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Spring Cleaning: Signs To Look For

Spring Cleaning: Signs To Look For - Image 1

Spring is almost here! That means it’s time to break out the cleaning supplies, put away those winter clothes, and prepare for the warmer months to come. However, when you own a home, there are extra steps needed to make sure your home is stable and clean year-round. While you’re dusting, sweeping, and mopping, be on the lookout for signs that your home’s foundation, basement, or crawl space might be in need of some spring “cleaning” or attention.

Signs of Foundation Damage

Foundation damage is something every homeowner should be able to notice, especially if they’re thoroughly cleaning and checking their home. Settlement is basically inevitable the older a house gets, so it’s important to know what to look for. Below, are a few of the signs that you should be on the lookout for as you sweep your baseboards or clear out cobwebs:

  • Uneven or Sloping Floor: When your home’s foundation begins to settle, this can cause the floor joists and even the finished flooring to slope or become uneven. It is rare for flooring to become sloped or uneven on its own; so, if you notice this sign, it is likely time to have your foundation evaluated to see if it needs repair.
  • Cracks on the Internal and External Walls: Cracks along your internal and external walls are clear signs of settlement and foundation failure. Interior cracks can typically be found near doors and windows, where walls are typically the weakest. These cracks should not be taken lightly and must be monitored.  
  • Cracks in the Floor: Like the walls around your home, the concrete slabs around your home can also settle unevenly, creating large cracks. While cleaning your home’s baseboards, you should also take note of any separation or cracking happening where the wall meets the floor.
  • Sticking Windows and Doors: For many, spring cleaning involves clearing out the air in the home by opening windows, letting fresh air pour in. However, if your foundation has begun to falter and settle, it can become difficult to open your windows and even doors. This is due to settlement that causes openings to become out of frame.
  • Tilting Chimneys: One of the more noticeable signs of foundation damage is a tilting chimney that is pulling away from the home. This should be something you catch while sprucing up the landscaping of your home. While demolishing the chimney may seem like the way to go, there are ways to stabilize, support, and save your chimney. 


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Signs of A Damp or Damaged Crawl Space

You may not think your crawl space has anything to do with keeping your home clean, but that could not be further from the truth. If you have a crawl space that has not been encapsulated, the space is likely musty and moldy. Because the crawl space is not sealed off from the outside world. That musty, moldy air simply circulates up from the crawl space, into the living areas of the home, and outside the attic. This process, known as the “stack effect,” makes the air in your living environment unhealthy to breathe in. 

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Even if you have your crawl space sealed, but not properly encapsulated, water can still find its way inside, leading to much more issues than nasty air. Below, we’ll go over a few signs that your crawl space needs some attention:

  • Musty Odors: As mentioned, an exposed basement lets in air from the out, mixing it with the air in the crawl space, and creating an unhealthy cloud of air that seeps through your floors into your living areas. If your crawl space is not encapsulated, water will inevitably find its way in. This moisture soaks into the wooden structures of the crawl space, allowing mold to grow and contribute to the already unhealthy air. So, if you have a crawl space and notice your home still smells musty even after all that cleaning, then you might want to consider encapsulation.   
  • Sinking Floors: Moisture inside your crawl space can lead to wood rot, weakening the structures supporting the floors in your crawl space. So, if you’re noticing a dip in your floors while sweeping, mopping, or just walking, then it is likely time to have someone evaluate your crawl space for wood rot and weakened support beams or columns.
  • Worsening Allergy and Asthma Symptoms: If you or the others in your home are seeing an increase in both allergy and asthma symptoms, then it could be due to your musty crawl space. Mold thrives in dark, damp environments making your unprotected crawl space an ideal place for mold to grow and thrive. With an encapsulated crawl space, allergens and asthma triggers are significantly reduced. 

Signs of a Wet Basement

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If you have a basement, you likely use it to store holiday decorations, out-of-season clothes, and other miscellaneous items. The signs of a damp basement should be evident when you are moving boxes and cleaning up the area as part of your spring cleaning routine. Below, we’ll highlight a few signs that indicate you are suffering from water intrusion in your basement:

  • Standing Water: If you use your basement for storage, standing water can be a huge issue as it can ruin your personal belongings. So, if you begin moving boxes around and discover pooling water, it is almost certain that your basement is taking on water. Never assume that it is just a faulty water heater or bad plumbing.
  • Musty Odors: Just like a crawl space, a basement is a dark, damp place where mold flourishes. When you mix mold growth with standing water, an unpleasant, musty odor will form. While cleaning up the basement may work to get rid of the musty smells temporarily; if your basement is not waterproofed and is suffering from water intrusion, the musty odors will soon return.  
  • Efflorescence on Walls: A crystalline deposit of salts, efflorescence forms when water soaks into a concrete, brick, or stone wall. It has a white, powdery appearance and can easily be seen by even an untrained eye. While you might try to wipe away efflorescence, it will keep coming back as long as water is getting through the walls of your basement. 

We Can Help!

If you notice any of the signs above, you could greatly benefit from having your foundation, crawl space, or basement inspected by a certified technician. At Frontier Foundation & Crawl Space Repair, we have the knowledge, skills, and products needed to stabilize your foundation, encapsulate your crawl space, and waterproof your basement. Contact us today for a FREE, no-obligation inspection and quote.

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