When was the last time you checked out the crawl space under your house? It's an area most homeowners avoid because no one relishes the ideas of crawling through cobwebs or encountering some creepy creatures in dark corners.
But leave the crawl space unchecked and you could find yourself facing a serious foundation issue. The crawl space is part of your home's overall structural system and if it begins to experience problems, those issues will seep into other parts of your home. The result can be unpleasant and expensive.
How do you know if have a problem in your crawl space? Look for these signs:
- Drywall cracks in the interior
- Uneven, sagging or bouncing floors
- Foul odors in the home
- Heightened allergies or asthma symptoms
By their very nature, crawl spaces are prone to dampness. Add springtime rains and possible flooding, and it’s a recipe for a damp disaster. Many Charleston area homes also experienced some flooding or, at a minimum, heavy rainfall after both the historic flooding in October 2015 and Hurricane Matthew a year later in October 2016.
Additionally, many crawl spaces are designed with a support system that is either inadequate, rotting or has soils underneath the support posts that cannot bear the weight of your home.
Because it's built directly underneath your home, your crawl space plays a key role in your home's structural integrity. So, neglecting important repairs and maintenance only leads to greater problems down the road.
This can also be a deal breaker if you’re looking to put your home on the market this spring or summer.
Michael Connolly, marketing manager for Lowcountry Basement Systems, says most buyers will discount the home’s price by at least 10 percent if a home inspection reveals a damp, moldy crawl space. So on a $150,000 home, that’s at least $15,000 lost because the homeowner didn’t pay attention to the crawl space and possible signs of a problem.
Plus, he says, that doesn’t take into account the cost of new carpet or hardwood flooring, damage to the subfloor, mold or wood rot.
“You'll either pay to get it fixed or lose 10 percent on the deal,” he said. “You can save your beautiful Charleston home by just taking care of it right now.”
It’s time for crawl space checkup, so consult a local expert to ensure it’s up to the task.
Lowcountry Basement Systems, a waterproofing and foundation repair company, has recently expanded its service area to include Charleston. The company offers a variety of crawl space solutions, including crawl space encapsulation or sealing to help homeowners avoid other unnecessary crawl space repairs, create a healthier living space and save money on utility bills. Creating a vapor barrier in the crawl space also gives homeowners useful storage space under their home.
Lowcountry Basement Systems uses a number of proprietary products developed by its team of engineers like TerraBlock. This crawl space insulation was designed to meet the challenge of insulating rough, uneven crawl space floors. The company also has The SmartJack Crawl Space Stabilizer, an adjustable supplemental support system used for sagging crawl spaces.
To learn more about their services, or schedule a free inspection (excluding real estate evaluations), visit online at CharlestonFoundations.com or call 1-843-410-3797.