Crawl Space Warning Signs in Southern Ontario

Crawl spaces are typically hidden away and rarely visited. They are, however, integral parts of the home system. In addition to providing access to a home's foundation, it protects plumbing, ducts, insulation, waterproofing systems, and critical framing components, such as first floor joist, sills, and beams. In addition, the crawl space is inside the home envelope. Much of the air in the crawlspace eventually finds its way into the living space. In short, if your crawl space has problems, so will the rest of your home. Here are the warning signs of a crawl space that needs your attention.

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Crawl space rot in St Catharines

Crawl Space Rot

A damp crawlspace will support the growth of fungi and cause dry rot in floors joists, posts, beams, and sills. Once wood begins to rot, it quickly loses much of its strength, even if it appears to be intact. To check for rot, use a screwdriver or awl to probe the framing, especially in areas that are discolored. You may be surprised to find how soft it has become.

Uneven, sagging floors in Oakville

Uneven, bouncy or sagging floors

When floor joists, posts, and beams rot it affects everything that’s build upon them. Floors, for example, may bounce or, worse, begin to sink. It is therefore imperative to combat rot with various treatments that kill fungi and control moisture in the crawlspace.

Interior Cracks in Burlington

Cracks in drywall or plaster

If framing is compromised by rot, you may begin to see cracks in interior and exterior walls and in a variety of other places. Ceiling moldings may separate, spaces may open between walls and ceilings windows and doors may pull away from framing and be difficult to operate

Mold in St Catharines

Mold or mildew

If moisture in the crawl space is high, it's likely to result in mildew in the home, especially on the floors and lower portions of closet walls. Clothing stored in such closets will have a musty smell. In addition to cleaning items affected by mildew and mold, the sources of excess moisture must be eliminated.

Damp conditions may heighten asthma in Brantford

Heightened allergies or asthma symptoms

Recent studies show that damp houses, and the mold populations that thrive in them, may cause allergies and asthma. An excessively damp crawl space is a major source of moisture in a home. By encapsulating it, you can reduce mold growth in the crawl space and elsewhere in the home.

Crawlspace condensation in Niagara Falls

Condensation in the crawl space

Condensation occurs when warm, moisture-laden air enters a relatively cool crawl space. Upon cooling, it unloads much of its moisture upon various surfaces, including pipes, and ductwork. Drips appear on metal objects, stains appear on wood, and fluffy types of insulation will often sag and feel soggy. The warm air may enter the crawlspace through wall vents, leaky ducts, access doors, or simply through cracks in subflooring or perimeter framing. Encapsulation helps to seal off moist air infiltration and eliminate condensation.

Cracks in foundation walls in Niagara Falls

Cracks in crawl space walls and slabs

Cracks may be due to uneven foundation settling, or to pressure that builds outside walls or under slabs. Most of these problems are the result of soil movement. Excessive moisture causes soil, especially clay soils, to expand and push against the wall or slab. Drying causes it to contract. Soil expansion and contraction may also be due to temperature changes, especially when soil freezes and thaws. Cracks may also occur when concrete shrinks during curing. Remedies include exterior drainage systems, wall reinforcement, helical piers, and crack repair. Our experts can help you decide which combination of techniques is right for your home.

Rust in Milton

Insect infestations

Termites are a sign that there is excess moisture built up in your crawlspace. It may be due to plumbing leaks, ground water, or condensation. Regardless of the source, the long-term solution is to maintain a dry crawl space.

Rust in Milton


Rust is another sign of excessive crawl space moisture. You'll find it on steel posts, steel window frames and vents, and on metal heating ducts, and mechanical equipment.

Efflorescence in St Catharines

White Chalky Substance

When concrete gets wet, it darkens. In addition a white chalky substance, called efflorescence, may appear around wet areas. Either is a sign that there is excessive moisture in your crawl space or basement.

Ground water in Crawl Space in St Catharines

Flooding of a Crawl Space from Ground Water

If you notice water in your crawl space, that's a clear sign that you have an issue that needs to be addressed. Ground water can seep in from the outside if you have any cracks or joints in your foundation wall. Also, if your crawl space has concrete floor slabs, water can rise up through cracks in the floor and can cause your crawl space to flood.




Always get sound professional advice - ask the company giving advice what they specialize in before you tell them you have a crawl space problem. If they don't say "basements" or "crawl spaces" in their first response, consider finding another company.


Do not rely on the advice of any individual or company that is not a true dedicated basement waterproofing and crawl space specialist.

Choose an encapsulation system that completely encloses the crawlspace floor and walls to above the sill. It should also include vent covers, and an airtight crawl space door or a covered crawl space entry well.


Do not rely on caulk or epoxy to fix foundation wall cracks.

Choose a self-draining, efficient dehumidifier that's powerful enough to control crawl space humidity.


Do not encapsulate a crawl space without addressing all waterproofing issues first.

Choose the systems you need based on its technical merits and your performance criteria.


Do not install a vapor barrier over a chronically wet crawlspace unless you install drainage matting as well. The drainage matting directs flood water to a perimeter crawl space drain or sump pump.

Wherever possible include drainage to alleviate basement or crawl space water pressure as part of your solution.


Do not sign a contract that does not include warranties from both the contractor and the piering equipment manufacturer.


We Repair Damaged Crawl Spaces

If you have any of the problems listed and would like more information, please contact Omni Basement Systems for crawl space repair in Hamilton or the surrounding areas.

We service Oakville, Burlington, Kitchener, St Catharines, Guelph, Cambridge, Brantford, Niagara Falls, Milton, Waterloo, Welland, Stoney Creek, Georgetown, Dundas, Grimsby, Ancaster, and the surrounding areas in Ontario for crawl space repair.

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