Crawl space fully encapsulated
June 16, 2022

Of all the problems that can go wrong in your crawl space or basement, wood rot is one of the worst, and unfortunately, we see Eastern Shore homes suffering from this problem frequently. Even worse, because many homeowners don’t spend much time in their crawl spaces, wood rot often goes unnoticed for too long.

Today we’re going to spend some time talking about the difference between mold and wood rot, what to look for and signs of wood rot, and how encapsulating your crawl space is one of the best ways to address the problem for good in your home.

What Causes Wood Rot? How Can You Tell If You Have It?

Wood rot in a crawl space is caused by moisture that’s entered your home and created conditions for fungi to grow. Wood rot causes wood to decay, and while this might be a beneficial process out in the middle of a forest, it can be a disaster to find wood rot on the building materials that make up the foundation of your home.

Wood rot is different from mold because wood rot actually feeds on the parts of the wood that give it strength and structure. As we’ll cover below, this can become a big problem inside a home.

3 signs you have wood rot in your crawl space or basement include:

1. Musty smells

A funky, unpleasant odor coming from your crawl space is a good indication that you have a moisture, mold, or wood rot problem. 

2. Bouncy or springy floors

Do the floorboards directly above your crawl space bounce or bend when you walk on them? That’s one of the telltale signs of wood rot on your floor joists.

3. Failing the screwdriver test

If you can access your crawl space, take a screwdriver with you. Wood should not be soft to the touch, so if you gently poke it with a screwdriver and the wood gives or crumbles or breaks, you have a wood rot problem.

Why Is Wood Rot Dangerous?

Wood rot threatens the structural integrity of your home, particularly since wood rot on your floor joists is one of the most common places to find wood rot in a crawl space. Rotted wood has to be replaced, and if the problem has been left undiscovered for long enough, it can be expensive to fix.

How to Address Wood Rot: Crawl Space Repair & Encapsulation

If you have wood rot in your crawl space or basement, there are two important steps to take: the first is addressing the existing rot, and the second is making sure that additional rot doesn’t develop.

Crawl space repair and structural repair services are often needed to repair, replace, or sister floor joists or main carrying beams and girders. The amount of work necessary will be determined by the amount of the damage—Total Home Performance can provide you with crawl space wood rot repair costs after evaluating the damage.

Crawl space encapsulation prevents moisture from entering your home by insulating and air sealing as well as installing a vapor barrier and a dehumidifier to keep humidity and moisture out of your crawl space.

Qualify for Up to $7,500 in Rebates on Crawl Space Services with Total Home Performance

Keeping moisture, mold, and wood rot out of your home is essential to the health of your family as well as the health of your home. Total Home Performance is one of the only Maryland contractors that can help you qualify for crawl space encapsulation rebates of up to $7,500 available through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. These rebates can help make important Easton or Annapolis home improvement upgrades affordable. 

Keep wood rot out of your crawl space for good. Call 410-822-1390 or contact us today to find the right wet basement solution from Total Home Performance.

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