A crawl space is between the upper level of a building and the ground. It is usually covered by waterproof material that can provide proper protection against moisture, insects, and rodents from coming in contact with the building’s structure and contents. Many people don’t realize a crawl space’s importance in staying healthy and safe. In some instances, this may lead to fatalities due to suffocation or other fatal health complications from harmful substances such as carbon monoxide (CO) or methane gas buildup inside their homes.
1. Presence of Moisture in Crawl Space
Any signs of moisture in a crawl space should be considered a warning sign that needs to be immediately attended to by a professional before more damage occurs. Moisture can cause the growth of mold spores and mildew that can result in severe respiratory problems and allergic reactions. It can also cause wood rot and rusting that may weaken your home’s structure.
There are two main reasons for this problem: improper ventilation or water leaks from outside. Improper ventilation can happen when a roof or soffit vents are blocked by leaves or other debris during the dry season. The building may even have a problem with its foundation. If you want to avoid this, make sure that there is proper ventilation.
Water leaks can also occur in crawl spaces. The most common form of a leak is from outside the structure. However, other forms can occur, such as roof, plumbing, and utility pole leaks. There are even many other causes of moisture inside a crawl space. Even though it may seem like this is more of an indoor problem, it can still cause health problems to you if left unchecked and untreated.
2. Presence of Cracks in the Foundation
Crawl space foundation cracks can be found near home entrances. The ground shifting causes these cracks due to changes in the soil’s bottom because of the uneven distribution of loads of the structure above it. This can inevitably lead to structural damages and even structural collapse. The cracks may occur from water leakage from outside and plumbing leaks.
Cracks can be dangerous for safety and structural integrity, especially if you live in a hurricane-prone area. It can also cause insufficient drainage of water that can lead to flooded basements, one of the most common causes of mold growth. This can worsen the effects of respiratory diseases such as asthma or even lead to death. The foundations of your home and its structure can be kept strong to prevent this from happening in the first place.
3. Presence of Very High Humidity Inside the Crawl Space
This humidity is caused by poor ventilation and water leaks into a crawl space. Poor ventilation can cause moisture buildup inside a crawl space, which will eventually result in carbon monoxide gases building up inside your house, leading to health problems such as headaches, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, and other dangerous side effects. This is why it is highly recommended to have a good ventilation system in your home’s crawl space.
On the other hand, water leaks can also be dangerous when it comes to health and safety, especially if utility poles or your water or sewer lines are leaking into your crawl space. The main components of chlorinated water are chlorine and sodium hydroxide, which are both potentially harmful substances when they come into contact with people’s skin and eyes.
If you observe a problem in any of the above three warnings, it would be best to contact your local contractor, or professional to help you with your crawl space repair needs to avoid any more incidents. A good contractor will also help you determine if the problem is something that can be fixed by yourself or if it requires the service of an expert and that of a professional team who will immediately attend to your crawl space repair needs.