Why Inspecting Crawl Spaces And Foundations Matters

Thorough Residential Real Estate Inspections

In many locations, especially in warmer regions, developers erect houses with extensive crawl spaces. For instance, instead of excavating a basement, the builder may construct a wood frame residence resting on a slightly elevated foundation. If you live in a home with an unencapsulated crawl space (or crawl spaces), it usually remains a wise precaution to request periodic inspections by a waterproofing expert of the infrequently-accessed areas beneath the residence.

Taking this simple step helps ensure crawl spaces and foundations remain in good condition. It also may assist property owners in catching and correcting potential real estate problems at an early stage. The old adage “forewarned is forearmed” applies in terms of protecting living areas from some common crawl space-related hazards.

Clean, Dry Crawl Spaces

Of course, frequently homeowners don’t welcome the prospect of exploring out-of-the-way crawl spaces, building foundations, or attics. These locations may require considerable effort and discomfort to access. They typically lack light. In some circumstances, spiders, snakes or even bats frequent these dark places. Yet ensuring that these parts of a residence remain clean and dry could help maintain the useful lifespan of your house.

Water leaking beneath the home can create potentially serious consequences. Over the course of time, this situation may cause warping or rotting in wooden structures. The damp conditions may give rise to the growth of mold and mildew, a health concern. In wood frame houses, moisture may promote conditions conducive to termite infestations. Ultimately, seeping water holds the potential to damage building foundations, creating structural problems. All these considerations warrant periodic inspections of crawl spaces, foundations and attics by experienced waterproofing technicians. If you notice any possible signs of trouble developing, consider contacting a qualified inspector to check your home:

Tilting Floor

Do any of the lower level floors in your residence “bounce” or appear uneven? While many possible causes can contribute to this problem (including termites), water in a crawl space sometimes produces this defect. By asking an expert to examine the underside of the floor carefully, you’ll take useful corrective action to protect your household more effectively.

Any sagging floor imposes hazards, or course. It may cause people to trip and fall unexpectedly. If sections of a floor weaken, the problem could place furniture (or occupants) at risk of tumbling through floor boards.

Cracks in Interior Plaster or Dry Wall

If you notice cracks forming in the plaster or dry wall in one or more rooms, requesting a crawl space and foundation inspection may prove prudent. A variety of issues potentially cause crack formation; shifting in the ground beneath the home as a result of water pooling in a crawl space could contribute to this phenomenon.

Large cracks in plaster or dry wall usually remain apparent even after re-painting or the application of wall paper. They pose an interior decorating problem and may deter prospective home buyers when a property reaches the real estate market. Checking out the source of the cracks usually remains the best course of action.

Termite Infestations

If your house develops a termite problem, consider scheduling a crawl space and foundation inspection with a waterproofing expert. Some termites will infest dry wood, yet these wood-gnawing insects often show a marked preference for damp, rotting planks and timbers. It makes little sense to perform termite treatments before addressing an underlying water problem, if any, inside the crawl space or around the foundation. Unless repaired, wet crawl spaces under the home may continue to promote wood damage, encouraging termite re-infestation at a later date.

Most real estate experts recommend obtaining the assistance of a licensed pest exterminator in order to apply termite treatments. The insects can burrow inside wood and sometimes prove challenging to eradicate. Recently some new classes of insecticides reached the market. These chemicals prove less toxic to humans and pets, but eliminate entire termite colonies.

Odors

A foul odor in the home could signal a leaky roof or a wet crawlspace and foundation. Persistently damp conditions allow mold to gain a foothold. If you smell a musty, unpleasant aroma, consider calling a waterproofing company for assistance.

A careful examination of the premises helps isolate the source of water leaks. In some situations, leaking plumbing pipes and fixtures or sewer pipes spill undetected into crawl spaces for some time before the problem reaches an owner’s attention. Prompt corrective plumbing action to stop leaking sometimes resolves this type of crawl space issue (if extensive damage has not already occurred).

Available Assistance

Consider contacting a qualified waterproofing expert in all these situations. Taking this precaution could help prevent or minimize long term property damage!