Common Crawl Space Problem Signs
If your crawl space begins to rot, grow mold, or experience structural problems, this will extend to every part of your home. At AFS Foundation & Waterproofing, we specialize in crawl space problems of all types.
High humidity in your crawl space is a warning of hidden damage and issues, and, as such, should not be ignored. Here’s how you can spot this issue.
Water in your crawl space causes condensation, mold and wood rot. It’s a serious problem for your structural integrity and for your family’s health.
To protect your crawl space from water damage, read on to learn how to spot the problem signs, like dampness, rising humidity, mold growth, and other subtle indicators.
Rotted floor joists are not just a problem sign of serious issues within your property—they can also be direct contributors to further damage. Acting quickly is crucial.
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Top Notch from start to finish! And the yearly sump pump maintenance is so helpful. Cannot say enough about this team – special shout out to Kolin and Jacob. These guys are Amazing. Last year, I purchased my home and during inspection it was…View review Read Seb's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
I can’t say enough about Chandler and AFS repair. Chandler was a kind young man who was timely and fair with his inspection of the house. My new home just had some problems with the foundation and Chandler was excellent and professional knowing…View review Read Nick Griffith's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
Mr. Chandler Starks saved the day. When my home had moisture issues, I scheduled an appointment and he exceeded expectations. He was diligent, on time, and you could tell he knew what he was talking about. A professional’s professional! His…View review Read Brady Harp's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
Chandler Starks came to help us out and was nothing short of a super professional, and someone who was super helpful and made everything make sense. He gave us a great way to resolve the issues with our foundation and solved our problems.View review Read Ty Barker's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
Cullen Brooks was a fantastic inspector. If you are going to have AFS out…. Ask for him!!!View review Read Steven Maddox's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
jarrod came out, was so friendly, helpful, and gave us very good information on what we need to correct our foundation problems AFS should be proud to have him as an agent .View review Read Curtis Myrick's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
We had our main girder reinforced by an I-Beam and floor supports installed in our crawlspace. Tim, John and CJ were courteous, friendly and professional. The work was done quickly and efficiently. It gives a sense of security to go down in the…View review Read Kristina Runciman's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
Brandon, He is very reliable and dependable. He actually came when he said he was. He explained everything where I could understand it.View review Read Susan Stewart's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
Matt Carter. Let know when he would arrive. Thoroughly explained what was wrong and how to repair. Very helpful and friendly.View review Read Don Swallom's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
AFS took on our helical pier and sump pump installation on our new home and we were offered competitive pricing, efficient communication, and a timely/clean installation. Our sales rep was Ben who was always available and informed, Tanner installed…View review Read Aleka Hobby's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
I have to say I was slightly nervous about the work that was to be done to my foundation. It seemed like a giant undertaking that I personally didn’t have a clue as to what to expect. However, the sales rep, Jonathan Beaird was available to answer…View review Read Lisa Baker's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
Todd from AFS was very personable and knowledgeable. He worked diligently to find the best solution to my issues that was within my budget.View review Read Sally Sharp's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
AFS installed a beam under my house. This is the third time I used them. My house is now level and stable. I wouldn’t consider using anyone else.View review Read Gary K's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
Jesus, Sean and Ben did outstanding work. They also went above and beyond with their thorough explanations and excellent attitudes. I highly recommend the company and the crew.View review Read John Carter's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
Thank you Mason, Stephen and Chris!!View review Read Carletta B.'s review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
AFS was great to work with from start to finish. Tyler was able to come out and do a thorough inspection of the crawlspace and gave me some options on moving forward. The crew for the job was incredible. Nik, Brennan, and Ethan were all awesome. Nik…View review Read Dylan Cooley's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
I had water coming into my basement after a very hard and long rain. I called AFS and John Davenport came out to look at the situation and said they could take care of it. Next Chris Johnson and Timothy Camp came to do the work. They did a great…View review Read Debbie Hanks's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
Victor, Antonio, Guadalupe, and Forrest were all awesome. Answered all our questions and took great care of us and our house.View review Read Aaron Peplinski's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
We recently had 7 piers installed to jack up a corner of our house. This was the second time we’ve used AFS and glad we did! Tim, Oscar, and Collin were a great team! They were all very professional and hard workers! Tim did a great job keeping us…View review Read Courtney Burgin's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
Chase Leatherwood came for our inspection today and was very friendly and polite. He spent time explaining things to us and did a very detailed inspection. We hope he can continue to be our guy from AFS.View review Read Carolyn Deerman's review for AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
Crawl Space Encapsulation Solutions
If you’re having a problem with your crawl space, you’ve come to the right place. Whatever your issue, we have the products and experience that you need to find the best solution.
Waterproofing professionals can help you to protect your home from dampness and damage by fully encapsulating your crawl space.
High humidity levels in your crawl space can lead to rot, mold growth, and other problems. With a dehumidifier, you can keep these levels under control and avoid expensive repairs.
Backup sump systems & battery backup pumps for a dry basement
Mold and pest infestation, water damage and comfort issues are a thing of the past with the right crawl space insulation.
