Back in 2018, the average repair cost for American households was roughly $2920. Pretty steep, which emphasizes how vital household maintenance is. That being said, there are only a few places in your house that are more neglected than your crawl space. One of the main reasons for this is because the crawl space is not somewhere you go to regularly, out of sight, out of mind, as the old saying goes.
That said, correctly maintaining your crawl space is essential. This is because this area in your house is the most susceptible to moisture, pests, and insects, among other problems. If neglected, this can cause significant structural damages to your house, not to mention sanitation problems which might also cause health problems in your household.
What is a Crawlspace?
A crawlspace is a space underneath your house that is between your bottom floor and the ground itself. Typically, this space is built with one to three feet in mind to have some space for plumbing components, wiring, and even HVAC equipment. Unfortunately, this area in your home is limited and is only accessible through crawling, hence the name.
Because this part of your house is outside of your house, it’s often neglected, which is why it’s prone to damages and poor drainage. This is even more dangerous when you have essential components in it. Also, because it’s under the house, it’s prone to moisture. Constant exposure to moisture can cause it to sustain structural damages.
Common Crawl Space Problems
Proper crawl space maintenance starts with knowing the common problems it has. This is a shortlist of its common problems:
- Ventilation issues
- Electrical wiring issues
- Plumbing problems
- Pests such as rats, bugs, termites
- Mildew and mold
Professionals recommend that even before you have these problems, it’s better to maintain your crawlspace to prevent these problems from occurring. This is especially true if you’re planning to sell your house in the future. If any of these problems come to light when the house is inspected, you might have problems reselling the house.
That said, here are some tips on how to properly clean and maintain your crawlspace.
Keep Moisture Out
Regardless of where you live or where your house is located, there will always be moisture in the ground below your house or around it. Ideally, this moisture should evaporate into the atmosphere. But because it’s under the house, the moisture will have a hard time evaporating.
When that happens, moisture will be absorbed by the wood above your crawl space. This is an ideal habitat for mold and mildew, which can cause more significant problems to the house and the people living in it.
So how do you keep it dry?
One thing you can do is to install water gutters around your crawlspace. This will effectively direct water away from your foundation. You can consider landscaping that area in the parts where a gutter is impossible to install, so the water naturally drains away from the foundation. If it’s too late and your foundation has been damaged, you can contact a professional that deals with different types of foundation repair services.
Check for Signs of an Infestation
If you see creatures having an infestation in your crawlspace, that is a problem you should not ignore. When you confirm an infestation, make sure to kill the nest, having to put combat baits and gels since they effectively get into the source of the infestation even if you don’t physically see it.
The pests will eat combat baits and gels and take them back to their nest for consumption. Insecticides are fine too, but they only contact killers, which means they only kill the pests you spray them with, which is not too effective in killing the source of the infestation.
Keep Your Crawl Space Clean
It’s practically impossible to overemphasize the importance of keeping your crawl space clean. This is because a dirty crawlspace will affect the quality of ventilation in your household, and not to mention that it can invite pests such as rodents and insects. Because the place itself is dark and damp, it’s quite a struggle to clean your crawlspace. That said, with a bit of patience and hard work, it will all be worth it.
With that in mind, make sure you have the right equipment and protective gear. The chances are that there’s already mold in your crawlspace, so be sure to wear a full-face negative pressure respirator, a Tyvek suit, headlight, and a fan. Or you could just hire a professional to do the job for you. Also Read – Five reasons why you need HVAC cleaning services
Your crawlspace, even if it’s out of your house, should always be maintained appropriately, primarily since it houses many vital components of your house, such as wiring, plumbing, etc. That said, the tips above are some of the best things you can do to keep your crawl space clean and maintained. By doing these tips, you’ll minimize the problems that will occur in the future.