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Crawl Space Repair

The crawl space under your house may be out of sight, but it should not be out of your mind. A lot more could be going in the crawl space than you realize. And it could be affecting the health of your family.

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What’s going on underneath your house? Are you aware of this area’s condition? You might be thinking, “Oh, it’s out of sight and out of mind. I don’t have to worry about it.” But the truth is, you do have to worry about it.

Crawl spaces can be handy, but they also can be dark, dirty, and downright gross. Most people never go into these areas and have no idea what’s going on under the house. Would you feel comfortable knowing there could be mold, mice and other problems underneath your feet? Especially if anyone in the house suffers from asthma or allergies, the conditions in the crawl space could be contributing to sickness. 

Do any of these issues sound familiar in your crawl space and/or  home?

  • Musty Odors
  • Visible Mold
  • Dampness or High Humidity
  • Cold Floors Above Crawl Space in Winter
  • High Energy Bills
  • Interior Drywall Cracks
  • Sagging, Uneven, or Bouncy Floors
  • Wood Rot
  • Open Crawl Space Vents
  • Failing Crawl Space Insulation
  • Water in the Crawl Space
  • Insect, Rodent, or Pest Infestations

Causes

Your home could have been having these problems since day one. The biggest cause of crawl space issues has to do with the way your home and crawl space were constructed.

Water and moisture also can have a significant impact inside your home, as well. If you have a dirt crawl space with open vents, this allows outside air, water, and pests inside the crawl space directly underneath your house to cause a host of problems. More than 50% of the air you’re breathing indoors comes from below-grade areas like crawl spaces. So, whatever is in your crawl space such as mold, moisture, and humidity, also is in the rest of your house and affecting you. One example of a structural impact is with the support system under your house. If wooden support systems become saturated with water or exposed to high humidity and excessive moisture, they can rot and buckle. Metal supports also will corrode and rust in the same conditions. All this then leads to sagging, uneven floors and problems with hardwood floors. 

The stack effect is the airflow pattern in your house from bottom to top. Air pressure also comes into play. 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) 

True, you can’t actually see airflow, but it might be helpful to have a way to visualize the stack effect to better understand it. Your home certainly is not located in the northern portion of the country, but a lot of good information can be gained from The Cold Climate Housing Research Center’s YouTube videos, including “Your Nothern Home: Stack Effect” that illustrates the stack effect. 

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    FAQs

    Why would you want disgusting conditions underneath your home? That alone should be enough for you to want to correct the problems. But you might be wondering, “what’s in it for me?” A lot, actually. There are so many benefits of having a clean crawl space, which you can read about in our blog, “10 Reasons to Clean Your Crawl Space This Season.” Here are a few of the major perks:  

    • Health — A cleaner crawl space means improved health for you and your family. Especially if anyone in your house suffers from asthma or allergies, a cleaner crawl space can help prevent flare-ups and sickness. If you choose solutions like a dehumidifier, the air quality will be greatly improved throughout the entire home. 
    • Structural Integrity — Compromised support systems and sagging floors are dangerous and could result in significant structural damage and safety hazards. By shoring up the support system in your home, you will have a more stable living environment for your family. 
    • Energy Efficiency — When you invest in proper, reliable crawl space encapsulation and insulation to reduce energy loss, you can save between 30 and 50% on your energy bills. (Source: Clean Crawls)
    • Functional Space — Once your crawl space has been properly waterproofed, sealed and insulated, you have an area of your home you can use in a new way. You’ll be able to store your belongings in the crawl space without worrying about them being damaged by water, mold or pests. 
    • Real Estate Value — There are a lot of factors that impact a home’s resale value, but issues with the structure, any water intrusion and crawl space problems are all areas you need to be aware of. When selling your house, it is important to disclose any known past or current damage. This sets clear expectations regarding the quality and condition of the home. Homeowners selling their house in South Carolina are required to provide a written disclosure statement to the purchaser noting any known defects. This includes information on the foundation, basement and other structural components, as well as current or prior infestations of wood destroying insects or organisms. (Source: Nolo

    Now that you’ve seen what nastiness could be lurking underneath your feet and the toll it can take on your home and your family, aren’t you motivated to get rid of it? As tempting as it might be to head out to your local home improvement store to gather supplies, pause for a moment.  

