Is there a bad odor you can’t find or are your power bills starting to rise? It could mean your crawl space needs some TLC.
You clean your house to maintain a healthy and safe environment. Your crawlspace needs attention like every other part of the home.
Crawl space cleaning can keep unwanted problems at bay and help make your home a safe environment.
A crawl space is an open area between the ground and the bottom of the house. The house sits on foundation walls and the crawl space is made of cinder blocks with a brick facing. The ground can be concrete flooring, gravel, or soil.
It contains the “guts” of the house. It’s where you’ll have access to the air conditioning and heater, insulation, ductwork, plumbing, and electrical wiring. You want to make sure your crawl space is in the best possible shape for these units and components to function properly.
Here are 5 reasons why keeping your crawl space clean is so important.
Your crawl space can become infested with rats, mice, termites and other wood-boring insects, cockroaches, wasps, and much more. These areas are dark, secluded, and quiet which makes them the ideal place for pests to call home.
Dampness will also invite unwanted visitors. This can happen from flooding or poor ventilation.
Vermin can destroy ductwork, insulation, damaged wooden substructures, and chew through electrical wiring. You may find droppings, piles of wings and molting, and nesting. If they’re in the crawl space, they can also eventually make their way into your home.
Mold is a potential health hazard. People with a sensitivity to mold or those who have allergies or respiratory problems can experience congestion, wheezing, red or itchy eyes and skin, and rashes.
The biggest indication of mold growth is a musty, damp smell. If you’re sensitive to mold, you may experience a reaction inside the home. The best thing to do is to regularly check your crawl space.
If you can see mold, there’s already extensive growth and needs to be cleaned.
Mold thrives in a damp, warm environment. Mold growth in your crawl space is usually caused by poor ventilation, plumbing leaks, and groundwater flooding. Condensation and moisture make the perfect breeding ground for mold and structural rot behind the insulation.
Making your crawl space as waterproof as possible is the best form of mold prevention.
Fixing structural damage to your home is expensive. Every precaution should be taken when it comes to the structural integrity of your home.
Moisture is the number one crawl space enemy and is the direct cause or a leading factor of crawl space problems. Moisture enters the crawl space from:
Rotting structural wood is a possibility due to excess moisture and it’s a costly problem to fix. It causes settling, leaning, and other structural failures. The floors above will start to sag because the weight is no longer being properly supported.
Termites are extremely destructive. American homeowners spend an estimated $5 billion a year on controlling termites and repairing the damage.
Damage caused by termites can happen quickly and they are more destructive than any other pest. They are difficult to find unless they are swarming or you’re trying to look for them.
Regular crawl space cleaning will aid the prevention of moisture from entering and making a great environment for these pests. You will also be able to detect a problem before it becomes disastrous.
Insulation helps keep your home energy-efficient and at a comfortable temperature. If you notice your power bill is rising and there’s nothing wrong with your heating or cooling system, your crawl space insulation may be sagging of has fallen.
Fallen insulation happens from holding moisture or rodent activity. Mice and rats look for nesting materials and fiberglass insulation is the perfect substance. Once they’ve made it home, it will fill with excrement.
Your crawl space should smell like soil and any other odor indicates a problem.
Mold, rodent droppings, dead animals, and stagnant water can have a noticeably unpleasant smell. These can all affect the air quality in your home and the health of anyone who is sensitive or has an allergy.
Health- Your health is the biggest benefit of a clean crawl space. A dirty crawl space can become a host to several allergens.
Structural Strength- Keeping this space clean will stop water and pests from wreaking havoc on your home’s structure.
Energy-Efficiency- Intact insulation and a clean HVAC unit and ductwork will keep your systems running efficiently and save you money.
Moisture Control- Regular cleaning will stop the buildup of extra moisture and the associated problems.
Keep Pests Out- Keeping moisture out and other debris will stop pests from entering your crawl space and making it their home.
Add your crawl space to your spring cleaning list. The extra rain that comes with spring can easily make its way into your home. Check for any leaks, dampness, and musty odors.
Right before winter or when the temperature starts to drop is also a good time to make sure critters didn’t decide to move in looking for extra warmth.
Take a look around your crawl space during these times (every 6 months) or if there’s been some bad weather.
For help cleaning your crawl space, read our guide on how to clean your crawl space or contact us for professional help!
Don’t neglect your crawl space. With regular crawl space cleaning, you can avoid problems that may cost you down the road.
If you need crawl space repair or have any questions, contact BAY Crawl Space & Foundation Repair!
Blake has specialized in crawl space & foundation repairs for over 10 years (since 2012). His prior engineering and business degrees from James Madison University in VA prepared him for a mastery of problem solving with crawl space & foundation repair issues. He is one of America’s top experts on crawl space encapsulation. As Founder of both ‘BAY Crawl Space & Foundation Repair’ as well as ‘GridLock Foundations’ he is a leading industry expert on crawl space foundation repairs.