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Some homes have crawl spaces as a part of their foundation system. A crawl space is the area located under some homes that allows access to your home’s subsystems.
This access helps homeowners and contractors perform maintenance and repairs, if needed, to a home.
Foundation Crawl Space Problems
While crawl spaces can be convenient for access to the systems that help keep your home running, they can also be the source of many problems that can arise.
Some of these problems can put your home at risk for stability issues and sometimes can be very expensive to repair. Even though you probably don’t even notice your foundation crawl space it can be one of the most easily damaged areas of your home.
Simply because your crawl space is located just above the ground, it’s vulnerable to moisture. And as most homeowners with a crawl space in Florida know, moisture can be one of your worst enemies.
Moisture can cause a whole host of problems in your home. Crawl space problems can be see in a variety of ways. Any of the following can be signs to look for:
- Sagging Floors
- Rotting Wood
- Floor joist problems
Other Likely Problems
As we’ve already mentioned, moisture can be a big problem for people that own a home with a crawl space but it’s not the only thing that can lead to issues.
There are a few more reasons why you may be having symptoms that you think are crawl space related like poor construction and settling.
Poor construction is one of the main causes of problems that can be found in homes. Often times when this occurs it’s from someone trying to cut corners to save a little bit of time or money. Other times it’s simply due to negligence.
The good news is that poor construction is usually a rare occurrence because code inspectors are becoming more and more stringent as the building codes change and improve over time.
But sometimes less than ideal materials are used or the design is simply inferior. It’s important that you call an expert in crawl space repair like Above All Leveling if you suspect you have crawl space issues due to poor construction.
Home settling is the number one reason for crawl space repairs that are performed. This is simply due to the makeup of Florida’s ground.
Florida’s ground is made up of a cavernous limestone aquifer that erodes and changes over time. These changes happen more often when there are large swings in weather patterns.
When we get more rain, the aquifer fills up. After the rains subside for a while, the aquifer then erodes as the water levels drop.
Because limestone is a softer stone, it erodes very quickly compared to other harder stone. This leads to collapses that are deep underground but that generally only move the ground surface slightly over time.
Other reasons can cause settling as well such as poor drainage or heavy rain.
How Do I Fix My Crawl Space Problem?
Now that we know the most common reason why you’re having trouble with your crawl space, let’s take a look at how to fix the issues.
Your problem will likely be solved by addressing the foundation and/or subfloor system.
Whenever you have floors that squeak when you walk on them, show signs of cracking, or their simply sagging, you need to add support to the foundation in your crawl space.
Adding support to your foundation is done by using additional piers to the existing ones in order supplement certain areas. Once the piers are in place, they are permanent and should last a lifetime.
If your problem is moisture related, proper drainage is put in place first, then the repairs are made. If you have damaged foundation or subfloor system, the damaged elements will be replaced.
It’s important if you think you may have crawl space issues or problems to immediately contact an expert like Above All Leveling that specializes in repairing crawl spaces. If ignored these problems can lead to larger more costly repairs.