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Crew installing vapor barrier in crawl space encapsulation

Crawl Space Repair & Encapsulation

Have you ever looked under your house? Do you know where to look and what to look for? It could affect your health and safety and your family’s well-being.

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Your crawl space is the snug place in between your home and the soil beneath it. It’s typically used for the storage of the veins of your home, like air ducts and piping. When moisture creeps into this space through crawl space vents and gets trapped in the dark, muggy space, you may run into issues that affect your day-to-day life. Cold floors, higher electric bills, worsening allergy symptoms, and even tripping hazards on drooping, sagging floors are just some ways that a festering crawl space can affect your life. Learn how Ohio Basement Systems can restore your home with warrantied crawl space repair and encapsulation.  


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Causes of Crawl Space Damage

Your crawl space can become damaged in a number of ways. Here are a few of the common causes behind these problems.

A major flaw with a crawl space is how it is constructed in the first place. Builders first begin by digging a hole in the earth large enough to accommodate your foundation, including the crawl space. The foundation walls are then built, followed by the flooring system, and the rest of the house. Unlike basements that have concrete floors, crawl spaces typically have uncovered dirt floors. Along with multiple entry points – foundation wall cracks, rim joists, and vents – this exposure to the elements leaves the crawl space open to outside air, moisture, pests, and other nuisances that can infiltrate and affect your home.

Part of the crawl space construction process involves placing vents in the crawl space foundation walls. Crawl spaces have been built this way for many years with the intention of increasing airflow and decreasing the chance for mold and mildew growth. However, foundation specialists have found the opposite to be true. Open vents allow unconditioned outside air into the crawl space, as well as moisture, water, and pests. All these nuisances create a recipe for disaster, as mold grows and thrives in dark, moist areas like crawl spaces. Pests also are drawn to the area for the same reasons. Infestations of mold and pests not only create an unhealthy crawl space, but they affect the health of the rest of your home.

Crawl space construction and open vents also lend themselves to another common cause of crawl space issues – the stack effect. The stack effect involves the natural flow of warm air from bottom to top. Whether hot or cold air enters your crawl space through the vents or wall cracks, the air will become warm enough to rise throughout the rest of your home. This means that anything in your crawl space such as mold growth, mold spores, unpleasant odors, pest waste, dust, and other toxins is also in the air circulating in your home. This can aggravate existing health issues or potentially cause them in otherwise healthy individuals, as well as increase your energy bills.

Award-Winning Service

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Wynn, melon & GAVYN came on time knocked the project out in 2 days communication was great all around satisfied recommending and referring…

Wynn, melon & GAVYN came on time knocked the project out in 2 days communication was great all around satisfied recommending and referring to all thanks again OBS!!

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Ethan and Darnell were prompt, professional, and willing to communicate whenever I had questions. The results of the work were very good.

Ethan and Darnell were prompt, professional, and willing to communicate whenever I had questions. The results of the work were very good.

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John and Cody were here today and completed the cement floor settlement issue and with the PolyRenewal product they were able to correct…

John and Cody were here today and completed the cement floor settlement issue and with the PolyRenewal product they were able to correct the issue. They were well versed on the product and knowledgeable in what they were doing. I highly recommend them.

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The business was responsive to my needs, communicated clearly and promptly. The team (Wynn and Mike) that did the work was efficient and…

The business was responsive to my needs, communicated clearly and promptly. The team (Wynn and Mike) that did the work was efficient and thorough. They told me what to expect (noise, time). They did the work then explained it to me in a way that I can understand. They cleaned up and left the place cleaner than it was before. Wynn and Mike did an excellent job, I am glad that I went with Ohio Basement Systems.

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First Darin who came out to give us an estimate was very professional and thorough while examining our crawlspace. The crew that came out…

First Darin who came out to give us an estimate was very professional and thorough while examining our crawlspace. The crew that came out to do job were very professional and made our experience rather painless. Whatever they found wrong they took care of it. Thank you and cudos to this company and their employees.

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Jason Hamblin was great! Gave us all the details and explained everything so well! We have such a better understanding of the water…

Jason Hamblin was great! Gave us all the details and explained everything so well! We have such a better understanding of the water proofing process now!

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Brian Kingsmore from Ohio Basement Systems came out and did an evaluation and estimate for basement waterproofing for my home. He was…

Brian Kingsmore from Ohio Basement Systems came out and did an evaluation and estimate for basement waterproofing for my home. He was extremely thorough in his explanations of the different options for my home. After he left, I felt like I understood why the water problem in basement even exists. Thanks Brian!!

