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Causes of Crawl Space Damage

Experiencing musty smells or sagging floors? Maybe mold is growing inexplicably around your home. These are all sings of crawl space damage, and it is important to understand what causes them in the first place. 

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Crawl spaces are some of the most useful foundations around. Your plumbing, electric wiring, and air vents can all be stored easily below your home. However, crawl spaces are also very susceptible to damage. Thankfully, plenty of solutions exist to combat the problem, but homeowners need to understand what causes issues in the first place. With this knowledge, you can stay vigilant for any potential issues before they arise.

Common Causes of Crawl Space Damage

Generally, crawl space damage occurs due to high levels of moisture. In fact, many crawl spaces make it easy for moisture levels to rise within them. There are a few ways moisture can infiltrate a crawl space which we’ll outline in the section below.  

Open Crawl Space Vents

Crawl spaces are often designed with vents built into the walls. In the past, it was thought that this would allow humid air to exit the crawl space easily. Unfortunately, vents actually cause the opposite to happen. They let the outside air travel into the crawl space, which can also lead to a major issue called the stack effect.  

If it is dry and cold outside, it will be dry and cold in your crawl space. If it is humid and hot outside, it will be humid and hot in your crawl space. You can see how this becomes a problem. When moisture from the air outside enters your crawl space, it causes tons of issues such as wood rot or mold growth.  


Another way that moisture gets into your crawl space is through groundwater. When it rains, or you use your sprinklers, the water is absorbed into the soil. If your home is situated at the bottom of a hill or slope, the water may travel into the ground below your crawl space.  

When this happens, the water will eventually evaporate and release water vapor throughout your crawl space. This causes condensation which also leads to wood rot and mold, as well as other crawl space problem signs.  

sagging floor and over spanned joists

Over Spanned Floor Joists

While this might sound like complex construction jargon, it is actually a very simple concept. Essentially, it is when there is too much space between floor joists. Floor joists support your floor and keep it from collapsing. They work best when placed close together so that the weight of your floor (and everything resting on it) is properly distributed.  

If too much space is between them, you’ll be left with sagging floors or gaps between the floor and wall. Over spanning sometimes happens during construction, but it usually has to do with other issues such as wood rot.

Mount Valley Foundation Services Can Help With Your Crawl Space Issues! 

Have you noticed musty odors in your home but can’t pinpoint where they are coming from? Do your floors feel like they are sagging, bouncy, or uneven? These issues indicate the presence of crawl space problems.  

Now that you understand the reasons these issues arise, contact us today so we can help protect your Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, or Savannah home. You don’t have to let crawl space problems creep up on you. Keep an eye out for these causes and stay prepared with our many crawl space solutions.

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