Crawlspace 101: Easy Maintenance and Care Tips

For many homeowners, their crawlspace is “out of sight, out of mind” unless using it for storage. But crawlspaces are an important part of the home, and it’s necessary to properly maintain them to prevent serious structural damage. 

Importance of a Clean Crawlspace

 

Failing to maintain the crawlspace can cause thousands of dollars in structural repair costs. A poorly insulated crawlspace allows moisture to accumulate underneath the home when there are drastic temperature changes, which we know all about here in North Carolina! This moisture can lead to mold growth and an influx of warm or cold air beneath the home, leading the heating and cooling systems to work overtime. Plus, anything toxic in the crawlspace, whether from mold, mildew, or pest feces, gets circulated through the home.

Crawlspace Maintenance

 

Keeping the crawlspace clean doesn’t have to involve tons of effort, but there are a few necessary steps that, if taken now, can prevent thousands of dollars in damage down the road. 

Inspection: The first place to start is a professional inspection, where a qualified technician can check for moisture, mildew, and mold. If moisture is detected, the perimeter drain or sump pump may need to be repaired or replaced. If a rodent or pest infestation is detected, an exterminator will need to eliminate that problem. Skipping the initial inspection can lead to wasted time, thousands of dollars in wasted money, and major problems in the future. 

Ventilation: Once moisture and pest problems have been eradicated, it’s time to check the space for sufficient airflow. Additionally, if any holes or gaps are found in the walls, around vents, or around the entryway, they will need to be sealed to prevent additional unwanted critters from entering. 

Vapor Barrier Installation: The vapor barrier is a thick plastic sheet that lines the walls and floor to prevent additional moisture from accumulating in the crawlspace. All moisture must be eliminated during the inspection, or this step is a waste of time and money! 

Insulation: After the vapor barrier is installed, the crawlspace is insulated with one of several materials, such as fiberglass batts or spray foam insulation. The insulation creates a tight seal to keep air and heat out, and it protects against moisture and mold growth. 

Dehumidifier: A mechanical device installed in the crawlspace that keeps humidity in acceptable ranges and includes a digital remote monitor that lets the customer monitor the humidity in the crawlspace. 

The crawlspace isn’t a part of the home that can be ignored until it’s needed for storage space; it’s part of the foundation of the home and needs to be properly maintained to avoid thousands of dollars of damage. To schedule a crawlspace inspection with a free estimate, contact Advanced Air Solutions at 910-791-7888.

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