Your Home’s Heavy Lifting: Crawl Space Warning Signs
Going to the gym is an activity that you either really enjoy or dread with every fiber of your being. One of the best things about the gym, however, is that it you typically have options for your workout. Imagine if you only had one option though, if every gym you went to only had a single exercise for you to do-weightlifting. Constant weight lifting is an everyday reality for the foundation of your home.
While the structures at the base of your house are made to last, they can sometimes get tired and in drastic cases, give out entirely. The large gap between some homes and the ground, also known as a crawl space, can signal when parts of home are beginning to weaken. Here are some of the tell-tale signs that your home’s foundation is getting a little too worn out from all of the heavy lifting:
Instability: Buckling Legs vs. Buckling Floorboard
When a weightlifter’s legs buckle at the gym, that is a signal of too much muscle stress and fatigue. Likewise, when you notice buckling floorboards in your home, that can also be a big indicator that your home has some serious underlying structural issues. Buckling floorboards are definitely an issue that you’ll want to get looked at by a professional as soon as possible. It is very likely, if not guaranteed, that your crawl space is the root of the issue.
Underneath every home are pier columns that serve as the “legs” of the house. Sometimes, they are not spaced out properly when the house is being constructed. This can lead to floorboard buckling and a host of other issues, some of which could eventually cost thousands of dollars if the issues go on unaddressed. Needless to say, when buckling begins in the legs, it doesn’t take long for everything else to come crashing down. Get your crawl space inspected to prevent huge financial burdens in the future!
Condensation: Good Sweat vs. Bad Sweat
When it comes to exercise, sweat goes hand in hand with vigorous movement. Sweat is to be expected, it’s totally normal. One place that shouldn’t sweat? Your air conditioning unit. If you notice a lot of condensation on your air conditioning equipment, the cause could be related to excess moisture in your home’s crawl space. Humidity leads to an entire host of issues in itself, the most problematic being the growth of dangerous mold spores that can compromise the air quality in your home and even cause you or your loved ones to grow seriously ill.
Cracks: Bad Spotter vs. Bad Foundations
If you’ve ever lifted dumbbell weights, you’ll know that gym safety rules suggest having a person behind you to prevent you from straining yourself or dropping the weight. This person is referred to as a spotter. In a way, a weightlifter’s spotter is much like a home’s crawl space.
Economic Exterminators describes a home’s crawl space as it’s first line of defense. Sometimes, however, homeowners fall victim parts of their environment that are out of their control, such as the percent of clay in the soil where they live. Soil with a high moisture content can lead to damaging dry rot at the base of your home.
Even worse are what are known as foundation cracks, which are just as alarming as they sound. Crawl space-related issues can present a significant financial burden, especially when they present themselves all at once. Typically, however, issues with a home’s foundation can be attributed to the fact that a home’s crawl space is actually very.
Outdated: Poor Form vs. Poor Design
Yes, outdated. With the base of a home being so important, a large amount of thought and detail must go into making sure that it the foundation can keep the house upright for several lifetimes. Older homes, however, have crawl spaces that lack a few key features of newer models.
If you have a natural crawl space, meaning one that has a dirt floor, your home is going to be constantly susceptible to pest invasions, increased moisture, and weathering from the elements. As well, soil’s tendency to shrink when it dries causes the foundation of a house to move and become a little more unstable each time it is exposed to moisture. Modern crawl spaces are outfitted with a concrete floor. Concrete serves as an additional barrier that keeps out pests and protects the home’s foundation from damaging environments.
Older crawl spaces often have other design flaws. A common belief was that ample crawl space ventilation was best. Today, experts realize that a home’s foundation should be completely sealed in order to prevent any moisture from entering and causing damage.
Unwanted Guests: Gym Pests vs. Home Pests
Last but not least, we have the pest issue. This is probably where you thought the weightlifter metaphor would end. You know those people who never wipe off their equipment, find it necessary to tennis grunt with every rep, and don’t really understand personal space in the context of working out? Those people have a little something in common with the termites, rats, ants, and other creatures that might invade your crawl space. They’re pests.
A pest problem is one of the worst kind of problems. Not only do they get into your food supply, but in the case of termites, they speed up the natural degradation of your home’s structure and can cost you thousands. They also multiply like crazy and they don’t pay rent.
The Fix: Proper Equipment and Proper Insulation
If any of these symptoms of a problematic crawl space sound familiar, do not be alarmed. There is actually a service known as crawl space encapsulation that creates a 100% vapor barrier. Encapsulation can prevent and even completely eliminate your risk for many of the crawl space issues previously discussed.
Sometimes, you have to realize that the foundation of your home is a pretty heroic structure. It is lifting thousands of pounds 24/7, so the least you could do is guarantee that it has a reliable spotter.
If you want to prevent pest invasion, a sinking home, and even a trip to the hospital for mold poisoning and respiratory issues, consider upgrading your home’s spotter through crawl space encapsulation.
Economic Exterminators are your local experts who know that the best kind of home is a pest free home. For a consultation or further information on getting your home’s crawl space inspected, don’t hesitate to give us a call!