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The Importance of Maintaining Dry Residential Crawl Spaces in North Carolina

Property owners sometimes wonder why builders stress the vital importance of keeping residential crawl spaces in a dry, waterproof, well-maintained condition? These locations usually receive very little (if any) foot traffic. Why should you prioritize crawl space repair issues highly? This brief article will discuss some reasons to consider requesting a crawl space inspection in North Carolina.

Crawl Spaces: Out of Site, But Still Significant

Many homes in this region rely upon crawl spaces located directly beneath the residence. These hard-to-reach locations often furnish access to essential utility systems, such as plumbing or gas lines. While the dimensions of crawl spaces vary widely from one-floor plan to another, in many cases the crawl space extends only a few feet in height (hence the term “crawl space”). Particularly in the case of trailers or vintage wood frame homes, a crawl space may cover exposed ground rather than a concrete slab.

Even though residents rarely, if ever, access crawl spaces, ensuring this location remains dry and free from pooling water holds value. Since a house frequently sits directly above its crawl space, damp conditions there potentially allow moisture to impact the residence. The environment within the crawl space ultimately exerts a profound impact on everyone living in the home, in fact.

Rain in Raleigh

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia reports North Carolina receives around 45 inches of rain annually. Around 7 inches of snow falls in the Raleigh Area alone during a typical year.(1) While the forecast sometimes varies, residents of this region anticipate damp, rainy weather from time to time.

Depending upon a variety of factors, including yard drainage and site topography, property owners may encounter water saturated ground outside the home during certain periods of the year. It sometimes proves difficult to prevent water from collecting in low lying crawl spaces. Yet the formation of puddles and dank, moist conditions inside a crawl space may eventually create problems for residents.

The Challenge of Keeping Wet Crawl Spaces in Good Repair

Unless property owners take measures to encapsulate or seal crawl spaces, these locations may permit water to come into direct contact with surfaces composed of wood, metal, or stone. Damp, moist crawl space environments readily allow molds and mildew to begin growing in these infrequently visited locations. Since extended contact with water rots wood and rusts many types of metals, persistently damp conditions in crawl spaces sometimes cause significant harm to man-made structures.

Property owners obtain many advantages by ensuring a home’s crawl spaces remain in a well-maintained, dry condition. (2) If water causes damage in hard-to-access locations, the people living in the home may not appreciate the extent of the problem in the absence of regular, periodic inspections, of course. It usually makes sense to monitor the condition of residential crawl spaces. Just like attics, water leaks in these sites ultimately affect other parts of the premises. It may become necessary to perform repairs to damaged crawl spaces to prevent water damage from harming other portions of the residence.

An Example

To really appreciate the vital importance of maintaining waterproof crawl spaces in North Carolina homes, just consider one common situation. Suppose a vintage wood frame home sits above a narrow crawl space covering the exposed ground. If a storm causes the earth in this site to remain saturated with water for several weeks or months, the crawl space may grow sufficiently moist to permit molds and mildews to begin covering the wooden beams adjoining the home’s sub-flooring. These microscopic plants take root in a variety of surfaces, including woods. Over the course of time, robust mold growth may damage the house itself. Residents might not even notice this situation until portions of the floor begin sagging.

In this situation, a property owner who obtains a timely crawl space waterproofing inspection gains important advance information about the condition of the dwelling. The property owner might request crawl space repair services to replace damaged wood in the crawl space before water and mold damage the sub-flooring. Taking this step prevents minor water damage from necessitating expensive floor repairs at a later point in time.

Obtain Prompt Assistance

Raleigh Waterproofing, Inc. supplies experienced waterproofing assistance throughout the Greater Raleigh Area. We offer knowledgeable crawl space repair and crawl space encapsulation services. (Our founder holds a General Contractor license in the State of North Carolina.)

Contact us to request knowledgeable waterproofing inspections or any waterproofing construction services. Customers sometimes ask us to perform evaluations of residential crawl spaces. We’ll help you maintain these areas in a dry, safe condition. Call 919-877-9969 to speak with us. We look forward to helping you!

Helpful Resources

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_North_Carolina 
2. https://www.raleighwaterproofinginc.com/crawl-space-repair.html