Under the Tennessee ground are areas of special limestone topography called Karst Hazards. This geology is a result of rapid flow of water in underground tunnels. Chemical rains can degrade the limestone, creating a risk of sinkholes and unstable foundations.
Therefore, most homes here have crawlspaces instead of basements. The area under your floor can retain too much water in the crawlspace, causing damage to your house. To keep your home and family safe, learn a little about what is under your feet.
Common all over the South, crawlspaces are areas below grade but vented to outside air. Some crawlspaces can be full-height like a basement, but most are less than three feet of clearance. Therefore, you must crawl on your belly to maneuver.
Builders use crawlspaces for lower cost accessibility. By building the floor of a home off of the ground, they can create a space for HVAC unit, piping, water lines, and sewer lines. Compared to a concrete slab, the future repairs and replacements are easier.
Most crawlspace problems come from one of three causes:
Since most of your pipes are under the floor of your home, any plumbing leaks will spill water into this enclosed space. Plumbing issues, like a burst pipe, result in water dripping down into the area. Even if you have a vapor barrier, the water will sit on top of the liner until it evaporates.
Another source is water seepage from the surrounding soil after heavy rain. Surface water that gets into the crawlspace is typically from poor drainage, improper grading, roof drainage, overflowing gutters, or grading issues in the yard.
Poor ventilation compounds the problem by creating a mix of warm and cool air causing surface condensation. Humidity condenses on cold surfaces, like metal or plastic ductwork, and drips onto the crawlspace floor.
Be on the lookout for problems
In a humid climate like Nashville, a small amount of seasonal moisture in your crawlspace can be normal. Lingering water has to be addressed. Standing water in the crawlspace leads to mold and mildew growth and eventually rot and structural damage.
An identified mold problem will negatively affect the appraisal value of a home. If the FHA appraiser finds dangerous amounts of mold, you might be required to remove the mold before you can get an FHA loan. So if you don’t get it fixed now, you will pay to get it fixed later when you sell.
Dust mites thrive in humid environments and love a space with a dirt floor. These microscopic parasites produce droppings that can trigger allergies and asthma. Since the allergens are airborne, it is really easy for them to float up into your living space.
Termites and spiders often take up accommodations in damp crawlspaces. You might harbor opossums, rabbits, raccoons, snakes, mice, or rats in there. The signs for each kind of animal are different: webs, droppings, nesting material, and mysterious squeaks. But a common trigger is access to water. So when our team cleans up the water damage in your crawlspace, the unwanted guests will leave.
Tier Restoration has been helping homeowners solve water and moisture issues since 1975. “Experience The Next Level”! It is our intention to create a “next level” experience for our clients, for our employees, and for the company.