Dealing with a loose crawl space door doesn’t seem like it should be an immediate concern of yours. After all, there are dozens of other projects around your home that likely command more attention.
Unfortunately, a loose crawl space door threatens to do more damage to the whole of your home than you might expect. Moisture can make it into your crawl space with ease if it’s your door that’s letting it in. If you leave your door unfixed for an extended amount of time, you may find yourself contending with anything from a mold infestation to significant structural damage.
Luckily, the professionals serving Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio, are here to help. If the door to your crawl space seems to be loose, you can reach out to schedule a home inspection. Professionals can then determine whether or not your crawl space has taken on damage in the time your door’s been loose. If there has been, you can look over a free services quote detailing what kind of repairs your home may need. At the same time, you can trust professionals to repair or replace your damaged crawl space door.
Loose Crawl Spaces Doors Can Damage Your Home
Your crawl space isn’t a space that you use to entertain others. Instead, it’s a space that supports your home and requires a significant amount of protection. Your doorway needs to be up to code if it’s going to do its job. A loose crawl space door not only makes it difficult to enter your crawl space safely but also opens your home up to significant damage.
Some of the most common problems to see in a crawl space with a loose door include:
- Pest infestations
- Weather damage
- Failing insulation
Reasons Why Your Crawl Space Door May Be Loose
Your crawl space door can loosen up for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common include:
A Door That Doesn’t Fit
There is no easier way for water to get into your crawl space than through your crawl space door. Without the right door in place, rain and snowmelt are going to rush straight into your home. That moisture can have an immediate and detrimental impact on any utilities or structural materials you have in your crawl space. Once the water’s inside, it’ll be more than just your crawl space door that takes on damage—but your door will be among the first structures to show signs of lost structural integrity.
Structural Shifting Beneath Your Home
The world around your home is constantly changing. This includes the stability of the soil. Trees and pests can both move the soil beneath your home, causing hollows to open up beneath your crawl space. Even the initial construction that went into building your home can cause the soil to be less stable than it once was. As your concrete slab or foundation sinks into those hollows, you can start to see signs of damage appear in your crawl space. For example, shifting soil can cause the door frame supporting your crawl space door to fall out of place. This can cause your door to loosen and make it easier for moisture to make its way indoors.
Material Wear And Tear
No material around your home is going to last forever. Even if your crawl space door has served your home loyally for years, there will come a day when the material can’t withstand Ohio’s weather anymore. The good news is that if you schedule regular home inspections, you can limit the kind of damage that your door takes on. For example, you may catch your door damage when it just starts to loosen your crawl space door as opposed to when water has made its way into your home. Even so, you’ll need to invest in rapid repairs if you want to prevent that wear from having a greater impact on the integrity of your home.
Pests can cause hollows to open up beneath your home. Animals and insects can also, however, have a more direct impact on the integrity of your crawl space door. Any animal seeking warmth in the winter may try their luck against your crawl space door. Similarly, insects will make themselves at home in the door frame, where they can eat away at the wood until the frame no longer supports your door. Unfortunately, the contractors in your area can’t get rid of these critters for you. Instead, if you want to clear out a pest infestation, you’ll need to call animal control or an exterminator. Only once the critters are out of your home can you reach out to area professionals to invest in crawl space encapsulation.
Damage Signs to Watch For
The good news is that crawl space damage tends to give itself away. You should be able to tell if your crawl space door is appropriately secured without a problem. You can keep an eye out for other signs of damage to try and determine whether or not that loose door opened up your home to structural losses.
Common signs of crawl space damage include but are not limited to:
- Unpleasant smells originating in your crawl space
- Animal or insect feces
- Frosted or foggy windows and utilities
- Standing water
- Higher levels of humidity
- Higher energy bills throughout your home
- Lowered water pressure throughout your home
- Bowing walls or a sinking floor
Unfortunately, these symptoms don’t universally indicate that something’s amiss in your crawl space. They can also let you know that something’s gone wrong with your foundation or basement. That’s why it’s important to connect with the professionals in your area. A professional contractor can inspect your home and identify, specifically, where any damage in your space may have emerged. In turn, they can diagnose the problems and let you know what repairs will suit your needs best.
