Even though it’s likely the most seldom-visited area of your home, your crawl space impacts the health of your entire house. Crawl space damage, if not addressed, can lead to structural, water, and air quality problems.
At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we solve crawl space problems of all types — including crawl space water damage, water leaks, wood rot, wall moisture issues, and structural problems — with our professional crawl space repair services. Don’t let the health of your home and family be compromised by a neglected crawl space!
How Do I Know If I Have Problems That Need Crawl Space Repair?
Many crawl spaces, especially in Georgia’s humid climate, are subject to moisture damage. However, because homeowners often don’t venture into their crawl space, catching moisture problems before it’s too late can be difficult. Knowing the signs of crawl space issues will help you know when it’s time to call a crawl space contractor for an inspection.
The 7 Most Common Signs of Crawl Space Problems
High moisture content in crawl spaces often leads to rotting wood structures and floor joists. Over time, wood rot can lead to structural damage, including sinking or buckling floors. Rotting wood is caused by a fungus known as Serpula lacrymans, which can thrive on relatively low moisture content of just 28-30%. When wooden supports and floor joists become infected with this fungus, they can lose up to 75% of their strength and start to sag, crack, or buckle. The best way to tackle this issue and to prevent wood rot from compromising the structural integrity of your home is to install crawl space moisture control solutions.
Mold needs a damp environment to survive, meaning that if you find it in your crawl space, it’s an obvious indicator your crawl space has a moisture issue. There are several different types of mold that are likely to appear in your home, and each varies in toxicity. Stachybotrys, commonly known as “black mold,” is a form of extremely hazardous mold that can grow on drywall, carpet, insulation, and wood that has been exposed to excess moisture. Stains like black mold need to be remediated immediately to prevent spreading and serious health problems. Increased allergy symptoms may be a sign that there is mold growing in your crawl space, so if this is an issue you encounter, it’s a good idea to schedule an inspection.
It’s important to note that AquaGuard does not perform mold remediation, but we can refer you to someone who does and then assess and repair your crawl space to permanently protect it against future mold spore growth.
Bugs and pests love to live in dark, damp spaces, making your crawl space the perfect habitat for species such as cockroaches, silverfish, mice, termites, millipedes and centipedes, carpenter ants, snakes, and even large rodents. Unfortunately, the more bugs and pests you find in your crawl space, the more likely you are to find them in your home. If you notice an increase in unwanted visitors, a damaged, wet crawl space may be to blame.
The combination of mold, rotting wood, pests, and high humidity can cause for some very unpleasant smells. Though it may seem crazy that a foul smell could travel all the way from your crawl space to the top floor of your home, it actually is possible thanks to the stack effect. The stack effect is a phenomenon that causes warm air to rise. When the cool air of your crawl space warms and rises to the living space above, it carries all the airborne spores and impurities with it. Not only can this contribute to damp, musty smells, it can also cause poor air quality… air that you and your family then BREATHE!
As was previously mentioned, wood rot can cause the wooden framework and floor joists of your home to become weak and unstable. When this happens, sinking or sagging floors may appear in the lower level of your home. You may feel like you’re walking downhill inside your house or even set a marble in one area and watch it roll to another.
Aside from excess moisture in your crawl space, sinking floors can also be a sign of poor footing and unstable soils which can result in settled columns and cracked or buckling floor joists.
As the humidity in your crawl space rises due to moisture issues, you may notice condensation forming on cold surfaces throughout your home and increased energy bills. Not only is humid air more difficult to cool, but it also is more likely to lead to wood rot or mold because it creates the perfect environment for them to thrive. It essentially produces the effect of leaving your organic wood joists and framing out in a cool, misty fog for months on end. Think of the effect extended periods of damp, cool morning mist would have on campfire logs. A humid crawl space has the same effect on the wood materials supporting your house. That’s a scary thought! The ideal indoor humidity is between 40-50%, and any higher could mean you’ve got a crawl space moisture problem at hand. If the relative humidity of your crawl space is higher than 50-55%, don’t let the problem fester…it’ll only worsen over time.
If your crawl space has previously flooded or shows signs of standing water, wall moisture, wall discoloration, or efflorescence after hard or steady rains, the aforementioned symptoms could soon follow. Crawl space flooding or moisture can be caused by many factors, but regardless of the specific cause, it can be difficult to remove and clean out. However, doing so is important. Standing water in your crawl space will only fester and serve as the catalyst for additional problems down the road.
Is a Wet Crawl Space Bad?
