularly in lower regions. A musty odor is also likely to permeate the home as mold begins growing in the crawlspace.
If your floors begin to sag or become uneven, the crawlspace is most likely to blame. The cause is usually moisture that has lead to wood rot. Rarely, the problem could be insect pests, such as termites or carpenter ants, that have invaded the crawlspace. The result is generally the same, though – the joists and possible the floorboards will have to be replaced. In severe cases, the rot may even be obvious from the top side of the floors, which means your hardwood flooring may also need to be replaced.
Scuffling and noises
Other than the occasional sounds of water through pipes or the house settling, you shouldn't hear anything through your floors. If you hear scuffling noises or other things that go bump, then animal pests have likely taken refuge in the crawlspace. Fortunately, the can be an easy fix when seen to quickly. The animals will be removed, and the point of entry will be sealed. Unfortunately, animals can do a lot of damage if you don't catch the problem quickly. For example, animals often tear up insulation, and they may chew through wires. Most pests are attracted to crawlspaces when they provide shelter and water, which is common when you have moisture issues already in your crawlspace
Most moisture problems stem from outside moisture seeping in, although sometimes it is the result of a plumbing leak. When it's outside moisture, the culprits are poor ventilation, bad drainage, and a high water table. A professional crawl space encapsulation company can seal against moisture while also ensuring pests can't make their way into the crawlspace.
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