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My salesman Kevin was fantastic at coming out and determining how best to handle a situation I was having at the house. He described his…

My salesman Kevin was fantastic at coming out and determining how best to handle a situation I was having at the house. He described his recommendations and listened to my concerns and ensured they were written into the contract. The foreman John and co-foreman William were absolutely great when it came time to do the work. They kept me posted on progress all through the job and finished ahead of schedule! They took the time to show me specifically what had been done and made sure before they left the house was cleaned up and I had no further questions for them. All in all fantastic work by the whole team, would definitely recommend working with the team again.

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Chris was very punctual, professional, and informative. He is extremely knowledgeable and answered all of my questions in detail.

Chris was very punctual, professional, and informative. He is extremely knowledgeable and answered all of my questions in detail.

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Service was great. Workers were very professional

Service was great. Workers were very professional

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We worked with multiple teams from Ohio Basement Systems to resolve the foundation problems on our century home. All teams were…

We worked with multiple teams from Ohio Basement Systems to resolve the foundation problems on our century home. All teams were communicative, professional, on time and conscientious about the work they were doing to our home. I didn't expect so much professionalism at every point. The teams included: Kevin Townsend, Robert Baser, Rashawn Dickson and their teams: Dylan, Matt and Ovid.

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Brian Kingsmore was very helpful and informative. I learned a lot about my basement and the history of how basement waterproofing has…

Brian Kingsmore was very helpful and informative. I learned a lot about my basement and the history of how basement waterproofing has changed.

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Kasey, Darrell, and Alex were very professional and kind. Very pleasant to work with and efficient! Would recommend to all my family and…

Kasey, Darrell, and Alex were very professional and kind. Very pleasant to work with and efficient! Would recommend to all my family and friends!!!

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Great timely profession water proofing of large crack in foundation that was allowing water to seep in.

Great timely profession water proofing of large crack in foundation that was allowing water to seep in.

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very professional walk me thru what they were going to do

very professional walk me thru what they were going to do

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Ohio Basement Systems sent Kevin out to look at our basement to see what we needed to do about our mini flooding. He was so professional…

Ohio Basement Systems sent Kevin out to look at our basement to see what we needed to do about our mini flooding. He was so professional and was able to get us financed at a reasonable rate and payment plan.The team of professionals they sent to do the job was so professional, understanding, and seemed like genuine people to have in your home. I was thoroughly impressed with their work. They work very well as a team. They are super respectful. They speak and greet you with a smile. They were fast and efficient. They even cleaned up after themselves. They were patient with explaining everything so I understood what their job entailed. They did such good work and I was so pleased I wanted to rave about their service.If you are needing anything done Ohio Basement Systems is your company, and be SURE to request by name the team of: Sean, Justin, and Ferro. They are a really, really, a good team. Since I have owned my home for a year their team work and presence was the best I have had in my home thus far. God forbid I need anything else done I am definitely be requesting them by name.

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Darin DeRosa did our basement inspection and explained how they could stop the water leaking in our foundation and repair the damage. He…

Darin DeRosa did our basement inspection and explained how they could stop the water leaking in our foundation and repair the damage. He was very accommodating returning messages and even making return visits to our home to assist us through this process.

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Loyd was very informative and honest in his appraisal of our situation

Loyd was very informative and honest in his appraisal of our situation

David & Charlotte Szucs

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John and mike were awesome. Answered all our questions, and kept us updated on all they were doing(Polylifting).

John and mike were awesome. Answered all our questions, and kept us updated on all they were doing(Polylifting).

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After my basement flooded from a drain back up, in July of 2023, and Pure Clean Water Removal Company with excellent results, dried my…

After my basement flooded from a drain back up, in July of 2023, and Pure Clean Water Removal Company with excellent results, dried my basement and noticed some mold in the corner, I called Ohio Basement Systems, and set an appointment with Joel Rhoads within days. I also called Ohio State Waterproofing and it took 2 weeks for an appt. To make a long story short, Joel Rhoads, an honest man that he is, advised to try a water backup plug that lets water drain, but it also plugs backup water from back flowing from a heavy rain. I only had water backup twice in 35 years. I never had actual water seepage through the foundation blocks. He also advised lifting the concrete, because it sunk a little from the outside corner where the mold was, and digging to waterproof that corner. On the other hand, Ohio State Waterproofing Co, with all their bells and whistles tried selling me their complete system, for an absorbent amount of money, and it was all (inside AND outside) or nothing for water seepage that I never had. All I may have been interested in was just outside waterproofing the foundation in that corner. I’m the type of person who tries by baby steps first. In this day of age, it is so hard to trust anyone, and to have come across Joel Rhoads, was a blessing. I believe he saved me a ton of money! I sincerely recommend Joel from Ohio Water Basement Systems for his honesty over greed.

Is Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation the Right Solution for Me? 