Fixing a Damaged Crawl Space Door
The first thing you’ll want to do if there’s damage in your crawl space is fix your loose crawl space door. This process is relatively straightforward. If one of your hinges is off, all professionals in your area will need to do is realign your door. However, if it looks like an animal or some other force moved your door frame, then you may need to reinstall a better-fitting frame.
The professionals in your area can repair or replace a damaged crawl space door. Their plans will vary based on your budget as well as the extent of the damage throughout the rest of your home. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to discuss your limitations with the professionals in your area. You’ll have the opportunity to explore all the options within your reach during your initial consultation.
Fixing Additional Home Damage
There’s a chance that your home may have taken on additional damage if your crawl space door comes loose. It’s best, with that in mind, to have professionals inspect your crawl space. If you’re dealing with any kind of additional damage, from mold infestation to bowing walls, then you’ll need to see this damage repaired as soon as possible.
That said, the level of encapsulation you’ll need to invest in will vary based on the state of your crawl space. Bowing walls, for example, benefit from wall anchor supports. Mold infestations require professionals to first remove the clusters and then replace any porous materials that additional spores may have settled in.
There are times when the damage in your crawl space transfers down to your foundation. If the professionals in your area think your foundation may have endured damage due to your loose crawl space door, then your repair options grow a little more expansive. Professionals will need to excavate the whole of your foundation to start their work. After the dirty work is done you can explore your piering and soil stabilization options.
Waterproofing Your Crawl Space
It’s never a bad idea to waterproof your crawl space. There are several waterproofing measures that can help your home compensate for the losses you might otherwise face if water gets through a loose crawl space door. You can work with area professionals after investing in repairs to determine which of these solutions may suit your needs best.
Some of the most common crawl space waterproofing measures include but are not limited to:
- Vapor barriers
- Crawl space encapsulation
- Non-commercial dehumidifiers
- Interior drains
- Sump pumps
Note that you do have the option of installing several of these waterproofing measures at once. Talk with the professionals in Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio, to determine if the damage in your crawl space merits the installation of several home waterproofing measures. If you choose waterproofing measures that work well with one another, you’ll do more than just protect your crawl space from damage. These waterproofing measures will also protect one another, extending their lifespans and saving you money on repairs later down the line.
Loose Crawl Space Door
If you’re concerned about the cost of crawl space door repairs, you may be tempted to try and take on the work alone. DIY home repair projects do let you explore the range of your skills while protecting your repair budget. When it comes to your crawl space, you’ll want to work with professionals.
Paying For DIY Repair
Most of the time, homeowners interested in DIY crawl space repair are concerned about their budgets. They’ll want to try and take on the necessary repair work alone because they think they’ll be able to save money. This isn’t often the case. When you’re dealing with a damaged crawl space door, for example, you have to factor in costs that extend beyond the door itself. Sure, you may be able to replace a damaged bolt, but if your frame’s fallen out of place, then repairs are going to be far more significant than you initially anticipated.
What’s more, new crawl space doors are particularly expensive. When you work with the professionals in your area, you can benefit from the connections they have with peers in their industry. These parties can also assess the state of your crawl space before they start working to determine what other kind of damage you may be dealing with. If it looks like the repairs your crawl space needs are more extensive than a door repair, then they’ll let you know with a preliminary free quote. You’ll have the chance to look this quote over and determine for yourself what kind of repairs your home may best benefit from.
Making Mistakes During Repairs
It’s also easier than you might think to make mistakes during a home DIY repair. Professionals who know what they’re doing while they’re replacing your crawl space door can avoid some of the pitfalls that might cost you a significant sum in replacement parts down the line. If you try to repair your door on your own, you may walk away from the job short on money and without having actually solved your crawl space’s problems.
