Why Does My Crawl Space Smell Bad?

Search by keyword or browse all posts

“What is that pungent smell? This crawl space stinks!” 

Are these phrases you use regularly when the odor of your home’s crawl space hits you? 

If yes, stay with us as we show you the reasons, types, and most importantly — the solution.

The health of a home’s crawl space can be easily assessed by its smell. The odor of the crawl space can not be shielded by anything artificial. No amount of room fresheners or deodorants cover the pungent smell.

Your crawl space may smell bad for various reasons. Crawl space encapsulation specialist has compiled the profound ones for you:

  • Rodents and critters’ waste

Crawl spaces are an ideal space for critters and other creatures to stay. The limited accessibility to the crawl space by humans is also a reason why these animals find shelter in the crawl space. 

Rodents, insects, snakes, and other vermins are regulars in the crawl space.

Adding on, these creatures often die and decay in the crawl spaces. The decaying flesh of a creature does not necessarily smell nice. It just amplifies the bad odor to intolerable extents.

All these creatures, their droppings, and deaths make the crawl space smell awful.

  • Junk, trash, and other unwanted items

It is quite common for people to use the crawl space as a junkyard. The ones who used to live before you in the house might be guilty of the same too.

Paint cans, food containers, plastic, soda cans, and other junk are often found conveniently disposed of in the crawl space. Their odor fills your crawl space with unbearable stink. At times, moisture settles on these junk items to cause more pain.

The moisture is a welcome sign for mildew and fungus, contributing to the stink.

  • Soil

Often overseen, cracked flooring or inadequate sealing allows for the soil to creep into the crawl space. Also, this is unimaginably common, thanks to widespread ignorance about proper sealing.

And soil can stink due to the presence of organic matter within itself. If the ground is moist, every bit of the organic matter in the soil decays. This decay directly contributes to the stink and generates a very evident musty smell.

Knowing soils’ affinity to absorb moisture, is a major cause of your crawl space stinking. To completely avoid damage due to soil, consider investing in crawl space repair.

  • Sewage

A common cause of the extremely foul odor is the leak of sewage into the crawl space. This can happen due to reasons like clogging and leaks. 

If there is clogging of any kind, sewage water tends to go back in. 

Without any convenient outlet, the sewage stagnates in the crawl space.

A sewage backup into the crawl space is a breeding ground for mold and fungus. It also contaminates the soil, which furthers into the release of poisonous fumes. 

Furthermore, sewage leaks are not another household task to clean. The damage, coupled with the bad odor and toxic gases is a health hazard. For zero tolerance of sewage leaks and backup, crawl space encapsulation ensures complete sealing.

  • Furniture decay

The crawl space is supported extensively by wooden posts. Not only are they integral to the sustenance of the crawl space, but it also provides structural support to your house.

However, when the moisture increases, it contributes to the growth of mildew and fungus. And these thrive on decaying the wood beams and joints of the foundation.

During the decay, the wood generates an unpleasant odor. This is furthered when there is a sewage backup. The stagnation of sewage water in the vicinity of the wood is a major red flag to the health of the crawl space.

  • Mold, fungus, and mildew

The most crucial elements that cause the crawl space to smell awful are mold, fungus, and mildew. Even a slight increase in the dampness of the crawl space is enough for these to inflict damage. 

Note that mold itself does not contribute to the stink per se. However, the formation of mold on any wood or other item shall build mildew. And this causes a bad odor and a toxic environment. 

Boxes, tins, walls are all favorite places for mold growth and decay. Whilst this is dangerous in itself, the increase in moisture levels echoes the impact of mold to wreak havoc. 

Also, note that mold is notoriously known to release certain toxins that are hazardous to a person’s health. It may directly cause respiratory problems when in the vicinity.

How to remove crawl space smell?

Now, you have understood the various causes of bad odor in the crawl space. Identifying the cause and resolving it is a simple method. 

  • First off, try and eliminate all unnecessary items from the crawl space. All junk needs to be removed to ensure there are lesser opportunities for fungus and mold to grow.
  • If you are dealing with critter wastes, animal deaths, decays, consider animal control or other professionals. They precisely know how to remove the carcasses with zero remains. 
  • At times, your home’s location might be in an area with high levels of humidity. While shifting homes sounds nice, it is not practical. However, a dehumidifier is a great solution for this. 
  • And for the major reasons of mold, fungus, and mildew, it needs specialists. There are several mold remediation service providers to benefit from. Calling one of them would leave you with a crawl space free of mold. 

Wait. Don’t you think individual solutions are kind of impractical? Each crawl space repair takes a lot of effort and time. What if there was a solution — a practical, long-term one?

Crawl space encapsulation –

By completely sealing the crawl space, this solution solves all the stinking issues. This is a solution that does not cut corners and serves the purpose for years.

Crawl space encapsulation in Knoxville Tn is growing and we would like you to embrace the best. We at Guardian Foundation repair are adept at crawl space repair. With a proper understanding of crawl space encapsulation, your crawl space in the safest hands. Reach out to us here

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.