Maintain Your Crawl Space to Protect Your Home
- Jan 27, 2021
What is a Crawl Space?A crawl space is a small area, ranging from one to three feet in height, between the bottom floor of your home and the ground. The crawl space provides extra room for your home’s electrical wiring, plumbing components, and HVAC equipment. The height of the crawl space is limited, and getting into the area must be done by crawling, either on your stomach or your hands and knees.
Crawl Space vs. BasementCrawl spaces are typically used in damp climates, where the water table is too high to construct a basement. Keeping the home off of the ground keeps it away from moisture. Crawl spaces are also sometimes used in construction when a basement is too costly, because installing a crawl space is cheaper than installing a basement. A basement is a popular type of foundation that can add space and functionality to a home. Basements are often used as storage space, living areas, or both. A basement combines elements of a slab and crawl space. Basements can be a great addition to a home, but they can’t be built in areas with high moisture levels or unsettled soil. They are also the most expensive type of foundation to build.
How to Maintain Your Crawl SpaceIf your home has a crawl space, take these steps to maintain it:
Encapsulate itThis is the key to moisture control. Insulate the crawl space – seal all leaks and holes to prevent air from getting into the house, design gutters so they will divert water away from the foundation, and design your landscaping so it will also direct water away from your house.
Clean it outDIY or hire someone to clean out your crawl space. Seal off dirt floors with a moisture retardant to keep bugs from living in them. Be sure to clean your crawl space regularly and air it out. If you notice signs of mold, call a professional restoration service to remove it completely. The mold will reduce the air quality home and cause health problems if not remediated. If the moisture and mold are because of stagnant water in your crawl space, dry it and have a perimeter drain installed right away.
Stop PestsInspect your crawl space for signs of rodents and seal off any possible points of entry, such as seams and cracks, but don’t forget about ventilation. You may want to try installing laminated water vapor barriers for proper ventilation.
Add InsulationMost crawl spaces use fiberglass batts, which become even more effective with spray foam insulation, which lightly seals your crawl space against air movement and heat transfer. Use spray foam to fill gaps in every nook and cranny. This should help keep the cold air in and warm air out during the summer and vice versa during the winter. Check air ducts for any leaks or holes and apply a mastic tape or use insulation duct wraps with an R-value rating as specified by the building codes in your area.
Use a dehumidifierOnce you’ve cleaned and properly insulated the crawl space, you can set up a commercial dehumidifier unit to help regulate the air. The dehumidifier will keep the air in the crawl space at a comfortable temperature. It will also help prevent mold from growing in the space. Look for a dehumidifier with a thermostat that can automatically turn on only at pre-set times.
Call Complete for Crawl Space ProblemsDamp crawl space? Standing water? Mold problems? We use state-of-the-art equipment and a team of IICRC Certified technicians to purge your property of water and moisture. Our skilled technicians have proven expertise in water damage removal and provide professional services 24/7, so if you discover water or mold issues, we should be your first phone call. We provide services that include:
- Dehumidification service
- Water extraction services
- Complete structural drying,
- Mold and environmental remediation
- Content Cleaning
- Drying and reprocessing
- Document salvage
- Electronics restoration
- Structural repairs
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