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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Preserve your Property by Inspecting your Crawlspace

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Preserve your Property by Inspecting your Crawlspace Over time crawlspaces need maintenance.

Crawl Spaces in the Truckee / Tahoe Area

The vast majority of homes in the Sierra Nevada are built on crawlspaces.  The unique topography of these mountains can create issues for our homes.  Snow load, water runoff, and rising water tables need to be dealt with to maintain your property.

If maintained properly, crawlspaces have advantages over other types of construction.

  • It gets the house above the ground, an important point in damp areas.
  • It is less expensive than a basement, and comparable to the price of a slab foundation.
  • Duct work, plumbing, and electrical can run in the crawl space, which makes them easier to service, and move if necessary.

Proper crawl space maintenance begins outside your home

  • Adequate drainage on your property, keeps water away from your foundation.
    • Re-evaluate your landscaping to keep heavy snows from forcing water under your home
    • Rising water tables could necessitate a sump pump system to divert water from your crawlspace.
  • Building codes typically require a minimum of 6” fall in ground level; over a distance of 10 feet from the perimeter of the building. Depending on the topography of your property in this area, this may not be adequate.
    • In addition, inspect for the following:
      • Depressions that collect ground water near the house.
      • Off-site surface water that flows onto the property.
      • Inadequate building offset from adjacent steep slopes, which generate increased surface water run-off.
      • Malfunctioning downspouts or improper downspout installation.

Crawlspaces can be either ventilated or unventilated

  • Ventilated crawlspaces should have:
    • A minimum of 1 square foot of venting for every 150 square feet of crawlspace area.
    • Plastic sheeting covering the entire crawlspace, with proper overlap, for effectively controlling ground moisture.
  • Unventilated crawlspaces require:
    • Seals to prevent air leakage between outdoor air and the crawlspace.
    • Damp-proofed and insulated perimeter walls.
    • Plastic sheeting covering the entire crawlspace, with proper overlap, for effectively controlling ground moisture.

Periodic inspections of your crawlspace are recommended. 

Items to inspect for are:

  • Standing water on top of vapor barrier.
  • Condensation or leaks on water pipes or ductwork.
  • Muddy soil.
  • Staining on walls from water or efflorescence.
  • Sagging or missing insulation.
  • Plumbing leaks.
  • Musty/moldy or foul odors.
  • Deteriorated vapor barrier.

If problems are found in your crawlspace, call SERVPRO of Reno NW / Truckee / Tahoe Vista at 775-827-9944.  We have the technology and training to make any damage to your home, “Like it never even happened.”