At Tar Heel Foundation Solutions, we get plenty of calls that begin like this: “My floors feel spongy” or “There are cracks above my doors and they won’t close right” or even “It feels like we’re walking on a trampoline.”
Among the first questions we ask is “Do you have a crawl space?” When the problems below your home start affecting the living space, you know crawl space repair is needed.
At Tar Heel, we employ several different crawl space repair solutions that can be used alone or in tandem to find the right solution for your home.
You can trace most crawl space problems that develop over time back to one word: moisture.
Cracks no bigger than a hair can allow water to seep into your crawl space, and too much moisture can cause problems ranging from annoyances (a musty odor) to health hazards (mold) to serious structural problems (rotting floor joists).
For structural concerns, rotting wood is among the biggest problems in damp, humid crawl spaces. As the moisture content of the wood increases, so does the likelihood of rot. And as the wood in your crawl space rots, it can weaken the supports for your entire house.
Water is not the only thing that can get through cracks in a crawl space, however. While they need slightly larger spaces, pests can also enter your house from below. And we all know pests can do plenty of damage on their own, especially given the prevalence of termites in the Carolinas.
Many of the symptoms of structural issues with crawl spaces mimic those common with foundation problems. It makes sense, since both affect the stability of your home’s base.
When it comes to flooring, however, the problems stemming from crawl space issues can be even more severe. Foundation problems can lead to tilting floors as a house settles unevenly. Crawl space problems can cause this, too.
Rotting joists go beyond simple tilting, however. With the wood no longer able to rigidly support the floor, you get the spongy or bouncy trampoline-like feel when walking on them.
Much like with foundation problems, structural issues with crawl spaces can cause walls to crack. As the home’s base becomes less able to provide the required support to the structure, it increases the pressure on the walls. This can cause cracking
The pressure affects more than the walls, however. It also can alter spaces for doors and windows.
This can cause doors and windows to stick, preventing them from opening and closing properly.
When you have structural issues in your crawl space, the number one thing your home needs is support. Be it crawl space jacks or CMU piers, something must be added to the crawl space to stabilize the house and prevent the floors from sagging.
CMU piers are made out of concrete masonry units, commonly known as cinder blocks. We place the cinder block piers in strategic locations within the crawlspace, lending support to the sagging floors. The piers are also strong enough to relieve the pressure causing wall cracks and sticking doors.
If the floor joists have suffered too much rot, we might also have to replace them.
Finally, we can also perform crawl space encapsulation to prevent moisture from afflicting the crawl space in the future.
If you think you might need crawl space repair, call the experts at Tar Heel Foundation Solutions today. Proudly serving the Carolinas, we know poorly done foundation and crawl space work just leads to more problems. We fix it right so you only have to fix it once.