Moisture is the biggest threat to any crawl space, as it can lead to many different issues. One of the most devastating of these issues is wood rot, when wooden structures begin to break down and weaken.
If your floors feel bouncy under your feet or your floor creaks a lot when you move through the house, wood rot is most likely the cause. Our team has the knowledge to identify the problem with a free inspection. Read on to learn more!
What Causes Wood Rot?
Since moisture is the main cause of wood rot, it’s important to understand the different ways that moisture can penetrate wood in your crawl space. Keep in mind, all these causes can be controlled with Peak’s crawl space solutions, so keep an eye out for any of these causes.
Homes built on a crawl space foundation will have most of their plumbing installed within the crawl space. While this is an efficient place for pipes to be located, it can backfire if your home experiences leaky pipes.
Since plumbing lines are often located right next to wooden support beams in your crawl space, any leaking water is going to be absorbed by the wood right away. If the leak is left unrepaired, wood rot is going to form quickly, and your crawl space could flood.
Another way wood rot forms is through condensation in your crawl space. Condensation can form in a couple of ways, either through water vapor or high relative humidity. Water vapor appears in your crawl space when groundwater is absorbed into the soil below your foundation. Eventually, that absorbed water evaporates and expels water vapor throughout the crawl space. In turn, condensation forms on wooden structures.
Relative humidity refers to how much water the air in a particular environment can hold. Too much water in the air leads to condensation. Since crawl spaces are often cooler and darker than the outside environment, their relative humidity ends up being quite low. If humid air makes its way into your crawl space, condensation is going to form quickly as moisture overwhelms your crawl space.
Faulty Gutters and Drainage Pipes
Believe it or not, faulty gutters and outdoor drainage pipes can actually cause major issues for your crawl space. Water that drains too close to your foundation will seep into the soil and release water vapor which will damage wood, as mentioned before.
However, in the worst-case scenario, water could be drained so rapidly that it begins to pool inside your crawl space. Be wary of any pipes that might drain water right next to your foundation. Make sure to keep gutters clear of debris as well to avoid overflow that might also lead to wood rot.
Yes, wood rot refers to wood decay fungi. Wood rot can be broken down into three types – brown rot, white rot, and soft rot. While all these types are caused by excessive moisture, they differ slightly in how they interact with wood. While wood rot is a blanket term for different kinds of fungi that break down wood, it is accurate to say that wood rot is indeed a fungus.
Unfortunately, yes. If moisture levels are left unregulated in your crawl space, humidity can begin to seep its way into your house. Over time, this could also cause wooden flooring, walls, or ceilings to experience wood rot. Keep in mind, you need an extremely excessive amount of moisture for this process to take place.
Stay aware of humidity levels in your home. If you notice that your electric bills are rising or a musty smell is permeating your living space, humidity is likely rising. Acting quickly when you notice these signs will prevent wood rot from developing inside your house.
While you can’t fix wood rot per se, rotted wood should be replaced as soon as possible. However, there are solutions that prevent wood rot from occurring again in the future. These include crawl space encapsulation, dehumidifiers, sump pumps, and drainage systems – all of which can be installed by our expert team at Peak Structural.
Explore Solutions for Wood Rot
Peak Structural has plenty of tools that help defend against wood rot. Remember, if your wood rot is being caused by leaky pipes, call a plumber to fix that problem first. Our team offers different crawl space waterproofing solutions that are proven to keep moisture out of your crawl space for good. The best part is a member of our team will provide a free inspection before you agree to any installation. That way, you’re on the same page as us and can understand exactly where the problem is coming from!
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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 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 schedule a free inspection for your crawl space, contact us today. Peak Structural is here to help with any problem your crawl space might be facing!