Greater Cleveland and the rest of Northern Ohio including Akron-Canton, Mansfield, and Youngstown is a basement-heavy part of the U.S. If you are an Ohioan who owns a crawl space or even a combination basement-crawl space, year-round precipitation via rain and snow does no favors to your home. You may not even know that mold, mildew, rot, and pests have invaded your crawl space until it’s too late.  

You have a lot to consider as a homeowner—and your crawl space may seem like the least of your worries. At Ohio Basement Systems, we’re here to be your guide in all things crawl space and to find the right solution tailor-fit to your home. Our suite of durable encapsulation solutions including vapor barriers, drainage systems, and moisture control tactics all work together to create an inhabitable space for mold and pests. Setting up an appointment with us only takes a minute—get started now! 

FAQs

If you have recently moved into a home with an exposed crawl space, or you are ready to consider encapsulating the crawl space of your current family home, we urge you to contact a crawl space specialist.

The Dangers of DIY

DIY repairs are something that many homeowners dabble in, and while we agree that it is good to have basic DIY skills, we also believe that DIY should end where structural issues begin. Because there is a high likelihood of structural problems in a damp, wet, or unhealthy crawl space, we urge our clients to avoid DIY encapsulation.

If you simply waterproof and seal a crawl space that is being affected by things like foundation damage, all you will be doing is covering up the signs of deterioration. This will lead to the issues being far more advanced when they are discovered. Worse still, you could end up creating an incubator of sorts, trapping water and pests into your crawl space. This could actually cause more damage than was previously at work.

The Benefits of Professional Services

A professional service offers many benefits, but the most obvious is its ability to safely and effectively tackle structural issues. Foundation damage, in particular, is quite dangerous when it comes to DIY repairs. This is because of the way in which it destabilizes many other parts of a structure. If you try to go it alone, you run the risk of causing damage or injury.

Furthermore, these tools are specialist in nature. Most homeowners will not have them to hand. By the time you rent all the necessary equipment and buy the required products, you could well end up paying more for a lower quality result if you try DIY. An expert will have all these tools already and can guarantee a certain standard of results. Finally, professional services offer permanent solutions. This is something you cannot guarantee if you try to undertake repair and encapsulation alone.  

Dealing with an exposed crawl space can take a number of forms.Preventing damage is ideal, but when it has already taken root, there are repair methods available.

Structural Repairs

Structural repairs will always take precedence when there is a professional involved. In fact, they should always take precedence over waterproofing measures and cosmetic repairs. That’s because if they are not completed before these processes, the issue could recur or grow in severity and scope. This will make the situation more dangerous and could increase repair costs overall.

Structural repairs cover a broad number of processes including foundation repair, concrete lifting, joist repair and replacement, and wall reinforcement. The nature of structural repairs required in each home will vary depending on a number of factors. This is why we recommend that you call in a professional as soon as possible.

Waterproofing and Encapsulation

If there are no structural repairs needed or the structural concerns have all been resolved, a professional will most likely suggest crawl space waterproofing or encapsulation. This will include covering exposed vents and crawl space access doors but goes much further and has many tangible benefits for your whole home.

Like structural repairs, encapsulation varies from home to home and is tailored to the confines of a specific situation. Generally speaking, however, structural repairs include drainage assessment and improvement, insulation, and the installation of a vapor barrier, as well as the covering of vents and doors. This will improve energy efficiency, reduce humidity, and even allow you to use your crawl space for storage. 

If a recent foray into your crawl space has uncovered dampness or flooding, it is natural to be worried. There are a number of issues that can lead to standing water in your crawl space, but the most common (other than open vents) are:

Internal Leaks

One way in which a lot of moisture can make its way into a crawl space is via internal leaks in the plumbing system that runs through a property and its attached appliances. For example, small leaks caused by weak joints between pipes or pipes and appliances can produce a surprising amount of water in any crawl space. A more dramatic example, however, is a bursting pipe.

Plumbing leaks can be caused by a number of factors, but they are fairly easy to spot. Plumbing floods and burst pipes are the most serious issues, and the easiest to spot. You can recognize smaller leaks, however, by sudden changes in water pressure, small fluctuations in temperature, stains around impacted pipes and appliances, and a visible leak.

Structural Damage

Structural damage is a slightly more insidious and worrying cause of dampness and water in a crawl space. The most likely cause of large amounts of water in a crawl space (when open vents and internal leaks have been ruled out) is foundation damage. Any kind of cracking or damage in a foundation will allow a surprising amount of groundwater to seep up into a property.

The most likely foundation issue at work in these cases is settlement. Generally caused by expansive soils, settlement sees sections of a foundation breaking away and sinking into the ground. When rainfall saturates the soil, this will let water seep into the crawl space quite quickly. Another possible cause is subsidence.
 

The average height of a crawl space can measure anywhere between one to three feet high. As its name implies, this is just large enough to crawl around.

