We now know how the moisture made it’s way into your crawl space. What will happen next?
The first negative result of high moisture will be insulation destruction. Fiberglass insulation will start to “string” or separate from it’s paper backing. It will then fall away from the sub-floor of the home. At this point, your utility bills will start to rise because the insulation can no longer do it’s job. Insulation that has separated from the backing will need to be replaced if the home is to regain it’s efficiency.
The next result will be the formation of non-wood decay fungus or mold. This step actually begins when the insulation starts to string but will become more noticeable the longer the moisture situation remains unresolved. This fungus/mold can cause you to have allergy and/or sinus problems and people with asthma might have more trouble controlling the condition. These fungi don’t destroy the foundation of the home.
Wood decay fungus forms next. This fungus creates enzymes that destroy the wooden foundation of your home. Wood destroying fungus can damage the foundation in as little as a few months. Health related issues are similar to the ones mentioned before.
As the wood is destroyed by the fungus, some subtle signs will start to show around the rest of the home. You may notice that doors are sticking, floors squeaking, cabinets won’t close, or someone falls through the floor (while this has happened, its rare). At this point, we are looking at having to repair the foundation’s wooden components. This can be as simple as providing some extra support or something more difficult such as lifting the house. The longer the problem persists the more costly the repair.
It’s important to have regular inspections from experienced inspectors. Give us a call at 757-499-1078 if you’d like a free, no obligation crawl space inspection.
Next time: How a crawl space encapsulation corrects the problem, other moisture control solutions, and what not to do.