FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Hello and thank you for considering The Crawl Space Team. The purpose of this website is to take the mystery out of crawl spaces and the problems that they sometimes have. For instance here are some common questions about crawl spaces:
How do water and moisture enter a crawl space?
What types of problems can occur?
What are the different solutions for those problems?
Finally, what is the cost of the each solution?
Well the answers are here and that’s why this website was designed. If you aren’t more informed about your crawl space after reviewing this site, send me an email and tell me why. We’re always trying to improve. From all of us at The Crawl Space Team, thank you for visiting.
Q. How do water and moisture get into my crawl space?
A. Several different factors affect the moisture level in a crawl space: ground water, subsurface soil base, open-earth evaporation, elevation, topography, and exterior perimeter drainage, just to name a few.
Q. Which of these factors is the most concerning?
A. Without question the most concerning is ground water. Ground water fluctuates with the amount of rain and snow that we receive. It is the primary culprit in crawl spaces with moisture problems. Certainly it can cause a crawl space to completely flood, or have areas of standing water. Yet it can also keep a crawl space moist and damp without having standing water just by keeping the ground water level so near the crawl space grade.
Q. I can see where flooding or areas of standing water would be a problem but is the moisture level really a concern if the ground water is just below the crawl space grade?
A. Yes it is. In the worst case, the soil is simply soft and muddy causing the moisture level in the crawl space to be excessive. Even if the soil is not muddy or damp, the fact that the ground water level is so close to grade causes the evaporation rate from the soil be too much for such an enclosed environment. Thus the crawl space becomes very conducive to mold, fungus and other related issues.
Q. So are you saying that a drain system is required?
A. Not quite. There are rare instances when the issue can be handled with one of our encapsulation products only, but again, that is very rare.
Q. What is a crawl space?
A. The crawl space represents the very foundation of your home. Many vital building components; joists, sill plate, support beams, sub floor, piers, block foundation walls to name a few, are part of your crawl space.
Q. Why are crawl spaces such a concern?
A. The vital components of the crawl space are completely exposed in a crawl space environment. If the environment is poor, then damage to those various vital components is very likely.
Q. What causes crawl space environments to be poor?
A. Flooding, standing water, and excessive moisture. One or all of these is enough to cause an ongoing problem in the crawl space.
Q. How much moisture is needed to be a problem?
A. Not much. The crawl space is a relatively shallow environment and any moderate level of moisture can cause a great deal of problems.
Q. What kind of problems can occur?
A. Mold, rot, odors, foundation shifting, deterioration, cracking, just to name a few. In time, structural or weight bearing components can fail or shift.
Q. What are the different solutions for those problems?
A. Several. We invite you to read about our drain systems and encapsulation systems elsewhere on this website.
Q. Fail or shift? What do you mean by that?
A. These components make up the foundation of the home and any failure or damage to such components can cause shifting and movement at the foundation level. This in turn, can cause movement elsewhere in the home. Think of it as a ripple effect. It starts in the crawl space and moves to other areas.
Q. What are some signs of the “ripple effect”?
A. Structural signs or the ripple effect are: stress cracking, ill fitting windows and doors that don’t close correctly, sagging floors, gapping or dropping of sub floor at the perimeter. Air quality signs are: odors, respiratory issues, nasal, sinus problems etc.
Q. So the drier my crawl space, the better?