Local Experts In Crawl Space Repair Services
Bay Crawl Space & Foundation Repair is the most trusted source for crawl space repair and encapsulation services in the Greater Hampton Roads Region. Since 2014, our professionally trained staff has assisted with crawl space repairs in many different properties. Give us a call today if you are serious about maintaining your home’s foundation!
What is a Crawl Space
Crawl spaces are a hollow area between the ground and first floor of a property. As the name implies, there is not much room for a person to navigate, though there is plenty of room for problems with moisture and mold to arise. The main purpose of a crawl space is to elevate the floor structure and accommodate the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC components of the home.
What Issues Can Occur With A Crawl Space?
A poorly protected crawl space will leave your property susceptible to moisture buildup. If your home has a wood foundation, this can lead to problems with rotting wood, fungal growth, and pest infestations. As your home’s foundation weakens, so does its structural integrity overall value. For your own safety, ensuring a properly conditioned crawl space should be critical.
How To Know If In Need Of Crawl Space Repair
Not every crawl space is in need of repair services. There are several detectable signs that your crawl space may be in poor condition. If you notice any of these signs, be sure to contact our crawl space repair experts.
Why Should I Repair My Crawl Space
Crawl spaces serve an invaluable function in sustaining a home’s foundational integrity. If you fail to maintain a properly conditioned crawl space you are setting yourself up for costly repairs and extensive damage later down the road. Not to mention the health and safety issues that can arise with a damaged crawl space.
Crawl Space Repair Costs
The price of repairing your crawl space depends on a number of different factors. For example, the square footage of your home determines the scale of the project (i.e. how many materials are needed, how long the job will take). There is no all-inclusive answer to how much a job will cost, but our trained crawl space solutions team can provide you with an estimate after inspecting your property.
Crawl Space Repair Materials
There are several elements that go into crawl space repair work. Each one of these items serves a primary function that all combine to enhance your crawl space condition. Bay Crawlspace & Foundation Repair utilizes each of these components when working through a repair project.
Vapor Barrier/ Lining
Lining the walls and floor of your crawl space is integral to ensuring that the area remains moisture and pest free. How the lining is placed and the type of lining used can have a drastic impact on the success of the overall crawl space repair project.
6-mil vapor barriers are the industry standard and are in accordance with most building codes. These barriers work specifically to prevent moisture retention. Moisture is naturally evaporated into the air and can fix itself into the wooden beams of your home’s foundation. With a vapor barrier in place, your crawl space repair will prevent future wood rot or mold growth from moisture retention.
Along with the 6 mil industry standard, there are other sizes of polyethylene vapor barriers to use. These include =>
- 2 mil – Not recommended for crawl space lining. Mainly used for paint protection, a drop cloth, or dust protection.
- 4 mil – Not recommended for crawl space lining. Better off between drywall and insulation and is considered medium protection.
- 6 mil – Frequently used to cover crawl spaces. Used as vapor barrier in between walls, under flooring, and under concrete slabs.
- 12 mil – Highly recommended for lining crawl spaces. Only use high quality, virgin resin plastic.
- 20 mil – The most recommended form of lining for encapsulating crawl spaces. Only use high quality, virgin resin plastic.
At Bay Crawlspace & Foundation Repair, we typically use either the 12-mil or 20-mil virgin resin liners because they are the best for conditioned crawl space barriers. When safeguarding your home’s foundation, why cut corners in crawl space repair?
Crawl Space Insulation
Insulation serves as a reinforced barrier between the crawl space and your home’s floor. If you feel that your floors are cold despite the thermostat warming the rest of your house, there is a good chance you are in need of crawl space insulation repairs. There are multiple types of materials you can use for crawl space insulation. These include:
- Fiberglass Batt Floor Insulation – This type of fiberglass insulation is common in a lot of homes but oftern underperforms due to the lack of attention given during the installation process. These rolls of fiberglass can be cut to fit your crawl space’s dimensions, but they may not be entirely accurate and therefore may not provide thorough coverage.
- Closed Cell Spray Foam – This form of insulation comes in a compressed can and expands when sprayed on the crawl space areas that need to be isolated. This is an expensive form of insulation and one that can leave behind foul odors. This type of insulation is difficult to remove, which may become an issue if structural repairs are ever needed or if you decide to make adjustments to the crawl space.
- Rigid Foam Board – This process involves trimming 4×8 foam boards to fit the exact dimensions of your crawl space walls. This method costs considerably less than the closed cell spray foam yet has the same protective level. Best of all, this method guarantees full coverage of your crawl space as the installers can modify the panels to cover every square inch.
