If you have a crawl space, then there is a high likelihood that the ground under you is an unhealthy space. The unhealthy area comes from soil gases, mold, mildew, and dry rot. Even more, many pests can make the underneath of your house a home. Most of the time, you might not give this structural feature much, thought, but it should be a priority during home maintenance checks and even budgeting.
Unlike slab foundations, crawl spaces leave a lot more leeway for construction projects such as wiring, plumbing, and ductwork. Another benefit of this feature is that you can use it to store unused or rarely used items. Think again if, for any reason, you believe that the destruction of this area would not have any health and financial consequences. Here are some tips on how to maintain, when to maintain, and the benefits of maintaining a crawl space.
The When of Crawl Space Maintenance
Routine inspection of a crawl space will help any homeowner maintain a safe home environment. It is imperative to notice when moisture builds up in the area to identify leaks or any other problems. The inspections will help save a fortune in repairs.
The signs that your crawl space needs maintenance
- Standing water
- Musty odor
- Mold and mildew growth
- Insect or rodent infestation
- Rusty pipes or ductwork
- Rotting wood
- White deposits on the crawl space walls
- Peeling paint on your home's exterior
- Air quality problems throughout the house
The How of Crawl Space Maintenance
When you notice the above signs, the best thing to do is to invest in an excellent waterproofing method for the area underneath your house. Crawl space encapsulation can be done in two ways;
It is a rather intensive method that is mostly used during the initial stages of construction. Exterior waterproofing involves installing a moisture barrier around the foundation walls to keep water out. A drainage system is also often installed to help reduce hydrostatic pressure on the walls, causing cracks to form over time.
First, it involves installing a vapor barrier on the dirt floor, partway or up the walls, and sometimes even the ceiling. This method is less expensive and destructive as its exterior counterpart. It can be used with other techniques to remove residual moisture.
Benefits of Crawl Space Waterproofing
There are several benefits to waterproof your crawl space as a homeowner.
1. Control the Temperature
How hot or cold your house is, is highly influenced by the crawl space. Without taking care of this structural feature, you may have your air conditioner run for longer, increase your chances of catching diseases such as the flu, and spend more on heating charges. A waterproofed crawl space is cold and dry. Hence, it has less influence on the comfort of your home.
2. Improve Indoor Air Quality
An estimated 50% of the air in the crawl space circulates in the living area. As a result, when your crawl space is moldy, humid, and foul-smelling, your indoor air quality is profoundly impaired. Overexposure to musty air can cause respiratory distress and even a flare-up of allergic reactions. Protect your family by adequately maintaining your crawl space.
3. Preserves the Structural Integrity of a House
Excess moisture can rot wood, rust metal, and damage drywall. To add to that, it can lead to termite invasion, which can eat their way into your home's structure. If left unattended this can lead to bank emptying repair bills. Put in a vapor barrier to keep your home moisture-free, your structure stable, and your bank full.
4. Maintain Your Home's Value & Insurability
All homeowners would like their property to increase in value over time. Everyone wants increased equity in the assets they hold. However, all the problems associated with poor maintenance of one's crawl space — mold, rotting wood, pests, and mold — significantly reduce the value of a house.
Homeowners, it is time to take home maintenance as seriously as your health, because in a way it is. Get under your houses men and women of courage and ensure your homes are secure. Call for encapsulation and waterproofing services in the Indianapolis area whenever you sense a problem. Get a free estimate of associated costs today.