Maintaining your crawl space is key to keeping your home healthy. Crawl space maintenance is an often overlooked part of a healthy home, yet a dirty crawl space will not only affect the health of your home, but also your family. In experienced hands, creating a healthy crawl space can be simple. However, it can be hard to know what not to do with your crawl space. With this in mind, here are some tips on what to avoid doing if you want your crawl space to be effective and healthy.
5 Things To Never Do To Your Crawl Space
1. NEVER Neglect to Inspect Your Crawl Space
Inspecting your crawl space is the best way to catch potential problems before they occur and correct existing issues before they grow out of hand. If you’ve never been down in your crawl space, you won’t know what problems you may be facing. A neglected crawl space can quickly become a home for pests, rodents, damaging humidity and mold.
Regular inspections should be part of your home maintenance routine. If you don’t want to climb down into your home’s crawl space – it can be dirty, dusty and cramped in there – find someone to inspect your crawl space for you.
2. NEVER Ignore Warning Signs of Insulation Problems
Damaged, poorly installed or insufficient insulation is one of the top problems in crawl spaces. (attics, too, but that’s a different subject.) Symptoms of poor insulation include:
- Spiking electrical bills when the weather changes
- Cold floors
- Dampness and condensation on your walls and/or floors
- Inability to keep your home’s temperature stable, despite a working HVAC system
- Pest infestation
If your home is insufficiently insulated, your heating and cooling system will struggle to keep up – leading to high bills and poor temperature control. In damp climates like the Pacific Northwest, it can also lead to condensation and mildew on your walls during the winter. Wet insulation can release toxins into the air, leading to mold growth. Gaps and holes in insulation leave your crawl space vulnerable to pest infestations and further water damage.
If you notice any of these signs of insulation problems, don’t ignore them or delay – fix them right away!
3. NEVER Ignore Mold in Your Crawl Space
Mold can become a huge hazard, both to your health and to the safety of your home. Allergic reactions, damage to sheetrock and other structural elements, and more can all stem from mold growth. Musty smells, visible mold growth, dampness and condensation in your crawl space and other signs should be taken seriously.
Some forms of mold and mildew can be highly toxic – like black mold. If you have reason to believe that the forms of mold in your crawl space are toxic, don’t try to clean them yourself. Instead, let professionals come in and remove damaged insulation materials and clean the space out. This will also help ensure that your crawl space is better ventilated to prevent future problems!
4. NEVER Attempt to DIY Problems that Need Professional Help
This is something that every homeowner should know – crawl space or not! Yes, there are plenty of things that you can figure out for yourself. DIY tutorials, online videos, and homeowner blogs all provide you with tips and tricks on how to clean up, repair, and maintain your home. However, there are some things that really do need professional help – especially in situations where the problem could be harmful to you. Mold, pests, stinging insects, structural issues and other hazardous issues should be addressed by someone with the proper equipment and training.
5. NEVER Block Ventilation to Your Crawl Space
It seems almost counterintuitive, but your crawl space is in need of both insulation and ventilation. The two work together to ensure that the temperature of the space stays stable, that humidity can escape and pests are less likely to make your crawl space their home. Blocked ventilation can lead to a buildup of hot, humid air, creating a great place for pests and insects to make a nest. On the other hand, this air contributes to mold and mildew growth. Make sure that your crawl space is both well-insulated and well-ventilated.
A Healthy Crawl Space
We hope this article has helped you recognize some ways to make sure your crawl space stays healthy. If you have any questions regarding crawl spaces, or need help in getting your crawl space back in shape, contact us today and let us do the work you don’t want to!