A Complete Guide to Crawl Space Maintenance

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If there’s one part of older homes that’s often neglected it’s the crawl space area. Why? Because it comes down to the simple adage: ”out of sight, out of mind”. 

In fact, most areas of the home that you don’t see on a regular basis are prone to neglect. This includes your roof, attic, basement, guttering system, and obviously, the crawl space. Most modern homes today don’t feature a crawl space, but if you live in an older home, this is an area you don’t want to neglect. 

Here’s why crawl space maintenance should be on your radar and top tips to keep this area in good shape.

What’s the Point of a Crawl Space, Anyway?

Basically, it’s a small space that is only one-three feet in height that you’ll find between the ground and the underside of your home. As mentioned, crawl spaces are no longer popular or a feature of most modern homes today. 

But in older homes, these areas serve as a space for the plumbing, electrical wiring, and HVAC components of a home. In order to enter the area, you guessed it, you have to crawl on your hands and knees. 

But why enter your crawl space at all? First and foremost, it’s important to routinely check this area to ensure that everything is in working order. If you live near water or a marshy area, you should have this area of your home inspected more often. 

It’s no secret that a home with a crawl space takes a little more work and maintenance. So if you’re thinking about making an offer on a home with crawl space, you might want to keep this in mind. 

The Consequences of Crawl Space Negligence 

Without adequate maintenance of this part of your home, you can run into a plethora of issues you might not have the time, energy, or funds to face. 

Negligence of your crawl space could result in moisture buildup, heat loss from your home, the development of pest nets, and even damage to the foundation of your home. All of these issues have a knock-on effect resulting in high energy bills, toxin buildup inside your home, pests problems, and more. 

In short, the maintenance of your crawl space can have a lasting impact on the long-term health of both your family and your home. Some other annoying issues you could face include: 

  • Recurrent plumbing issues and leaks 
  • Electrical faults due to poorly maintained electrical wiring 
  • Mold buildup inside your home due to excess moisture in the crawl space 
  • Ventilation issues throughout your home

Remember that if you plan on selling your home down the line, crawl space inspection is part of this process. If any of these issues crop up, this could have a hugely negative effect on your selling price, and you could even fail your home inspection

Crawl Space Maintenance: What You Need to Know 

So, with all of the above in mind, what type of maintenance should you be doing on your crawl space? Here are a few helpful tips to keep this area in decent condition: 

1. Banish Moisture 

Moisture is the enemy of any homeowner, no matter where you live. It goes without saying that the ground below your home is packed with moisture that evaporates onto the underside of your flooring. 

If you fail to keep this area moisture-free, this could result in an overgrowth of mold and mildew in your crawl space and throughout your home. Over time, this can also lead to wood rot, floor warping, and even structural damage to your home. 

A good way to prevent dampness in your crawl space is to use sealant materials in your crawl space drainage system. This creates a waterproof environment for the drainage and prevents water from seeping into this area. 

You could also have your crawl space encapsulated. 

2. Make Cleanliness a Priority 

Yes, this space is prone to getting dirty over time because of its exposure to the elements. Regardless of this, you have to make an effort to keep this space as clean as possible. This is because a filthy crawl space can actually have an impact on your indoor air quality. 

It can also lead to pest and insect infestations, such as rats, mice, cockroaches, ants, and more. If you don’t have the time or energy to clean your crawl space on a regular basis, it’s worth calling a professional to get the job done for you. 

Keeping this area clean is also a good way to prevent moisture buildup and the growth of mold and mildew. 

3. Keep Pests at Bay 

Crawl spaces are a hot target for pests of all kinds, but mainly rats and mice. This is because the area is perfectly sheltered, warm, and protected — making it an ideal environment for these critters. 

Once you’ve waterproof and cleaned your crawl space, you want to make a point of blocking off all entry points in the space. Look for cracks and holes that rats and mice might squeeze through and patch them up. 

4. Insulation is Key 

Another top tip to keep this area in good condition and to prevent major heat loss from your home is insulation. With the right insulation, you can help to regulate the temperature of the crawl space, as well as your home. 

In essence, it prevents warm air from escaping your home in the winter, and excess amounts of warm air from entering your home in summer. All in all, this is one of the best ways to control your home’s energy consumption. 

Protect Your Crawl Space With Armored Basement Waterproofing

One of the key aspects of crawl space maintenance you can rely on is total encapsulation of this space. But what does encapsulation entail? 

It includes the addition of a heavy-duty liner that adds full waterproofing to your crawl space. This is one of the best solutions to keeping the area moisture-free, clean, and protected from the elements. 

Want to learn more about our encapsulation services? Click here for more.