For example, you may manage to bring your crawl space door back into alignment. However, there’s a chance that water or mold spores may have already taken root in your crawl space. If you don’t make a point of addressing that damage, then it can fester to the point where the value of your home starts to suffer. Eventually, you’ll have to call in area professionals despite your DIY work. It’s often easier, both on your budget and on your time, if you reach out to professionals for help in the first place.
Determining whether your crawl space door is loose is a relatively straightforward process. Determining what to do afterward can be more complicated, especially if there’s additional damage in your crawl space. That’s where the professionals in Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio, come into play. You can ask area contractors to conduct a professional inspection of your space and guide you through the process of repairing your home.
Most area professionals break their crawl space inspections down into three stages. The first two stages involve an entryway check and a cursory inspection of the crawl space. The entryway check will let you know what kind of damage, if any, your crawl space door’s taken. At this stage, professionals can tighten any loose screws or otherwise make sure that your door is up to code. If there is damage to your door frame, professionals will not be able to proceed with your inspection.
Once professionals can safely enter your crawl space, they’ll start to look around for any obvious signs of damage. This cursory inspection lets professionals know the extent of damage your crawl space has taken on while your door’s been loose. Some of the most common conditions professionals can find at this stage include but are not limited to:
- Mold infestations
- Pest infestations
- Standing water
- Wood rot
- Bowing walls
- Sinking floors
- Damaged structural supports
- Gaps between the walls and floors
If there’s nothing immediately wrong with your crawl space except a loose crawl space door, professionals will move onto the third part of their inspection. The comprehensive inspection allows professionals to identify any weak spots in your crawl space that are just starting to take on damage or that may be otherwise vulnerable to it.
During this stage of the inspection process, professionals can still identify parts of your crawl space that may benefit from significant repairs. However, it’s more likely that they’ll be able to recommend the best home waterproofing measures for your property. Similarly, they may be able to recommend means that’ll better keep your crawl space door tight and in place in the future.
Professionals do more than just protect your crawl space door from damage. They can also help you take steps to repair damage in the whole of your crawl space. They’ll also help you determine what home waterproofing measures may help you avoid instances of similar damage later down the line.
Repairing Your Crawl Space
The first and best thing area professionals can do for your home is to replace or repair your crawl space door. Sitting on top of this damage for an extended period of time opens up your home to several problems. The sooner you can get your crawl space door, the sooner you can get ahead of the kind of damage that might compromise the overall value of your home.
High levels of moisture, for example, tend to grow more prevalent throughout your home if your crawl space door is leaking. When professionals tighten up that door and remove any unwanted moisture from your property, humidity levels throughout your home will decrease. In turn, your home won’t have to deal with as much hydrostatic pressure. Everything in your crawl space from your I-beams to your walls to your insulation, will be able to function more effectively, better protecting your home from high bills and structural damage.
Waterproofing Your Crawl Space
The work in your home doesn’t stop once repairs are done. Instead, if you want to prevent similar damage from plaguing your crawl space and door in the future, you’ll want to discuss the different means professionals can use to waterproof your space. Without home waterproofing measures in place, a professional’s work can rapidly come undone, especially considering Ohio’s weather.
Crawl space waterproofing measures, from vapor barriers to interior drains, do more than keep moisture out of your crawl space. They also protect the rest of your home from damage. If, for example, your HVAC system starts to leak, interior drains can drive that unwanted moisture out of your home and protect the floors in the levels above your crawl space. Similarly, non-commercial dehumidifiers lower the humidity in your crawl space and keep your walls in place. If you’re not sure where to start when looking at your crawl space’s potential waterproofing measures, don’t worry. The professionals in your area can break down your options for you prior to their installation.
Get In Touch with Area Professionals ASAP
Repairing a damaged crawl space door doesn’t have to be a long process. When you work with the professionals in Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio, you can see your door realigned in less than a day. However, if there’s additional damage in your crawl space, be prepared to discuss what other repairs your home may benefit from. You never want to sit on crawl space damage—it can grow out of control in little to no time at all, compromising the structural integrity of your home as it does.
Are you ready to schedule a crawl space inspection? Get in touch with the contractors serving Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio, as soon as possible.