Most homeowners easily look past keeping up with the crawl space in their home. However, it is important to keep it maintained to keep your home healthy and livable for your family. Not only can it ensure your family stays safe and healthy, but it can also help you save money when your monthly electric bill comes.
Why Your Crawlspace Is Necessary
Most people think that the crawl space under their home is needed for electrical and plumbing only. However, it offers other uses as well. For homes built in areas where the climate leaves the ground wet often, building off of the ground helps keep moisture out of the home. Because of the wetness of the ground in these areas, building a basement is not possible.
Crawl spaces are more affordable when you cannot construct a basement. Even though it is not a functional area of the home, it needs to be maintained for the overall maintenance of the home. Maintenance practices are done to keep the following issues at bay or to solve them quickly. Any issues found should be fixed fast and professionally.
Common Problems With Crawl Spaces Include:
1. Electrical Wiring Issues
2. Plumbing Issues
3. Pest Infestations
4. Moisture Issues
5. Mildew and Mold Growth
6. Ventilation Problems
Maintenance Tips For Your Crawl Space
1. Insulate The Space
The first tip is to insulate the crawl space. Proper insulation can help control the temperature in the crawl space and your entire home. It will help it stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Because the insulation is an important part of maintaining your crawl space, the type of insulation you use is important. It may be best to consult with a professional to have it installed correctly. If you do it yourself, be sure you do not block the vents to your home’s foundation. It could seal in an odorless and carcinogenic gas called radon. Radon can lead to health problems such as cancer.
2. Keep Rodents And Other Pests Out
Another important component for maintaining your crawl space is to ensure no pests or rodents get in and call it home. Most of this can be accomplished by keeping the area clean and free of moisture. Identify any potential entry points where rodents can get inside and block it off completely. Also, look for small seams and cracks where roaches and other bugs can crawl inside. Even deceptively tiny openings can be large enough for critters to make their way inside. Consider using a laminated type of water vapor barrier that will keep pests out while still allowing your crawl space to be ventilated.
As stated previously, maintaining your crawl space involves keeping it clean. If your space has exposed dirt floors, consider sealing them off with a moisture-reducing product like polyethylene. Dirt floors attract rodents and can lead to bug infestations. If moisture is already a problem in your crawl space, you may find mold beginning to grow. In this case, it is important to call in a professional to get it under control. When left untreated, mold can lead to unhealthy air quality that may harm your family.
4. Remove Excess Items and Debris
In addition to cleanliness, it is important to regularly remove any debris in your crawl space. When homeowners build or repair their homes, unused materials often end up being left in the crawlspace. This is often a case of out-of-sight and out-of-mind mentality. Unfortunately, leaving debris can become a haven for pests and make your crawl space more difficult to maintain and keep clean. A neat and clear crawl space is best and easier to maintain.
5. Vapor Barriers
An effective way to maintain your crawl space is to install a vapor barrier. This will help effectively keep moisture out of the area. For best results, they need to be sealed off properly and used together with other dehumidifying techniques.