Is Crawl Space Encapsulation the right solution for me?
Does your crawl space have vents? If you currently have a vented crawl space, you’re going to need to install a crawl space vent cover on each of those vents. In the past, many people believed that “airing a crawl space out” was the best way to avoid crawl space moisture. However, nowadays, experts believe this venting process actually allows more moisture to collect in the crawl space because of the math that goes along with relative humidity.
If your crawl space is damp, musty, and humid, crawl space encapsulation will transform this area underneath your home from dirty and wet to a clean, dry, usable space.
Not only does mold growth, mildew, and excessive moisture ruin your home’s indoor air quality, but it also causes structural damage to your home’s foundation. Cleaning up any water is a good first step, but encapsulating your crawl space using a high-quality vapor barrier improves energy efficiency and creates an all-around healthy living environment.
AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists have been developing cutting-edge crawl space encapsulation products for more than 20 years. Our durable 120-mil thick vapor barrier, combined with AquaStop™ Thermal Insulation board, state-of-the-art sump pump systems, and high-capacity dehumidifiers ensure your crawl space will not only be dry and usable for storage but also greatly improves the indoor air quality throughout the entire home.
Why is Crawl Space Encapsulation Needed?
These days there are a number of homes that already have some level of waterproofing and encapsulation. Still, some older properties have exposed, vented crawl spaces. Below are the most common reasons for waterproofing and encapsulation:
If you already have a waterproofing and encapsulation system in your home, one of the main reasons that you may need to revisit it is because of water damage. Sump pump breakdown, a loose or cracked crawl space door, internal plumbing leaks, and foundation damage can all cause a previously dry, safe, secure crawl space to become damp, humid, and unhealthy. In these cases, the underlying damage will need to be dealt with before you can replace or repair the waterproofing measures in your crawl space.
Some older properties may still have exposed crawl spaces. In these cases, you will need to encapsulate and waterproof your home for the first time to ensure that your home is protected, but first, it will be necessary to have a professional look for signs of damage. If you simply cover up the damage with vapor barriers and insulation, it will grow unseen and unchecked inside your home. This will cause a world of trouble further down the line.
Most waterproofing and encapsulation products have long lifespans, but there is a point at which they will start to become less and less effective. This process of deterioration is natural, but it will put your home in danger as it progresses. Having your home assessed and maintained regularly is important to ensuring that your home stays in good condition even when the weather is extreme.
The reasons for choosing to encapsulate your property (either for the first time or to upgrade your current waterproofing systems) can differ greatly depending on your situation. Therefore, we recommend that you talk to a professional about the process and its potential benefits as well as the costs.
Crawl Space Encapsulation Steps
Interior Drainage and Sump Pump
The first step in the encapsulation process may be installing an interior drainage system and a sump pump if you have standing groundwater or leakage. Although not all crawl spaces need a sump pump, it might be important if you’re dealing with a leak or if your home has a build that will result in water slowly gathering in the crawl space. With these situations, a sump pump can be a great way to avoid further problems that standing crawl space water can cause.
The drainage system and sump pump work best when paired together. The specially designed EZ Flow™ Crawl Space Drainage System is placed in the crawl space floor to collect leaking water. This water is then directed to drain into the sump pump system so that it can be properly removed from the crawl space. Additionally, drainage matting can be placed on the crawl space floor to help direct water from other parts of the crawl space to the perimeter EZ Flow™ system.
Vapor Barrier Liner
Next, you need to make sure the crawl space doesn’t have an open dirt floor. If your crawl space has any open dirt space underneath it, which may be the case for some or all of your crawl space, it’s important to have an AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists place a vapor barrier liner. By using only a 20-mil vapor barrier liner, which is the thickest liner available, you can be certain you’ll keep all water vapor outside your crawl space.
Remember that any dirt crawl space needs a vapor barrier. This is true whether it seems like the area has a lot of moisture in it or it seems like it is mostly dry. Even dirt that seems dry will connect much further down to dirt with a lot of moisture in it. Dirt retains moisture very far down, and any dirt crawl spaces will eventually release that moisture. It’s a good idea to put a vapor barrier liner over any dirt areas that might be in your crawl space.
Installing airtight vent covers can fix this additional moisture problem. A vent cover is very easy to install, overall; all you have to do is fasten the vent cover on the vent and you’ll be protected from extra moisture that may come in from the vent. Vent covers can also protect you against pests that might enter through a vent and water that might come in during rain or floods. Overall, covering your crawl space vents is absolutely a better choice than leaving them open.
Lastly, especially if you tend to have a very humid home, it’s important to install a crawl space dehumidifier. Even if you’ve completely sealed off the crawl space from humidity, it’s still possible for the home and the area around it to carry more moisture, as is often the case in areas with humid subtropical climates. In these situations, you may need to consider a crawl space dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers shouldn’t be your first step. If you have a humid crawl space, you can’t necessarily stick a dehumidifier in the space and call it done. You really need to tackle the base problem of the crawl space, which is probably open vents or a dirt crawl space, before you can install a dehumidifier. However, a dehumidifier can be a genuinely useful part of encapsulating a crawl space, so you also shouldn’t rule out the possibility for a dehumidifier.
