Your crawl space is made up of floor joists and support beams, all of which tend to be made of wood. Often, these wooden structures are damaged by high levels of moisture which inevitably leads to sagging within your crawl space. At Peak Structural, our team has seen many crawl spaces experiencing this same issue, and we have the knowledge required to locate the problem and fix it for good.
What Causes a Sagging Crawl Space?
Sagging structures within your crawl space all stem from moisture. However, moisture can infiltrate your crawl space in a few different ways that we’ll outline in this section.
Open Crawl Space Vents
Most crawl spaces are built with vents across their foundation walls. During past construction, it was thought that these would allow moisture to easily escape from the crawl space. Instead, open crawl space vents cause the opposite to happen – outside air travels into your crawl space.
That means your crawl space air will emulate the air outside. If it is humid outside, it will be humid in your crawl space. Even though Colorado tends to experience dry conditions for much of the year, the chance of humidity is always present. Even a bit of moisture in the air can cause problems for your crawl space over time.
Groundwater and Runoff
Another way that moisture can get into a crawl space is through groundwater and runoff. When water is absorbed into the soil below your crawl space, either through rain, snow, or sprinklers, it eventually evaporates. When water vapor is released into your crawl space, it causes all kinds of problems such as condensation, mold growth, efflorescence, and wood rot.
Homes built at the bottom of slopes should be wary of runoff from precipitation, as it may collect beneath your home and cause similar water vapor issues. Not only that, but water could become a puddle in an unprotected crawl space and cause major damage to your home.
Over Spanned Floor Joists
Floor joists support your floor and keep it from collapsing. They work best when placed close together so that the weight of your floor (and everything resting on it) is properly distributed. Very rarely, floor joists may be installed too far apart and fail to provide adequate support.
This design flaw leads to sagging floors and drooping support beams within your crawl space. Another cause of overspanned floor joists comes from wood rot. If one floor joist becomes too weak and rotted, the other floor joists will struggle to support all the weight of your home, and sagging will also appear in the crawl space.
Crawl space encapsulation is most definitely a worthwhile investment. Encapsulation protects against a plethora of issues including wood rot, mold, and humidity. It also makes it harder for pests to burrow underneath your home, discouraging animals from leaving waste and other unpleasant smells under your floors.
Not to mention, encapsulation makes your crawl space look a lot more inviting with its sleek white aesthetic. You won’t have to crawl along dirt, and you won’t have to worry about pooling water getting on your clothes when you need to inspect your crawl space. Encapsulation saves you time, effort, and money in the long run.
Never. Crawl space vents allow moisture to get trapped in your crawl space which leads to tons of issues. Plus, open vents can allow pests to get under your home and potentially leave waste, or in the worst case scenario, a decaying carcass. Eventually, mold and animal waste can make their way into your air supply and cause potential issues.
Open crawl space vents can also cause your energy bills to rise. If humidity is able to build below your home, it will begin to rise into your house and cause your HVAC system to work on overdrive. All of a sudden your electricity bills shoot up and your home feels a lot warmer. Covering your crawl space vents is the best way to ensure these issues don’t arise.
Not really. If too much water gets into your crawl space, you might deal with puddles below your home that take a long time to drain. An excess of water like this can lead to massive damage due to wood rot or mold infestations.
Plus, if water is absorbed into the soil below your crawl space, it will eventually evaporate and seep into the walls and wooden support beams bolstering your home. Over time, this turns into condensation, and water droplets are present throughout the foundation. Water never goes away in your crawl space, it simply shifts into another form.
While it may seem like a sagging crawl space is hard to control, Peak Structural has plenty of solutions for your crawl space needs. We have a plethora of products designed to keep moisture out of your crawl space and prevent wood rot from arising in the future such as vapor barriers, dehumidifiers, and vent covers. We also have IntelliJack™, galvanized steel support beams that stabilize any sagging sections of your crawl space.
A trusted crawl space sump pump is part of a waterproofing system that will keep your crawl space dry.
Crawl space encapsulation can greatly benefit your crawl space and home by improving the moisture levels and air quality in your home, leading to lower electric bills and less asthma and allergy flareups.
Mold and mildew in your crawl space mean high humidity. Control humidity levels with a crawl space dehumidifier and improve your home's air quality.
When crawl space beams get damaged due to high moisture, your floors will begin to sag, and gaps may open between your floorboards. Crawl space support posts are the best solution to the problem.
Call Us For A Free Inspection
Every homeowner deserves a healthy crawl space. If you’re noticing dips in your floors or a bounciness as you walk through your home, it’s time for a crawl space inspection. Peak has been serving homeowners in Denver, Colorado Springs, and the Pikes Peak Region for 20 years, and we’re committed to bringing the same dependable service to your home.
If you want to learn more about crawl space repair options, or if you want to schedule a free inspection for your foundation, contact us today. Peak Structural is here to help with any problem your crawl space might be facing!