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The Importance of Maintaining Your Crawl Space

If you are a homeowner, you know that maintenance is necessary to keep everything in good working order. If you neglect those little jobs around the house, you will likely have problems.

Inspect Your Crawlspace

The crawlspace in your home is probably not something that you think about often, but it requires maintenance as well. The crawlspace houses much of your home’s plumbing and HVAC equipment and wiring. It is typically one to three feet high which is why it got the name “crawlspace.”

Most of the air that you breathe in your home has already circulated through the crawlspace, which is why it is important to keep your crawlspace free of mold and other contaminants.

Inspecting your crawlspace can tell you a lot about the health of your home. When you inspect your crawlspace, you are looking for leaks from pipes, evidence of pests, and cracks or gaps in the foundation. Standing water and warped materials are also red flags.

Insulation

If your crawlspace is not insulated, you will likely find that your utility bills are very high, and your home just doesn’t seem to stay warm. You may also notice that your floors are cold. An examination of your crawl space will tell you whether or not it is properly insulated, but high energy bills are a good indication that it isn’t. If you get cold winters where you live, you should insulate the walls, but you can probably get away with insulating between the floor joists if you live in a warmer climate.

Moisture

If there is a lot of moisture in your crawlspace, you will likely find mildew and mold, and you may notice that the wood is rotten. If you catch it quick enough, you can prevent moisture from getting into the insulation, walls, and flooring.

If your crawl space has a substantial amount of moisture, you can protect your home by installing a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is as simple as placing a plastic sheet over the ground but will significantly reduce the moisture in your crawlspace.

You can also use a dehumidifier to absorb a lot of the moisture in the air and collect it on a reserve tank. You will need to empty it regularly, but it’s a good excuse to do a quick check on your crawlspace.

Encapsulation is another method you can try and is ideal for very high moisture levels. You are basically covering everything in plastic and sealing tape, including the ceiling and walls. It may also involve a drain tile, concrete, sump pit and pump, and insulation.

Pest Control

A crawlspace can become a haven for all kinds of pests, including mice, rats, termites, ants, and spiders, to name just a few. These pests can eventually make their way into the rest of your home, where they will cause further problems. Once rodents and bugs have moved in, they can be hard to get rid of so it is important to inspect your crawlspace regularly. That way, you will spot potential problems and deal with them before you end up with another problem, such as a pest infestation.

Pests usually gain access into your home through cracks in your foundation. So inspect it regularly and seal up any cracks as soon as you find them.

To get rid of pests, you can place traps and use pest control products, or for bigger infestations, you may want to call the exterminator.

To save a lot of time and money, check on your crawlspace regularly and stop potential problems in their tracks.

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