Our team utilizes the Rigid Foam Board method, as it is the most cost effective and most accurately covers the dimensions of your crawl space. We also recommend rigid foam board insulation because it does not leave behind the foul odor that people complain of after the installation.
Crawl Space Dehumidifiers
Crawl space repairs often utilize dehumidifiers to cleanse and dry the air within the crawl space itself. You cannot use a standard dehumidifier like one you may have in your living room or bathroom, as these are not equipped to keep up with the demands of maintaining a crawl space.
There are many different brands of dehumidifiers you can get for your crawl space repairs. We only recommend installing either Aprilaire or Santa Fe dehumidifying units for conditioning crawl spaces. Each of these brands has their own price points and features.
Aprilaire dehumidifiers are more top of the line, meaning they are more expensive but come with better functionality. We have installed over 1,000 of these units and have never experienced any issues that cannot be troubleshooted by our expert technicians. They come with a 5 year warranty that we consider to be the best in the industry.
Santa Fe Dehumidifiers
The Santa Fe Dehumidifiers offer a similar model to that of the Aprilaire, however the Aprilaires do possess higher quality technology and come with a much better warranty. The Santa Fe models are easy to operate and get the job done, but they come with a one-year warranty for parts and a limited 5 year warranty. We always recommend the Aprilaires due to the better service and warranty provided to customers.
Scope Of Repairing Crawl Space
Each project comes with its own costs. The scope of work will vary from house to house. After all, some crawl spaces are in worse condition than others. For example, one job may simply require a 6-mil vapor barrier installation. Another job may require installing new insulation after the old insulation fails. Perhaps your job requires a full scope of crawl space repairs including french drains, sump pumps, structural repairs, and a dehumidifier.
Bay Crawlspace & Foundation Repair will be upfront with you throughout the entire process. After our initial inspection, we will be able to gauge exactly what you need and how much it will cost. We will also provide you with an accurate timeline of what to expect while we are on the job.
DIY Crawl Space Repairs - Do Or Don’t
Many people take on the task of encapsulating their crawl spaces themselves. While this is entirely possible, our philosophy is to let the experts handle it. Not only do DIY repairs often result in amateur quality work, but you can also run up an expensive bill when factoring in all the specialized tools and parts you will need.
A crawl space repair project can also take a long time if you don’t know what you are doing. Throughout that long process there are many opportunities to mess up and go down the wrong path, thus rendering the entire process useless. For example, if you do not prepare your crawl space prior to installing any lining or insulation you could leave the area open to further damage.
Another mis-step we see homeowners make is deciding between hiring a generalist (offers the repairs as a secondary service) or a dedicated crawl space expert. While you may be able to save some money with a generalist, you may also run the risk of cutting corners to get the job done. Bear in mind that each crawl space is different so you are banking on the contractor understanding the ins and outs of each crawl space type and how best to tackle the crawl space repairs from the outset of the project. Hiring a team of trained crawl space repair technicians speeds the process along because they can cut right to the chase of what you need to best situate your crawl space to protect against moisture and damages.
Conduct Frequent Crawl Space Inspections
Even if you do not notice signs of damage such as higher humidity or a smelly odor in the house, we recommend you frequently inspect both the interior of your home (with respect to the wooden floors and framing) and the actual crawl space itself. Inspecting your crawl space can guide you to whether you need to hire someone to make crawl space repairs or not.
What To Look For When Doing A Crawl Space Inspection
There are several things you should look for when inspecting your own crawl space. The severity of these items should determine how quickly you need to get someone out there to make a professional recommendation. We encourage you to reach out at the first sign of trouble, even if it ends up not being a serious enough case for encapsulation.
If you see any of the following inside your crawl space, please reach out to Bay Crawl Space & Foundation Repair:
- Rotted framing
- Damp insulation
- Puddles of water in crawl space
- Bugs or other infestations
- Hanging insulation
Crawl Space Repair Testimonials
Don’t just take our word for it! Hear from one of our many satisfied customers on how our crawl space repair service worked out for them. Each of these customers’ crawl spaces were in varying degrees of neglect. You will hear more on our process and how we are transparent with our customers in costs, timelines, and other factors of the crawl space encapsulation process.
“This company was a pleasure to work with. They were prompt, professional, and extremely willing to answer all of my questions. They worked with me to design a solution based on my exact needs and then exceeded all expectations in carrying it out. I feel like they did the same quality work they would have done in their own houses and I feel confident recommending them.”
-Sam Rhodes via Google