A Snapshot of Crawl Space Repair in South-Eastern Virginia
Virginia consists of a diverse landscape from the beaches to the farm lands to the mountains. In Hampton Roads, Virginia though, we enjoy a flat topography with a high water table and rare freezing conditions so most homes are built on crawl spaces.
As the matured cities of the area (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Suffolk, Williamsburg, Portsmouth) have continued to age, which were built around the largest naval presence in the United States, so have the homes. Our summers are humid and the crawl spaces get quite wet. Many times after a big rain, homeowners will find a flooded crawl space. We find mold, wood rot, moisture damage, structural problems, settlement, etc. every day due to crawl space moisture.
Wild opinions vary widely from foundation repair companies, pest-control companies, and their jack-of-all-trades counterparts about the proper crawl space solutions for homeowners. As a dedicated, highly experienced, and certified crawl space repair professional, I’m here to offer what I see as a valuable insight into the proper steps to take for residents of my home town with crawl space problems.
Option A: Inspect the Crawl Space Yourself
There’s no better way to get a sense of the severity of a problem than by performing the crawl space inspection yourself. If you can handle your own crawl space inspection, you’re less likely to be intimidated by a pushy sales person with photos of a disastrous nasty crawl space. Most crawl spaces are not that terrible.
Here’s what you should buy to prepare for your crawl space inspection… one headlight, one protective suit, gloves, a wood moisture meter, a flat head screwdriver, and a face mask if you experience any respiratory problems.
Crawl through the entire crawl space and inspect for the following… fungus or mold growing, standing water, water marks on the wall, water marks on piers, if the crawl space is below grade, cracked or split wood, compression of joists or beams, wood moisture content (which varies depending on time of year… 20%+ is high), your estimated percentage of ground covered by the vapor barrier, if the vapor barrier is staked to the ground, rotten wood, rodent activity, and anything else that might seem unusual.
If you would like to learn more about what we do when we find water in a crawl space, you can visit … http://www.baycrawlspace.com/services/water-in-crawl-space/
If you would like to learn more about our crawl space encapsulation method to manage moisture, you can visit … http://www.baycrawlspace.com/services/encapsulation/
If you would like to learn more of our thoughts on crawl space vapor barriers, visit… http://www.baycrawlspace.com/services/vapor-barrier/
You may decide that the D-I-Y approach to crawl space repair is right for you. If so, allow the nice folks at CrawlSpaceRepair.com to lend a hand. They have been very professional and responsive with our continued business relationship.
Option B: Get a Professional Opinion (or 3) and Hire a Contractor If Needed
It’s always good practice to have a few reputable companies investigate to provide recommendations… Here are a few things to look for:
- -Photos Shown During Inspection. Today, this is the standard for crawl space professionals. Do not trust the doom and gloom sales pitch of an inspector with no photos.
- -Online Reviews. This is the modern-day version of word of mouth and is extremely telling.
- -Contractors Licenses. It is always best to hire a fully licensed and insured contractor that specializes specifically in crawl space repair. In-house installs are always a big benefit!
- -Long-Term Relationship with the BBB. The Better Business Bureau is the best resource to check the long-term history of a company’s ability to keep their promises, which can be useful.
- -Quality of Products. Specifically regarding the polyethylene vapor barrier, there are massive differences in qualities available on the market. If you’re looking for a long-term install, do not go with a cheap looking or feeling vapor barrier. We have installed 12-mil Guardian Liner vapor barrier for both encapsulations and regular vapor barrier installs with great success.
- -Warranty Claims. Many warranties are fluff. Look for explicit language that protects you as the customer.
- -Volume of Advertising. Big companies have big overhead and tend to charge big prices especially if they are a part of a franchise type organization.
- -A Positive Gut Feeling. After you have done your due diligence, understand the issues, and understand the benefits, I recommend choosing whomever you would sleep well having chosen.
At Bay Crawlspace Solutions of Virginia Beach, VA, we pride ourselves in providing consistently top quality installs at very reasonable prices. Our reputation is built on solid ground!