Even though your crawl space may not be used on a daily basis, because water problems can cause all of the damage discussed above, it’s very important to manage crawl space moisture levels. Luckily, this is easy thanks to a number of crawl space repair and waterproofing solutions provided by AquaGuard Foundation Solutions.
Crawl Space Repair and Waterproofing Solutions
No matter what type of crawl space issue you’re experiencing, AquaGuard Foundation Solutions has the industry knowledge, expertise, and customizable solutions to fix your crawl space right the first time and restore your peace of mind. We have more than 30 patented products and systems that enable us to custom-design a solution to fully resolve YOUR crawl space’s specific needs. Our renown CleanSpace® encapsulation system includes perimeter drainage, vapor barrier, insulation, sump pump, door and vent cover, and air filtration and dehumidification systems, all of which are designed and have been proven in thousands of Georgia homes to keep your crawl space permanently dry and your family healthy and safe.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
If you are looking to save money on utility bills, avoid unnecessary repairs, and create a healthy living space in your home, crawl space encapsulation may be the perfect solution. You will gain valuable space for storage once we have fixed crawl space water damage and sealed or encapsulated your crawl space with a vapor barrier.
You will no longer need to worry about leaky crawl space walls or crawl space water damage that will ruin your belongings; our crawl space repair and encapsulation solutions are patented and warrantied. Rest assured that the investment you make is one that will make your crawl space smell, feel, and look like new.
Our CleanSpace® crawl space encapsulation system is more than just a vapor barrier. Coupled with a perimeter drainage system, it’s essentially a 20-mm, puncture- and moisture-resistant, seven-layer sandwich hermetically-installed over crawl space walls and over the dirt floor (atop a ½-inch drainage matting) completely preventing water vapor and humidity from passing through dirt floors and wall cracks. It’s fully protected against rips and tears, and can convert your seldom-used crawl space into completely dry, climatized, valuable storage space. The system is accompanied by one of our patented sump pump systems, as well as our industry-leading dehumidification and air filtration system, which collectively is accompanied by a lifetime warranty – a warranty that’s FULLY transferable if and when you decide to sell your home.
Vent Covers and Crawl Space Doors
A crawl space cannot be completely sealed against the harsh elements outside if its vents and doors are left untouched. Crawl spaces were initially designed with vents because the thought process was that vents would allow air to cross-ventilate both in and out, much like when the driver’s and passenger’s windows of your car are rolled down. Unfortunately, this design was flawed, for when outside air enters your crawl space, it actually gets trapped. The air will circulate within your crawl space and fester if too humid before eventually escaping upwards through your main floors and air ducts (see Stack Effect above). Hence, it’s important that when you encapsulate your crawl space, you also seal all vent and door covers.
Our CleanSpace® vent covers attach mechanically to the walls surrounding these openings to form an airtight bond, preventing bugs, pests, humidity, and cold air from entering your crawl space. By doing so, you also protect the rest of your home. Our crawl space vent and door covers are cost-effective and, paired with our CleanSpace® encapsulation system, ensure your crawl space stays permanently dry and regulated.
Competitor crawl space vapor barriers and encapsulation products are often laid directly on the crawl space floor. Because of this, if moisture accumulates beneath the lining, it will get trapped and have nowhere to drain or evaporate. The longer moisture remains stagnant beneath the lining, the more likely it is to lead to mold, mildew, and other issues. The raised dimples on our drainage matting product gives the water beneath your crawl space liner a channel to flow towards our perimeter crawl space drainage and connected sump pump systems.
Crawl Space Drain Systems
Our crawl space drainage system can help collect and channel excess water resulting from crawl space walls and floors away from your home and foundation. Coupled with either our SuperSump® or TripleSafe™ sump pump systems, water can be diverted at the rate of approximately an Olympic swimming pool per hour—FAR more water than you’ll ever receive in your home. Our drainage system’s installation is guaranteed to never clog, so you won’t have to worry about debris from dirt or gravel floors blocking the flow of water. Our crawl space drains work best in conjunction with a customized system, which includes, at a bare minimum, our CleanSpace® vapor barrier, a sump pump, and our air filtration and dehumidification system.
Sump Pump Systems
At AquaGuard, we offer three different Zoeller® sump pump systems to meet your specific needs. All of our sump pump systems include the following features:
- WaterWatch® Alarm: Alerts the homeowner of sump pump failure.
- SuperLiner Sump Pump Liner: Also referred to as the sump pit, this liner is deep enough to keep the sump pump working without turning on and off frequently, but not so deep that your sump pump is pumping out unnecessary water.