    Crawl space repair is not something you can tackle in a weekend, no matter how handy you are. A lot can go wrong, and we have seen many problems result from fast fixes. Especially concerning real estate transactions, quick fixes can raise red flags. You’ll then have to spend more time and money to repair these issues. It’s best to leave these projects to professional contractors so the problems will be fixed correctly the first time around. 

    We encourage you to educate yourself to make the best decision and sound investment with trustworthy repair solutions from a reliable contractor. 

    This is by far the most common question we hear. And rightly so. Your home is a significant investment, and you want to make sure you’re also investing in the best, long-lasting repair solutions. 

    To give you an idea, HomeAdvisor estimates the average cost of crawl space repair to be $6,000, with a wide range depending on the exact problem, size, accessibility and what’s being removed. 

    That being said, if you call in to ask our office or search our site for the answer, odds are you aren’t going to get a clear picture right off the bat. And we understand how frustrating it can be to not get a straight answer right away. But there is a lot to consider when talking about repair work. 

    First off, it’s not fair to you to give a rough estimate or ballpark figure when we have no idea what we’re dealing with. That’s why it’s important to have an inspector out to look at exactly what is going on with the crawl space.  

    Other factors like the extent of damage, square footage, and how much material needs to be used also need to be considered. 

    There isn’t a “one size fits all” fix for crawl spaces. What worked for a friend or neighbor down the street might not be exactly what your home needs. Every home and every crawl space is different and requires its own unique repair solutions. 

    The best thing you can do is educate yourself about your crawl space and research repair contractors who will be able to find the best solution to your repair needs. Once you meet with a contractor, don’t be afraid to have an open and honest discussion about the cost of repair. Odds are, your contractor of choice will be able to take your budget into consideration and work with you on payment and financing options. 

    We know how daunting hiring a contractor can be. You’ve probably heard horror stories about how a contractor didn’t finish a job or left a house a complete disaster. That’s why it is so important to work with a company you can trust. You have so many tools at your fingertips, and it’s up to you to educate yourself before working with anyone. 

    Below is a list of 10 helpful tips for selecting a reputable contractor, courtesy of Popular Mechanics

    1. Go with Your Gut. The contractor will be working in and around your home, so trust your instincts about his character.  
    2. Make Sure the Contractor is Licensed to Work in Your Area, Bonded, and Insured. A contractor that has the proper licensing and insurance indicates credibility, knowledge, and trustworthiness. 
    3. Pick a Contractor Who Specializes in Your Project Type. Experience through research, training, and hands-on work in the field matters. 
    4. Have a Detailed Contract in Place Before Any Work Begins. Having detailed plans and everything in writing clearly spells out expectations so there are no surprises. 
    5. Find Out Who Will Be Performing the Work. Knowing exactly who will be coming to your home will give you peace of mind and confidence in the contractor. 
    6. Give the Contractor Guidelines for Working In/Around Your Home. Let the company know of your preferences including arrival times and any off-limit areas of your home. 
    7. Know What Your Responsibilities Are. If you need to move anything out of the way or need to plan for pet accommodations, it’s best to address that before the project starts. 
    8. Ask About a Mechanic’s Lien. Check on the contractor’s legal status before signing anything. 
    9. Look at Work Samples. This lets you see the quality of the work, and it might give you ideas for your own project. 
    10. Think Locally. Support the local companies that have been in business and in the community for a long time. 

    We at Mount Valley Foundation Services are proud to meet these points and go above and beyond for our customers. We are challenging and changing the way homeowners view and work with contractors, and we want your experience with us to be memorable.  

    But don’t just take our word for it. You can learn more about others’ experiences firsthand by viewing reviews and testimonials from actual customers we’ve worked with. Our About Us page also has great information for you to further get acquainted with our company and our team

    When you contact us, you can speak to one of our customer care representatives about your crawl space concerns. We will then work with you to schedule an appointment for a free inspection and estimate with one of our certified field inspectors.  

