Moisture in a crawl space causes mold and falling insulation. The CrawlSeal system prevents these issues.
What’s under your house? The ground is, of course, but there also could be something else beneath your living space. Many homes throughout Florida are built with slab foundations, meaning there’s no below-grade basement level. But there also are a great deal of homes in the state that were built on crawl spaces.
As the name suggests, a crawl space is an area under the house with only enough room to crawl through, usually 1-3′. It’s typically a hollow space with a dirt floor, but it can be convenient for tucking away HVAC units, plumbing, ductwork, and electrical wiring.
Other than those items and your home’s support system, you’d think crawl spaces would be empty. But that’s not always the case. There could be more lurking in the crawl space under your house than you realize.
You may hardly, if ever, go into this area of your home, so it’s probably “out of sight and out of mind.” But it actually should be top of mind if you are concerned with the wellbeing of your loved ones. A crawl space moisture or water problem can cause health, safety, and comfort issues in your home, such as mold, rotted floor joists, or a pest infestation.
You don’t have to expose your family to those nasty conditions. The best way to prevent these problems is with crawl space encapsulation, moisture control, and waterproofing.
Not sure how to get started? The experts at Florida Foundation Authority are here to help you. We are proud to serve homeowners in Orlando, Oviedo, Deltona, and surrounding areas in Florida.
On this page, we’ll cover common questions and concerns we hear from homeowners just like you about their crawl space problems and repair options. Let’s start by looking at how you’ll know if you’ve got a crawl space problem.
If you notice any of the following signs and symptoms around your home, you’ve got a crawl space problem on your hands.
Excess moisture in the crawl space can contribute to:
Crawl space encapsulation will improve the home’s comfort and energy efficiency.
Our complete crawl space encapsulation system is designed to combat your moisture, mold, comfort, and structural problems.
We cover the crawl space walls and floor with the premium-quality CrawlSeal 20-mil vapor barrier that’s covered by a 25-year warranty against rips and tears. The crawl space vents are sealed with vent covers that never need painting. A powerful, energy-efficient dehumidifier is installed to effectively control moisture and prevent mold.
There could be a host of reasons why your home is experiencing crawl space problems, but what it really comes down to is the construction of your house. Building practice traditionally has called for crawl spaces to be equipped with open vents for air drying purposes.
But it is coming to light that this is an outdated and harmful practice. Open vents invite outside air, water, pests, and rodents inside to cause a myriad of additional problems.
More than half of the air you are breathing in your home comes from the crawl space. So, whatever is in your crawl space, such as high humidity and mold, is circulating in the air throughout the rest of the home. This is because of the stack effect.
The stack effect refers to the pattern of airflow in your house from bottom to top. Air pressure also comes into play with air movement. Air flows from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. When there is a greater difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more significant this airflow becomes. (Source: Fine Homebuilding)
Even though you can’t see airflow, it might help to see this in action to get a better idea of how the stack effect works. No, Florida does not have a cold climate and it is not in the northern part of the country, but the Cold Climate Housing Research Center has a great YouTube video, “Your Nothern Home: Stack Effect,” that illustrates the stack effect.
Here are other ways a vented crawl space and the stack effect impact your home:
Even after learning more about your crawl space, you might still be wondering what all the fuss is about. “Ok, so I need to repair my crawl space. What’s in it for me?” you might be asking. The answer: a lot. There are so many ways you, your family, and your home can benefit from conquering your crawl space with needed repairs. Here are just some of the perks:
Now that you’re armed with more crawl space information, do you feel motivated and ready to take back your home with needed repairs?
Before you start devising a plan of attack, first consider who will be completing this work. You have a wealth of resources at your fingertips with the internet and hardware stores, and you’re probably thinking about how you could save money by just doing it yourself.
But crawl space repair is quite a commitment. And, as handy as you may be, it is best that you leave the fine details of it to professionals. This type of repair is a big deal, and a lot can happen if you try to DIY your way through it. Oftentimes, these DIY repairs don’t stand up to code or the test of time, and you’d have to spend more time and money to bring in a contractor to fix them. Have them fixed the right way the first time with a trusted company.
Undoubtedly, you’ve probably heard about others’ terrible experiences of dealing with contractor mistakes and those who fail to follow through with promises and projects. But don’t let these troublesome tales completely influence your decision. There are companies out there who care about their work and want to help you.
The best thing you can do is arm yourself with research and knowledge. Do your homework and find out as much about a company as you can before deciding who to hire. It’s important for you to feel comfortable with who you bring into your home, and to have confidence in the company’s ability. Read reviews, ask for references, and check out third-party resources like the Better Business Bureau. Make sure you ask for contractor must-haves like licenses, insurance, certifications, warranties, and other pertinent documentation.
As you prepare to have your crawl space repaired, you should get quotes from at least three different companies. During your research journey, we at Florida Foundation Authority would be honored to have the opportunity to assist you. Let us prove to you that we are different from other contractors.
When you choose to work with us, you become part of our family. From the initial inspection through the completion of beneficial repair projects, we’ll be with you every step of the way.
After you contact us, we’ll schedule an appointment for one of our certified field inspectors to visit your home for a free inspection and estimate. During this consultation, the inspector will complete a thorough assessment of your crawl space, including looking for any signs of water intrusion, and structural and other damage.
As the inspector shares his findings with you, he also will discuss your goals with a repair project and your budget. Then, he will put together an estimate that includes a plan with customized solutions that will meet your specific repair needs. The inspector also will go over financing options and answer any questions you may have. Take your time to sit with and review this estimate, and don’t be afraid to reach back out to your inspector with any follow-up questions or concerns.
When you are ready to proceed with the work and sign a contract with your inspector, we will schedule the job with one of our highly trained crews. The crew will treat your home as their own, with the utmost care and respect, as they install the best solutions to protect your home. And their work is not done until you are completely satisfied with the job. So, if something comes up or the work isn’t living up to expectations, don’t hesitate to speak up. Plus, we offer service and maintenance opportunities to make sure our work continues to hold up and that your home is being properly protected.
Because we are committed to you and the safety of your family and home, we use only quality crawl space repair solutions. Manufactured right here in the United States, each product is carefully designed and tested by a team of structural and geotechnical engineers. They are designed to work together, as well as with our other waterproofing and foundation repair solutions to give your home the complete protection it deserves. All our systems also come with a written warranty, giving you peace of mind.
Here are different ways we address crawl space issues and their repairs:
We’ve saved the best for last, so to speak. The cost of repair is by far the most common crawl space concern we hear from homeowners. And that’s natural. Money matters, and so does your house. You want to make sure you’re protecting your home with the best solutions that also are cost-effective.
To give you a general idea, crawl space repairs can range from $5,000 on the low end to $15,000 or more. Be aware, these are rough estimates, and the cost greatly depends on a variety of factors. There’s a lot to consider with crawl space repair including square footage, materials that will need to be used, the extent of any damage, labor, etc. All of these vary from company to company, so be sure to have a thorough conversation with your contractor about pricing specifics and payment options.
If you are concerned with repairs being covered by home insurance, check into that with your insurance provider as all policies are different.
And no two crawl space problems are the same. There is no magical “one size fits all” crawl space fix. We use customized solutions because every home is different and requires its own unique set of repairs. That’s why it’s so important for an inspector to visit your home and actually see what is going on.
All this being said, when you decide to fix your crawl space, you are making an investment in your home. Can you really put a price on the health and safety of your family?
You don’t have to live with the stress of crawl space problems. Fix these issues the right way the first time around with your trusted team at Florida Foundation Authority! We look forward to working with you!