How To Identify Problems With Your Crawl Space

Because crawl spaces are often pretty narrow, it’s hard for homeowners to get underneath their house to inspect the foundation. Unfortunately, crawl spaces can experience several significant problems that may cause damage and a hefty repair bill.

technician in crawl space performing moisture control and crawl space care

To avoid disaster, it’s much better to identify and fix any issues before they get out of control. So, with that in mind, let’s break down the potential disasters that could be awaiting your crawl space.

Common Crawl Space Issues

Here are the most common issues that can take place in your home’s crawl space:


Mold loves to grow in warm, damp areas, and your crawl space is the perfect location. Unfortunately, as mold spreads, it can start to get inside the house, where spores can cause various health problems. If you have allergies, the mold can trigger an attack, as well as inflame your lungs.

There are two ways to tell if your crawl space has mold. First, you can see it on the wood or floor of your house. The other indicator is the smell of mildew. However, even if you don’t notice these signs, you should be able to tell if your crawl space is warm and humid. If so, mold is likely to thrive.

Pooling Water 

Water is the worst thing for your home’s foundation since it can erode the concrete and cause it to crack or sink. You may notice water in your crawl space after a storm when runoff collects underneath the house. However, if there’s water when the weather’s sunny and clear, that means you have a pipe leak somewhere.

The best time to check your crawl space is after it rains so that you can spot any standing water. However, even if you don’t see any liquid, you can often see signs of pooling water. For example, the concrete may be stained, or the dirt might be damp.

Wood Rot

Most crawl spaces use wooden support beams underneath the house. Unfortunately, water on the ground and in the air can cause this wood to rot over time. Wood rot weakens the supports, which could lead to a partial home collapse.

When inspecting your crawl space, you should look at each wooden support beam for signs of rot. It’s pretty easy to tell if the wood is rotten due to discoloration. Also, if your floors are sagging or bending, that’s another sign of rot.


Insects and rodents love camping out in crawl spaces, particularly if it’s warm and damp. You may notice critters like rats, spiders, raccoons, ants, and more. In a worst-case scenario, you may discover termites in your crawl space. In that case, you have to take immediate action before the termites cause irreparable damage.

How Long After Noticing Signs of Damage Do I Need to Repair My Crawl Space?

Ideally, you can repair your crawl space immediately after noticing some warning signs. However, some issues are less pressing than others. For example, if you see signs of pooling water, chances are that your home’s foundation won’t sink or crumble immediately. That said, if you notice these signs along with cracks in the concrete, you need to act fast.

Mold is another issue that may not require immediate attention. However, if you and your family are getting sick more regularly or having allergic reactions, you should do something right away.

The most pressing issues to address are termites and wood rot. Since these problems can weaken your home’s support beams, you must repair the damage before it gets out of control. Also, if you see rats in your crawl space, you should remove them as soon as possible because they’ll breed and invade the rest of your house.

Is Crawl Space Damage Reversible?

Yes, most crawl space damage is reversible if you catch it early on. That said, if the issue is pretty far gone, you might get stuck with a massive repair bill. Unfortunately, homeowners insurance won’t pay for damage that isn’t “sudden and accidental.” So, a rusted pipe or a termite infestation won’t work for filing an insurance claim.

Instead, it’s much better to identify and fix the problem as soon as possible. If you catch it early, you can avoid a massive repair bill and get peace of mind that your home is well protected.

On the other hand, if you don’t notice any damage until it’s too far gone, you might have to pay for foundation repair. In extreme cases, some of your home’s support beams may collapse, leading to much more destruction.

Choose Carolina Pest Management for Crawl Space Care

Repairing the damage is only the first step. Once you identify an issue, you need to prevent it from happening again. At Carolina Pest Management, we can assist with all your crawl space needs, including pest control, automatic heat vents, sump pumps, vapor barriers, french drains, and more. Being proactive about your crawl space ensures that you don’t have to worry about a catastrophe later on.

Are you experiencing crawl space issues? Contact Carolina Pest Management online or give us a call at 704-350-2674 today.

By Kristin Dodd

Kristin Dodd, the President of Carolina Pest Management, has been with the company full-time for over 20 years, but has been a part of the family-owned business for much longer. She is currently an active board member of the North Carolina Pest Management Association, and was the President from 2010-2011. She is a licensed operator in...