    Here’s what you can expect during this consultation. The inspector will:  

    • Complete a thorough evaluation of your home’s interior and exterior. This includes going into the crawl space to check the condition of the area including any water intrusion, damage, pests, etc.  
    • Discuss his findings with you, as well as your goals with a repair project.  
    • Offer customized solutions that best fit your repair needs.  
    • Provide you with a proposal of recommended solutions before leaving your house.  
    • Discuss payment and financing options with you. 

    Then, if you decide to move forward with a repair project, we will work to schedule your repairs with one of our highly trained installation crews. Our crew members will treat your home as their own, with the utmost care and respect. They will use world-class solutions for your repairs, and their work is not complete until you are 100% satisfied with the job. If something crops up after installation, we will return to fix any issues. We also offer various service and maintenance opportunities to protect our work and your home.  

    Along with writing a review about your experience with us, it would mean the world to us if you would refer us to your friends and family! 

    We are committed to your satisfaction and your home’s safety. That is why we only use the very best repair solutions. The products we use are manufactured right here in the United States, and they are tested and proven to effectively work in keeping your crawl space clean, dry, safe and healthy. All these solutions also are designed to work together to give you the most bang for your buck and prevent any further problems. 

    Here is how we tackle crawl space problems, as well as the solutions we use and how they work: 

    • Address Leaking Water — To address seeping water, we first need to catch the water, then get this water to a sump pump system, and then send this water away from the home.  

      Our specially designed CrawlDrain™ perimeter drainage system is placed in the dirt crawl space floor around the perimeter to catch seeping water from the walls and floor. The drainage channels then direct this water into the SafeDri™ Crawl Space Sump Pump System, which then pumps the water out of the crawl space and away from the home.  A FreezeGuard™ also can be attached to the exterior sump pump discharge line to prevent flooding if the line should freeze or become blocked. 
    • Seal the Crawl Space from Outside Elements — It is important to seal your crawl space from outside air, water and pests. The first step is having durable vent covers placed over the crawl space vents. 
       
      Then, a heavy-duty moisture and vapor barrier is installed. Our CrawlSeal™ is a true 20-mil liner rated above 25-mil strength at the seams. This liner, which is three times thicker than builder’s grade liner, is used to completely isolate the crawl space from the earth. CrawlSeal™ prevents moisture and vapor intrusion, is waterproof, and has been treated to resist mold. 
       
      Additionally, thick drainage matting can be placed on the crawl space floor before the encapsulation process to help direct water to the perimeter CrawlDrain™ system, as well as enhance the strength of the CrawlSeal™ liner. 
       
    • Properly Insulate the Crawl Space — Rigid ExTremeBloc™ panels placed on crawl space walls will better insulate the area and will not fail or develop mold like fiberglass insulation. These panels resist moisture, and an integrated termiticide is added to deter termites below grade. CrawlSeal™ also helps insulate the crawl space, and spray foam can be added to rim joists to seal gaps around the perimeter of your foundation. These insulation methods help prevent wood rot and enable termite treatments. 
       
    • Condition the Air — Our low-profile crawl space dehumidifier is powerful and energy efficient. It effectively works to clean and filter the air, control moisture and humidity, and reduce odors and potential mold growth. This dehumidifier also is self-draining, meaning there aren’t any reservoirs or buckets to have to worry about emptying. The unit can be directed to drain into the crawl space perimeter drainage system or sump pump system, or a condensate pump can be installed. 
       
    • Reinforce Support Systems — Wooden floor supports and light-duty jack posts commonly fail in wet and humid crawl spaces. Our durable IntelliJacks™ are made of galvanized steel, making them more reliable supports that can stabilize and lift sagging floors and floor joists back to level. 

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    Our Service Area

    CHARLESTON LOCATION

    1850 Ashley River Rd
    Charleston, SC 29407

    COLUMBIA LOCATION

    2110 Commerce Drive
    Cayce, SC 29033

    GREENVILLE LOCATION

    300 South Ave
    Spartanburg, SC 29306