Common Crawl Space Tips & Mistakes
- Even an encapsulated, sealed crawl space can experience excess moisture levels in the air that can lead to mold growth. A high capacity, energy-efficient, self-draining crawl space dehumidifier improves air quality inside the crawl space as well as above in the home’s living areas.
- Encapsulating your crawl space can save you money in the long run. HVAC, like the furnace and air conditioning ductwork, are often located in the crawl space. In the summer when temperatures are hot, if the crawl space isn’t encapsulated, the ducts are also hot. This means your air conditioner has to work harder to cool your living space when air is moving through hot ducts. The same is true in the winter when warm air runs through cold ducts to reach the desired temperature. By stabilizing your crawl space temperature with encapsulation and proper insulation, you will not only reduce your energy usage but also decrease the rate of wear and tear on your HVAC system.
- Building codes used to recommend a vented crawl space; we now know crawl space vents do more harm than good. As humid untreated air enters the crawl space it gets trapped beneath the floors causing mold and mildew to grow. Mold spores and high humidity can travel up through the home causing increased allergies and asthma. It’s a good idea to seal crawl space vents from the outside air with durable, airtight vent covers, even if encapsulation isn’t in your immediate future.
- Not installing a backup crawl space sump pump in an area of your home that is infrequently visited can result in excess water flooding the space in the event of a power outage or device malfunction. A backup sump pump allows ultimate peace of mind.
- Homeowners may think waterproofing a crawl space is good enough. This, however, is a mistake. Although waterproofing and encapsulation go hand in hand, a waterproofing drainage system is just one aspect of the encapsulation process. Without sealing the walls and floor from moisture and water vapor, your home’s indoor air quality and mold and mildew growth problems are very likely to persist.
- Attempting to DIY your crawl space encapsulation project, although completely understandable, can actually cause more harm than good. Unfortunately, many of the high-quality products we use at AFS are not available at big box stores, and ensuring materials are installed properly is key. For example, if a plastic liner is installed on the floor, but not sealed, condensation will occur and mold will find yet another location to grow. Additionally, if the crawl space isn’t sealed properly, any work that is done can be destroyed by pests like ants, termites, or rodents who can easily get inside.
- Believing all crawl space insulation is the same is a common mistake homeowners make. Spray foam, fiberglass insulation, and ridged closed-cell wall insulation are actually very different. Fiberglass insulation becomes useless when wet, spray foam traps moisture and mold under it, allowing the problem to fester, while ridged closed-cell wallboard offers reflective properties resulting in an outstanding R-value per inch.
Find your service area
Located in the Coastal Plains geographical region of Alabama, Dothan experiences heavy rain throughout the year and is home to sandy soils. This combination can cause many problems for your foundation, but AFS has solutions designed to keep your home safe.
Water and humidity in your home can lead to structural and health issues that impact your family’s safety. AFS has the best permanent solutions tailored to your Huntsville home’s exact repair and protection needs.
A damaged crawl space and basement are common in Mobile, AL., but it doesn’t have to be that way. AFS has proven solutions to stop moisture in its tracks and restore your home's original stability.
Columbus’ clay soil and frequent rainfall create a difficult environment for your foundation. Over time, these weather and soil conditions will cause foundation damage, and AFS has the tools to repair your home for good.
Chattanooga has sandy, silty soil and a rainy climate that can cause damage to your home's concrete and foundation, as well as the basement and crawl space.
Nashville is a popular place to live for its musical culture, but the area’s springtime storms and crumbly soil cause problems for your foundation and concrete. However, AFS has years of experience keeping Nashville homes protected from these issues.
Rainwater and humid, muggy air can have a big impact on the foundation of your family's home. The professionals at AFS have solutions to repair even the toughest crawl space, foundation, or concrete problems.
Knoxville’s clay soil and frequent precipitation don’t make a good match for your foundation. Together, these conditions cause heavy damage to your foundation and your home’s structure. AFS has solutions that prevent damage for good.
Moisture and foundation damage negatively impact Pensacola homes, but AFS offers a wealth of expertise and award-winning services and solutions to improve the health, safety, value, and appearance of your home.
Bowling Green, KY
High precipitation in Bowling Green puts your foundation at risk for damage, which causes tons of problem signs around your home. But AFS has industry-leading solutions and expertise that keep your home protected.
Somerset is located on Kentucky’s Pennyroyal Plateau, a region with deep, well-draining soils. Although, the limestone deposits deep below the ground may erode during heavy rain and cause problems for your foundation. That’s where AFS comes in to help protect your home.
Monticello has a relatively wet and muggy environment. The area’s silty loam soils are easily eroded by high amounts of moisture. This isn’t good for your foundation, but AFS has plenty of solutions designed to keep your home safe.