Crawl spaces are built as an alternative to basements. They keep the house safe from floods and termites. But we often neglect its maintenance. Yes, crawl space, too, needs proper care. Lack of proper maintenance can lead to the collection of moisture, dampness, mildew, expensive power consumption, growth of mites, plumbing issues, etc. Know that regular maintenance will ensure you do not need any costly crawl space repair service. Here are some tips to help you take care of your home crawl space.
Easy crawl space maintenance ideas
1. Keep it dry:
The ground where your home is and the surrounding area contains a lot of moisture. Usually, the ground moisture gets evaporated, and there is no need to worry. But, if you live in a flood-prone area, then the ground is always wet, and the moisture seeps inside your house too. The trapped water would evaporate, but if it doesn’t find any outlet to go back to the atmosphere, it will again condense back to the water. This trapped water is the primary source for mold and fungi growth. Constant water accumulation can rot the wood and the moisture can damage your walls, flooring, and insulation.
A vapor barrier is an excellent idea to protect your crawl space. It is a simple large plastic sheet that covers the crawl space. While this is not a full-proof method to keep away moisture, it slows down the process. You can take it up as a DIY project to lay down a vapor barrier yourself but know that it can be a challenging task. If you’re willing to get wet and dirty, you can always do it yourself or ask a professional contractor.
As mentioned, a vapor barrier is not a full-proof method. If you still see moisture accumulation, a complete encapsulation might be helpful. This is an elaborate process, used for reducing moisture in your crawl space, improving indoor air quality, and also helps in reducing the energy bill. It works by completely sealing your home crawl space with heavy-duty polyethylene barrier and tape. In short you will need professional expertise of crawl space repair service to get this installed.
Pro tip: Do not install vapor barriers on your floor joists because in summer, when moisture condenses between the vapor barrier and floor joist, it can lead to wood rots and mold growth.
2. Keep away rodents and pests:
Rodents can easily creep in and can cause foundation damage. Watch out for cracks and crevices and seal them off. Even a tiny crack in the wall can invite rodents and roaches. Since most homeowners do not spend much time in the crawl space, it gets overlooked easily. And before you realize, your crawl space can become a breeding ground for pests. Apart from repairing the cracks, a pest control contractor can help keep your home crawl space pest-free.
Pro tip: Using of Carbon Fibre band is the best way to repair both horizontal and vertical cracks caused in the foundation walls due to hydrostatic pressure. The sealed cracks thus help to secure your crawl space from pest and other non-required elements.
3. Consider insulation:
Installing insulation is a good idea to keep the crawl space clean and dry. Fiberglass batts are the common material for the insulation of crawl space. To make it more useful and durable, consider using spray foam insulation along with fiberglass batts. This will secure the place from heat transfer and air movement. Just a thin layer of spray foam is enough to seal even tiny creeks and holes. When done right, proper insulation can keep the entire home warm in winter and cool in summer.
Pro tip: Although fiberglass insulation is common, consider heavy-duty polyethylene encapsulation for sealing your crawl space to reduce moisture issues. Encapsulation is the best investment in long run for all homeowners who have crawl space.
4. Keep the interior clean:
Keep the interior of your home crawl space clean. Dirt or standing water on the crawl floors can lead to bug infestation. So, ensure regular crawl space maintenance to keep away moisture and keep the area dry.
Pro tip: If you notice any stagnant water while cleaning the crawl space interior, install a perimeter drain at the earliest. A crawl space drain is the best and effective alternative since waterproofing is difficult to reach all areas of the crawl space. Our crawl space repair experts will install a 4” corrugated perforated pipe with a sock cover to carry the stagnant water to a sump pump and help to keep the area dry and clean.
5. Consider a dehumidifier:
Once you have completely sealed your crawl space, installing a dehumidifier can help circulate the air better and maintain a healthy humidity level in your crawl space. A dehumidifier with a thermostat works well because it auto regulates and does not waste energy.
Pro tip: If you live in a rain pro area, a high-efficiency dehumidifier keeps your crawl space dry and clean. It reduces the possibilities of mold growth, keeps the area dirt-free, and keeps the crawlspace well maintained.
Crawl space is meant to take care of the foundation of your home. But your crawl space needs care and maintenance too. While you can keep your home crawl space dirt free by regular cleaning, if you need repair or notice any specific crawl space issue, don’t hesitate to call Guardian Foundation Repair service the finest foundation contractors in Tennessee.