A crawlspace is an area between the ground and first floor of a home. Typically, it’s a hollow area usually not higher than 3’ or just enough space to crawl through.
Crawlspaces should insulated and can be used to store mechanicals of your home like plumbing, electrical, HVAC ducts.
Disadvantages of a Crawl Space
While a crawlspace provides support and acts as a buffer between your home and the ground, there are distinct disadvantages especially if not maintained regularly.
Crawlspaces are not counted as livable space and not suitable for storage. Because of its small size and exposure to outdoor elements, a crawlspace is not the place to store anything that you don’t want exposed to the elements.
Water and moisture problems: Excessive moisture and standing water are serious problems in a crawlspace. If not cleaned and dried, the mechanicals of your home can incur damage, and energy bills will rise due to HVAC and electrical not working efficiently.
Excessive moisture causes musty odors which will infiltrate your home. If you notice a foul sewer smell in your home, it may be due to water or sewer damage coming from the crawlspace.
Mold: Where there is excessive moisture and water, there is mold. Once mold begins to grow in the crawlspace, mold spores become airborne and travel into your home. This puts your family at risk for allergies, asthma attacks and other respiratory issues.
Pest infestations: Crawlspaces make excellent homes for all kinds of pests and rodents.
The dark, damp area complete with insulation gives mice, rats and other unwelcome rodents an invitation to live there.
Where rodents live: there is excrement. This smell will seep into your home, and it’s not just unpleasant, but potentially dangerous to inhale.
How to Clean Your Crawl Space
If unable to fit in the crawlspace or are unsure of how to clean it properly, call a local professional to manage the cleanup for you.
Certified Restoration Specialists will remove wet/moldy items stored in the crawlspace, clean/dry any water or sewer damage and replace moisture and/or vapor barriers. The entire area will be sanitized.
Any damaged insulation is replaced, after a thorough vacuuming. All pest/rodent droppings are removed, and a pest control company may be brought in. Plumbing, electrical or HVAC referrals may also be necessary to repair/replace any damage in those areas.
Other issues are addressed based on the condition and assessment of the crawlspace.
Benefits of a Clean Crawl Space
Once your crawlspace has been cleaned, restored and sanitized, you’ll notice the benefits right away.
Safety of House Structure: After cleanup, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing there are no pests or water/sewer issues causing damage to the structure of your home.
Improved Energy Efficiency: New insulation and vapor/moisture barriers ensure your mechanicals are safe and running at maximum capacity.
Dry Conditions: A dry crawlspace prevents odor and mold from affecting the air quality inside your home.
Pest Control: A clean, dry crawlspace discourages pests and rodents from living under your home. This prevents bacteria from pest excrement, odor and rodent damage to insulation and mechanicals.
Improved Health: By far the most important benefit, a clean crawlspace prohibits mold spores, bacteria and airborne allergens from negatively affecting your health.
To reap the benefits of a clean crawlspace, contact the certified professionals at RCS. We will work with you during the cleanup process and show you how to prevent future problems. RCS proudly serves the Santa Rosa, Sonoma County and surrounding North Bay areas.