Friday, July 2nd, 2021 by Ann Gorman
Major problems to watch out for when buying a house
1. Crawl space vents: open or closed?
Be sure to pay attention to whether the foundation vents on the exterior of the house leading into the crawl space are open or closed. Having open vents leading into the crawl space allows outside air to enter the crawl space and adds more moisture. This can lead to condensation, mold growth, and wood rot, none of which you want in your crawl space. There are solutions for open crawl space vents. The most significant way to lessen the amount of moisture is by encapsulating your crawl space. In the process of encapsulating your crawl space, we cover the crawl space vents which blocks air movement that could otherwise pass through open vents. Issues that can be avoided by encapsulating your crawl space include mold and mildew, wood rot and structural damage, floor failure, increased hearing and cooling bills, odors, insect infestations, allergy aggravation, and poor indoor air quality.
2. Moisture Problems
As previously mentioned, it is very common for moisture from the outside air to enter the crawl space and condense on water pipes and air ducts. This moisture can cause many issues including musty odors in the living area, damp or sagging insulation, buckled hardwood floors above the crawl space, high humidity in the living area, pest infestation, and rotting wood framing. Aside from encapsulating the crawl space, you can also install a vapor barrier to minimize moisture.
Puddles of water in the crawl space indicate that water got in either from a plumbing leak or rainwater that is seeping in from outside. This tells you that there is no drainage system, or the drainage system is not working. It is common for people to have drains that are placed in the wrong spot, or for them to get clogged. Standing water in your crawl space can cause structural problems, wood rot, attract unwanted pests, lead to mold growth, and more. In order to keep your crawl space clear of puddles, water needs to be directed away from the exterior of the home with proper gutters, downspouts, sloped soil, and foundation drainage. The encapsulated crawl space should have a sump pump and perimeter drain installed just in case of an emergency in which the crawl space fills with water.
Pests can make a crawl space their home if it is not properly maintained. These pests include rodents, a variety of insects, and even larger animals like raccoons and possums. These pests can damage insulations, nibble through wiring and air ducts, and damage the wooden framing of your home. They can even enter the upper levels of your home through air ducts, water pipes, and holes for electrical wiring. Receiving a home inspection can reveal a pest infestation. Using effective moisture control can help to prevent future pest problems in your crawl space. This includes encapsulating your crawl space, sealing all openings, and installing a dehumidifier.