For many, the thought of inspecting the crawlspace under their home is very daunting! Many warning signs of a damp crawlspace can be detected without setting foot under your home. In today’s blog, the professionals at Aqua-Guard Waterproofing are sharing what warning signs to look for and what you can do about them!
Damp Crawlspace Warning Sign #1- Use Your Nose!
One of the simplest warning signs of a damp crawlspace to detect is the smell. Damp crawlspaces have a bad musty odor. This comes from the growth of mold, mildew, fungus, pest waste, or rotting wood. You may notice this smell, particularly after a heavy rainstorm. This musty air seeps into your living space above and can cause health problems over time.
Unfortunately, many homeowners may become “nose blind” to the smell of their own homes. This is known as olfactory adaptation. Because your spend so much time in your home, your nose has become accustomed to the smell and you don’t notice it anymore. If you suspect you have a musty smell that you be nose blind to, ask a trusted friend or family member or have the crawlspace inspected by a professional!
Warning Sign #2- Take a Walk Around Inside
Take a walk inside your home. There are several warning signs of a damp crawlspace that you may have dismissed as “an older home” or “just what the house does during summer” etc. when they are deterioration of the foundation!
Walk the Floors
When you walk around the first level of your home, do you notice any give beneath your feet? Do you notice any sagging or unlevel areas of the floor? This could be an indication of a damp crawlspace.
As the moisture condenses in your crawlspace, it settles on the floor joists below. This will lead to rotting floor joists over time. You may notice that the uneven floors come and go throughout the seasons. This is due to changes in the humidity level in the air. Even if your floors sag only part of the year, this is a warning sign of a damp crawlspace that does not need to be ignored. It will cost much less to remedy the damp crawlspace early than to repair the foundation of your home later on!
Test Doors and Windows
Do you have any doors that stick or swing open creepily on their own? Are windows tougher to open at times? Do you see condensation on the insides of your windows? This could be an indication of a higher humidity level in your home and your crawlspace could be the culprit! Moist air from your crawlspace could be invading the air in your home increasing the level of moisture in the air. High moisture means higher humidity. Higher humidity could cause the wood in your door and window frames to bow causing the sticking. The higher humidity levels are also the cause of the condensation you see on the inside window panes.
The optimal level of humidity inside a home is 30-50%. Much less and the air is dry and stuffy. Much more and it feels heavy and wet. Both too high and too low can contribute to breathing issues. If you truly want to know the humidity level in your home consider purchasing a digital hygrometer or indoor humidity level monitor. Most are inexpensive and give you an accurate picture of the moisture in the air inside.
Warning Signs of a Damp Crawlspace #3 Take a Walk Outside!
Take a walk outside and inspect the perimeter around your home. Do you see any excess water pooling or standing? Have you noticed abnormal amounts of insects and pests around your home? (or worse invading inside?) These could be signs of a damp crawlspace.
Rainwater should always flow away from your home’s foundation. Proper gutters and downspouts along with proper drainage make this happen. If it is constantly muddy or pooling, you need to have your crawlspace inspected for moisture.
Insects and pests love a dark moist area to live. Damp crawlspaces provide just that. If you are seeing more pests than you would like to in and around your home, a damp crawlspace could be drawing them in!
Damp Crawlspace Warning # 4- Increased Energy Bills
The final warning sign on our list is an uptick in your energy bills. Yes, seasons and rates affect this but a damp crawlspace could also play a role in your higher bills. Warmer air holds more water than cooler air and warmer air rises. A damp crawlspace full of warmer air could be seeping into your living area above causing your HVAC system to work harder and increasing energy bills-sometimes as much as 30%!
The Solution to a Damp Crawlspace
If you have noticed any of these warning signs of a damp crawlspace, it is well worth it to call in the professionals for an evaluation. They don’t mind the dirty work of crawling under your home!
The professionals at Aqua-Guard Waterproofing offer free estimates and a single point of contact throughout the process. Call us today to schedule an appointment!