The main purpose of the crawl space is to store your home’s vital systems inside it. This includes your HVAC system, insulation, electrical wiring, plumbing, and floor support beams. These systems should not be wet whatsoever, which can be a problem when moisture inevitably does enter this space. The crawl space needs to be completely dry or you risk these systems breaking down and causing even more problems all around your house. 

Our team at Ohio Basement Systems can help you protect your crawl space and home with various solutions including a vapor barrier, dehumidifier, and much more.

To put it simply, flood vents are like old-fashioned crawl space vents, but they serve a different purpose and are often designed to be closed until they are needed these days. With that said, there are times when crawl space vents can be converted into flood vents. 

Ventilation 

In the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, it was very common for properties that had crawl spaces to have vents installed as a matter of practice. These vents were open to the air at all times and were designed to increase internal airflow. This was thought to prevent issues with dampness and humidity in the property. These vents would allow water to pass through them in the event of flooding, which is why they are partially effective in the event of a storm surge. 

Flood vents, by contrast, are not designed to ventilate a crawl space. Their only purpose is to give way to water when there is a serious flood. We now know that exterior crawl space ventilation is more likely to cause damage to a property, and can be the root cause of issues with dampness, humidity, and condensation in a home. 

Pressure Relief and Equalization 

Flood vents are also precisely designed and placed to give the best possible effect. This may seem like a very small difference, but it is important. When a storm surge roars through any area, the margin between endurance and catastrophe can be incredibly slim. This is why FEMA has very specific requirements for the size and placement of flood vents; they know what works best. 

In the end, the purpose of a flood vent is to equalize the pressure inside and outside of your property to prevent the flooding and storm surge from causing your property to shift, crack, or even experience localized collapse. This is why flood vents come in many different forms. They need to be functional for whichever home they are being installed in.

Why Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation Are Needed

bugs in crawl space

Makes Your Crawl Space Less Welcoming to Pests

Encapsulation isn’t a cure-all for pests already invading your crawl space. But after the exterminators leave, call the experts at Ohio Basement Systems. Crawl space encapsulation creates a clean, dry, and sterile environment that pests have no business in. It also seals off your craw space completely so that it’s harder for common pests like roaches, rats, carpenter ants, termites, and even snakes to penetrate.  

Dehumidifier in crawl space

Cleans Up the Air Quality in Your Home

Did you know that about 50% of the air you breathe comes from your crawl space? When mold, mildew, and toxins from pest waste seethe in your crawl space, it can have adverse effects on your health as you breathe it all in. According to the Mayo Clinic, “A mold allergy can cause coughing, itchy eyes and other symptoms that make you miserable. In some people, a mold allergy is linked to asthma and exposure causes restricted breathing and other airway symptoms.”  

Crawl Space after encapsulation

Strengthening Your Home’s Structural Integrity

When mold spores run wild in your crawl space, they eat away at the vital support system, your floor joists, or support beams. Using a pencil, crawl space experts can test the health of the wood in your crawl space. In extreme cases, a pencil can easily puncture the soft, water-damaged supports beneath your home. This is a major safety issue for you and your family. Our experts can repair the weakened joists and seal off your crawl space for moisture and mold control.  

Common Crawl space Repair and Encapsulation Tips & Mistakes 

Mistakes to Avoid

Helpful Tips

Proudly Serving Northern Ohio

CLEVELAND, OH

Cleveland, OH

Cleveland's wet weather can wreak havoc on your basement and foundation. Damage is common, but permanent repair and protection are achievable with our trusted team and solutions.

YOUNGSTOWN, OH

Youngstown, OH

Wet basements and settling foundations are common because of Youngstown’s consistent rain and problematic soils. Ohio Basement Systems can help you protect your home with trusted basement, foundation, crawl space, and concrete repair solutions.

Akron OH

Akron, OH

Wet basements and settling foundations are common in Akron. High-quality solutions from Ohio Basement Systems combat these forces for permanent repair and protection.

MANSFIELD, OH

Mansfield, OH

Mansfield is home to a diverse number of soils vulnerable to poor drainage. This can cause structural issues to your property down the line—is your home protected?

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    Ohio Basement Systems Service Map

    Our Locations

    Mansfield

    1 Marion Ave, Suite 309
    Mansfield, OH 44903
    (567) 275-8588

    Twinsburg

    7950 Bavaria Rd.
    Twinsburg, OH 44087
    (330) 235-1229

    Westlake

    159 Crocker Park Blvd, 4th floor
    Westlake, OH 44145
    (330) 235-1229

    Willowick

    35475 Vine St, Suite 216,
    Willowick, OH 44095
    (440) 332-4339

    Youngstown

    8531 Market St.
    Youngstown, OH 44512
    (330) 400-3783