If you’re like most homeowners, you’re not spending much time under your house inspecting the underside of your home. However, issues in your crawl space can impact your monthly utility bills, reduce your indoor air quality, and prevent your home from maintaining a cozy temperature.
There are many issues that can develop in your crawl space. Ideally, you should perform a visual inspection of your crawl space twice a year, and contact a professional if you find any issues. There are plenty of things you can keep an eye out for that can warn you when it’s time for a crawl space decontamination. Here’s what to watch for:
Moisture build up
If your crawl space stays wet, it won’t be long before you deal with mold spores and mildew contaminating your air. Moisture can also cause your wooden support beams to rot and destroy your insulation, which will make heating and cooling your home more expensive.
A vented crawl space is often more prone to moisture buildup than an unvented crawl space. Worse, if there is standing water, you may have to deal with heavy mosquito activity coming from the floors of your house. Hiring a professional for crawl space cleaning present mosquitoes from entering your home, as well as address issues causing moisture build up.
High humidity in your home
Having moist air in your home ican be another sign of standing water or moisture build up in your crawl space. Having humid air indoors comes with its own set of problems, as well. Humid air is more difficult to heat and cool because water resists temperature change. It can also trap more allergens and pollutants in the air, and causes your lungs to work harder to breath, which can be especially worrisome for people with asthma.
Rodents or other pest infestation
Your home can be a cozy space with plenty of food and shelter for all kinds of critters. If you see signs of rodent activity, such as feces, claw marks, and chewed wires, you need more than an exterminator to help. Rodents and insects carry disease that are left behind in feces and urine. When it’s disturbed, bacteria and viruses can be released into the air. As much as 50% of the air you breath in your home rises from your crawl space, so these areas should be professionally decontaminated to ensure your family stays safe.
Mold or mildew odor
While mold growth doesn’t always have a smell, much of it has a distinct musty odor. Mildew has a signature odor reminiscent of dirty socks or rotting wood. If there are persistent smells in certain areas of your house, you should have your crawl space and attic inspected. There may be leaks or standing water, and the longer these issues remain, the more damage they can do.
If you recently had a burst pipe, or there’s a water leak under your house, you should have your crawl space professionally inspected. Once your plumbing issue is resolved, an insulation specialist can help you insulate your crawl space to keep your pipes from freezing in the future, and help you save money on your energy bills.
Cold floors and uneven temperatures
If you notice drafts, cold floors, or uneven heating and cooling throughout your home, you likely need insulation and air sealing services. These can address air leaks and temperature loss through the floors, attic, and walls. Not only can these services keep your home more comfortable, but they can prevent moisture issues and infestations. A professional installation installer can determine where you need more insulation and the best kind for each area.
Dirty crawl space
Damaged insulation, rotting wood, decaying materials, and debris are signs that your crawl space needs professional attention. However, any dirt build up can damage your insulation, causing it to break down well before it’s meant to. If your crawl space is getting messy, it’s time to hire a professional.
Benefits of a crawl space cleanout
Clearing out your crawl space offers plenty of money saving benefits to your home, including:
- Improved indoor air quality – Crawl space cleaning can improve your indoor air quality by removing contaminants that can be spread through the air coming through your floor, as well as sealing the space and preventing outdoor air from infiltrating your conditioned space.
- Lower utility bills – Crawl space cleaning and insulation can help your HVAC system work more efficiently so you can enjoy a more comfortable home and save money on your energy bill
- Reduce mechanical problems in your HVAC system – the harder your air conditioner or heater has to work, the more likely you’ll run into issues with belts, blowers, and other moving parts in your system. Crawl space cleanup will help prevent short cycling and constant running that’s hard on your HVAC system.
- Extending the lifespan of insulation – Fiberglass insulation can last for decades with proper care, but water, rodents, and dirt can easily damage the insulation and break it down well before it’s expected lifetime.
- Pest protection – Attic construction specializes in protecting your home from infestations by rodents, and by air sealing your home we can prevent other pests such as termite colonies, carpenter ants, and roaches from finding an entry point.
While many confident DIYers are gungho about saving money on home projects, there are safety considerations for working in the crawl space Hiring a professional means you won’t risk exposing yourself to the many dangerous diseases associated with infestations, including Salmonella, Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis, and the Plague. Professionals are also qualified to handle damaged insulation, and they are used to working in tight spaces.
What to expect from crawl space cleanup
Attic Construction is the top rated attic insulation, attic cleaning, and rodent proofing company in the San Diego, Orange County, and Phoenix areas. We provide free, thorough inspections to check your home for air leaks, rodent issues, and insulation deficiencies. If we recommend a crawl space cleanup, here’s what you can expect:
- Clean up and Decontamination services – We start by removing any scraps and debris. Next, we will decontaminate the space to remove mold, mildew, bacteria, and other disease causing pathogens. This will also address any musty or dank odors that are making your home less pleasant to live in. We utilize safe, eco-friendly cleaners that are effective as well as pet and kid friendly
- Crawl space insulation – Our team can help you determine whether to remove old insulation or supplement it, and help air seal your home to keep it more comfortable through every season. We can also take care to ensure damaged insulation doesn’t affect your air quality while we remove it. We can also help you decide whether to encapsulate your crawl space or vent it, and air seal and insulate the space accordingly to prevent issues that are common with either approach.
- Moisture control – Once your insulation is installed, we’ll use a vapor barrier to protect it from water damage and prevent moisture buildup. A vapor barrier may be installed over your insulation on the subfloor as well as on dirt floors to prevent moisture from entering through the ground.
- Duct maintenance – Many homes have air ducts in the crawlspace that deliver conditioned air through the home. If they are damaged or clogged, it can significantly impact your energy use, as well as cause dirt and other contaminants to blow through the air in your home. We can repair or replace damaged ducts and provide them with additional insulation as needed.
- Pest proofing services – We can prevent termite and rodent infestation with proper sealing and insulation to protect your home from damage and your family from disease. In some cases, we may recommend a pest control service to remove an infestation from your home before we can address the damage they have done to your crawl space or attic.
Our team can also handle issues with wall and attic insulation, and rodent proof your attic to prevent an infestation from above. In addition to providing a more comfortable home, professional insulation and attic cleanout services can help protect your home from fire hazards and keep your HVAC system running more efficiently, which can save you money on energy bills and repairs.
The bottom line
Your home is meant to be a safe haven for you and your family, but without routine attic and crawlspace maintenance, the outside world can find its way inside your house. When you address these issues promptly, you can prevent thousands of dollars worth of damage and wasted energy to your home, and save yourself time waiting on repairs.
The team at Attic Construction relies on over a decade’s worth of experience to provide world class customer service and expert installation and decontamination services to customers in the San Diego, Orange County, and Phoenix areas. We are committed to prompt service, clear communication, and high quality work that comes with a one year warranty. To learn more about how we can help, or schedule your free consultation, contact us today.