Crawl spaces aren’t especially large, but they play an essential role in the health of a home. Whether you’re moving into a new place or have been in the same house for years, you need to keep an eye on your crawl space. If you don’t, you risk seeing signs of flooding, moisture, and structural damage throughout the whole of your home.
First-Year Crawl Space Problems
Crawl spaces take little square footage in most houses that they’re easy to overlook. When you’ve overwhelmed with the stress of moving to a new place, you may leave off an inspection of your crawl space for months at a time. This, unfortunately, isn’t the best idea. There are a few different problems that can crop up in your crawl space during your first year in a new home, including:
- Pest infestations
Overcoming these initial crawl space problems can be difficult. If you’re feeling a little market savvy, however, you may not have to. It’s always a good idea to talk to an area contractor before you go about purchasing a new home. You may be able to bring that contractor with you on an inspection of your potential new property. If it appears, after an inspection, that the previous owners of the home you’re interested in didn’t take care of their crawl space like they should have, you may be able to haggle with potential repairs in mind. Alternatively, the property owners may invest in crawl space repairs before you even move in.
If you’re not able to get a contractor out to the property, you can still explore the different means of repairing and protecting your crawl space with area professionals. If you choose to invest in crawl space waterproofing measures like a vapor barrier early, you can keep yourself from dealing with similar problems later down the line.
Fifth-Year Crawl Space Problems
If you put off inspecting or treating a damaged crawl space during your first year, you may be setting your home up for long-term damage. By the time you’ve settled into your home, you may have even adjusted to some of the symptoms that indicate trouble in your crawl space. Some of the most common problems to run into five years into your homeownership include:
- Damaged insulation
- Leaning walls
Note that these problems can crop up even if you have home waterproofing measures in place. You’ll need to work with area contractors to ensure the waterproofing measures you’ve invested in are appropriately installed and up to date. No waterproofing measure is permanent. As such, don’t hesitate to schedule annual home inspections so area professionals can help you keep moisture and other troubling forces out of your crawl space.
10th-Year Crawl Space Problems
Ten years into owning a home, you probably feel as though you’ve got a handle on all the different things that might go awry. This may be the case, but there are still some things about your crawl space that may surprise you. If you haven’t invested in waterproofing measures by this point, or even if you have and you haven’t had these solutions maintained or repaired, then damage could be on its way.
The longer you leave your crawl space unprotected or moist, the more likely it is that damage can sink into your structural supports and make your life more difficult. With that in mind, some of the most common crawl space problems to encounter later in your home’s life include:
- Bouncy, sagging floors
- A sinking foundation
Why Is Your Crawl Space So Damp?
Your crawl space, as it stands, is more sensitive to damage than the rest of your home. Tree roots, insects, and even faulty pipes can cause your crawl space to start taking on structural damage. There’s one force, though, that tends to dominate or work in tandem with all the other means that put your crawl space at risk: hydrostatic pressure.
Hydrostatic pressure builds up outside of your home when water comes into contact with your home’s building materials. That water causes your supports to change size on a molecular level. Rapid changes like these force your supports to endure high levels of stress, under which they may crack if they’re not treated.
Repairing and Protecting Your Crawl Space
Are you having trouble deciding how to protect your crawl space from damage? Let a professional contractor help. The inspectors and repair teams at FSM serving the Detroit, MI, area and surrounding locations can help you better decode the symptoms in your home that indicate crawl space damage. In turn, these experts can help you repair the damage that’s already settled in while also equipping you with the waterproofing tools you need to prevent that damage from coming back.
Ready to schedule your home inspection? You can reach out to area professionals at FSM to schedule a free crawl space inspection and repair quote.