- Airtight Sump Lid: Keeps out odor and humidity and protects your sump from debris.
- Adjustable CleanSump Stand: Raises pumps off the bottom of the liner to prevent the pump from being damaged by silt and sediment.
Block Wall Sealing
If your foundation has block walls with open cores, installing the WallCap® will seal off any gaps that could let in elements from the outside. The WallCap® seal system can prevent pests, cold air, radon gas, and moisture from entering your home through your crawl space. The clear plastic of the system provides maximum visibility for homeowners and pest control inspectors for detecting activity beyond the wall.
Crawl Space Dehumidifier and Air Filter
At AquaGuard, we offer several different crawl space dehumidifiers, all intended to control moisture levels and prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and wood-rotting fungus. We offer powerful, self-draining, and energy-efficient dehumidifiers to keep your crawl space permanently dry and as energy-efficient as possible. Over time, our incredible dehumidification and air filtration system can actually lower your energy bills by as much as 25 percent!
A tip from the experts: For a crawl space dehumidifier to work effectively, you’ll want to make sure your crawl space is first completely sealed. Otherwise, all of the hard work your dehumidifier puts into controlling humidity will be immediately negated by the moisture entering your home through crawl space vents, exposed dirt floors, open-core block walls, and foundation cracks.
Crawl Space Cleaning
When it comes to ideal DIY projects, for many homeowners, crawl space cleaning is low on the list. After years of neglect, you could be wading through groundwater seepage and staring at moldy support beams, nasty insulation, dead (if you’re lucky) bugs and rodents, severely discolored walls, and more. Our crew of crawl space contractors can help you remove debris and rotting materials, insulate and encapsulate, and structurally repair your crawl space.
Crawl Space Insulation
Because people don’t spend much time in their crawl space, they often don’t think to insulate it. However, crawl space insulation is a highly effective way to save energy. Because typical fiberglass insulation holds onto excess moisture, a special type of insulation must be used in a crawl space.
In Georgia, temperatures stay warm enough that this typically is not an issue. However, some homes have thinner foundation walls or, especially with homes located in the cooler North Georgia mountains, crawl space insulation is a viable need. For these situations, AquaGuard offers SilverGlo™, a completely inorganic insulation system that doesn’t support the growth of mold or rot. Originally designed by AquaGuard’s waterproofing manufacturing network, Contractor Nation, for homes in the Northeastern U.S., SilverGlo™ effectively insulates crawl spaces, and its reflective surface creates a heat barrier that reflects heat back into the home. Once installed, SilverGlo™ Insulation provides industry-leading R-11 insulation.
Crawl Space Winterization
If you’re constantly dealing with cold floors and drafts, high heating bills, and frozen pipes, it may be time to “winterize” your crawl space. As a part of the winterization process, our crawl space contractors will air seal and insulate the rim joists, insulate walls and floors, and seal your crawl space to prevent cold air from leaking into your home.
Structural Crawl Space Repair
Cracked walls and sloping floors may be a sign that your crawl space has incurred structural damage. These issues are usually caused by settling support columns or sagging beams and floor joists, but can also be caused by crawl space foundation walls sinking into the soil to fill voids created from washout, dry-out, and subsequent soil erosion.. Unlike some crawl space problems, these actually threaten the structural integrity of your home and can eventually lead to collapse. To repair this kind of damage, AquaGuard uses the SupportJack™ system to permanently stabilize and strengthen support beams and floor joists.
Certified Crawl Space Encapsulation Contractors in Greater Atlanta
We provide crawl space repair and crawl space encapsulation solutions with products specifically designed for crawl spaces by Basement Systems, Inc.®. They are the largest international network of basement waterproofing contractors and have been in business since 1987. With more than 30 patented products, Basement Systems® operates a full Research and Development department and is constantly refining the industry with the best, most innovative and most proven products for permanent crawl space encapsulation solutions.
Whether your crawlspace is wet and moist or has settlement issues, our team will conduct a complete on-site inspection and provide a professional consultation and free crawl space repair quote that outlines the perfect solution, such as crawl space encapsulation.
Free, No Obligation Inspection
For permanent solutions from qualified crawl space contractors, contact AquaGuard. We offer free crawl space repair and crawl space encapsulation quotes in Georgia, including areas like Marietta, Atlanta, Decatur, and nearby. Even before we come out to perform a free estimate, we will send you a copy of our full-color Crawl Space Science Book. It includes 88 pages of information on crawl space issues, how they’re solved, and what our products can do for you.
Call or email us today to get started. We look forward to helping solve your crawl space issues.