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Should You Purchase a Home with a Damaged Crawl Space?

You can purchase a home with a damaged crawl space, but you'll want to speak with the previous owners about its condition.

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Shopping for a new home is always a challenge. The last thing you want to deal with is a damaged crawl space on a property that you otherwise thought was perfect. 

It’s true that damaged crawl spaces can bring down the value of a home, making them more affordable to purchase. Should you go about moving into a home with a damaged crawl space, and what can you do to cope with the present damage? 

damage in my crawl space

The Condition of Homes with Damaged Crawl Spaces 

Homes with damaged crawl spaces often have problems with more than just the crawl space in question. A damaged crawl space can put the structural supports throughout the whole of a home at risk for failure. If a homeowner doesn’t attend to sinkage, seepage, or other damage in a crawl space within a reasonable amount of time, you may find yourself staring down bouncy floors and shifting walls. 

Damaged Crawl Spaces and Your Health 

It’s not just the health of your home that’s at risk when you purchase a house with a damaged crawl space. If moisture makes its way into the upper levels of your home, you may also find yourself and your family contending with respiratory problems that you previously didn’t have. These conditions are most often brought about by mold growth that settles as a result of moisture’s presence in your home. 

The mold spores themselves do not enter your home with your unwanted moisture. Instead, you can find these spores most often in your HVAC system. It is the moisture from leaks in your crawl space that allows the growths to flourish and cause significant problems for your family. 

While a damaged crawl space can be a downer, to say the least, finding seepage or excessive moisture in a potential home doesn’t mean you need to write the space off. While you will need to keep the risks to the home’s value and your own health in mind, you can opt to work with the professional contractors in your area to bring the home back up to snuff. Sometimes, the lower price of a home with crawl space damage can even make the property more appealing. 

Inspecting a Home’s Crawl Space 

It’s important that you make a point of inspecting the homes you’re looking at for signs of water damage. This way, you can go into a purchase knowing what kind of crawl space you’re working with and what kind of budget you may have to allocate for repairs

Under most circumstances, you can work with a professional contractor to determine whether or not the home you’re interested in has suffered from damage to its crawl space. If you don’t have the opportunity or want to move quickly on a home, you can take a look around yourself for some of the telltale signs of damage. 

Some of the most common indicators of crawl space damage include: 

  • Warping door frames 
  • Misted windows 
  • Unpleasant smells throughout your home 
  • Higher water or electric bills than usual 
  • Decreased water pressure throughout your home 
  • Insects or unwanted animal invaders 

Note that these symptoms can indicate damage beyond a home’s crawl space. Be sure to speak with the current owner to determine whether it’s the home’s crawl space that’s giving them problems or if it’s their foundation. In both cases, you will have the opportunity to invest in repairs that can restore the home to its previous value. However, knowing the difference between a damaged crawl space and a damaged foundation can help you determine how best to negotiate when settling on a price for the home. 

Repairing and Protecting a Damaged Crawl Space 

Should you purchase a home with a damaged crawl space, you’ll want to move quickly to attend to any visible leaks or cracks before they have time to worsen. If you leave a crawl space to take on excess moisture, that dampness can spread through the rest of your home. In turn, mold can crop up in dangerous locations, and the structural supports all throughout your home can begin to show signs of strain. 

The good news is that local contractors can help you get on top of crawl space damage before it spreads. You can, as mentioned, schedule a home inspection to determine to what degree unwanted moisture in your new home has threatened the property’s structural integrity. In turn, you can walk away with a free quote determining what repairs might suit you best. 

After you repair your space, you’ll also want to invest in home waterproofing measures. These measures can help you prevent future damage from settling in and costing you even more money. Some of the most effective waterproofing measures for your crawl space include: 

  • Interior drainage 
  • Sump pumps 
  • Encapsulation with a vapor barrier 
  • Dehumidifiers 
  • Waterproof insulation  

You may be tempted to try and DIY both a crawl space fix and waterproofing measures on your own, especially if you’re concerned about saving money. Unfortunately, trying to DIY a fix for your home can actually cost you more money than working with a professional. When in doubt, get in touch with a contractor like Complete Basement Systems serving Colorado Springs, CO, if you suspect the home you’re interested in purchasing may be suffering from crawl space damage. Together with a team of experts, you can restore the home’s safety and previous value. It all starts with a free inspection and repair quote.