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Tag Archives: Crawl Space

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Crawlspace Cleaning this Spring

Now that the weather is heating up, it’s time for inspection and spring cleaning of your crawlspace.

Read on to understand why it’s important to keep the crawlspace clean, and spring-cleaning maintenance tips for you to check off.

Maintaining Structural Integrity

Maintaining structural integrity of your home is critical. Keeping structural components like support beams located in the crawlspace dry, free from mold and damage from the elements keeps your foundation strong.

Protection of Utility Lines, Connections and Hook Ups

Much of the access to real-time lifelines of your home are located in the crawl space.

It’s time to check on the plumbing, gas hook ups, electrical and HVAC ducts or ventilation systems.

If mold is growing in the crawlspace, it can negatively affect the overall air quality in your home. This can spell disaster for anyone suffering from breathing or lung issues.

Common Crawlspace Problems

With extra rain and springtime humidity, conditions are perfect for fungus and mold to take root, grow and spread quickly.

After months have gone by without checking the crawlspace, trash and yard debris blow into and accumulate there. It’s important to remove all the trash because it can interfere with the function of mechanicals stored below.

Trash and debris also appeals to pests and rodents looking for nesting materials.

Speaking of rodents and pests, they like to live in crawlspaces to protect themselves from predators and provide extra shelter from the elements.

It’s important to remove nests and dry up wet standing water where insects can breed and reproduce.

Spring Crawlspace Checklist

Trash and Debris Removal. To include loose trash, broken pipes, disturbed or loose insulation, dead animals, and nests.

Cleaning. Removal and cleaning of mold and fungus growing on support beams, HVAC ducts and from any other visible location.

Drying. Using a wet dry vac or fan, vacuum up or air-dry standing pools of water.

Ventilation. Check to make sure crawlspace is getting enough ventilation for proper airflow which keeps the space dry and protects mechanicals and insulation from mold.

Repairs. Check for and repair leaking pipes, cracks, and holes.

Replace. Replace missing or damaged insulation.

This is also an opportunity to replace a missing or damaged vapor barrier, which helps prevent damage from moisture and humidity.

Professional Crawlspace Services

While an inspection and DIY cleaning may be enough for you to handle yourself this spring, there may be too much damage or required repairs that a professional can better handle.

Crawlspaces are typically small and difficult to navigate. If you suffer from health or physical limitations, it may be extremely challenging for you to address everything needed to keep your space clean and well maintained.

A professional crawlspace cleaning service has special equipment to find sewer/water leaks, measure moisture levels, clean pest, and rodent urine/droppings, completely dry/ventilate the area and address vapor barrier and dampness concerns.

Conclusion

This spring, make it a point to clean and restore your crawlspace for improved efficiency of your mechanicals and for top level HVAC air quality with mold-free, clean air circulation.

In Sonoma County, schedule an inspection with the crawlspace cleaning experts at RCS. After our thorough inspection and clean out, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from a safe and clean crawlspace and home all season long.

clean and tidy crawl space

3 Ways to Prep Your Crawl Space for Fall

As summer comes to a close, it’s vital that you prepare your crawl space for the fall. Below you’ll learn more about frequent fall crawl space issues and few ways you can prevent them.

Common Crawl Space Problems During the Fall

One regular issue during this season is mold. Because crawl spaces are enclosed, they can collect mold spores easily. With the humidity inside crawl spaces, these particles can quickly spread and encourage mildew. Over time, it could get sent up into your home which can contaminate the air and lead to respiratory issues.

Another problem is pests. As outdoor food sources start to slow down, some pests might investigate your crawl space in search of some. This can be especially problematic if you keep trash cans and edible debris in it. Not only can this invite diseases into your crawl space, but it could lead to structural damage if they start chewing on or burrowing into the walls.

3 Tips for Prepping Your Crawl Space for Fall

Add a Vapor Barrier: You might want to add a vapor barrier to your crawl space. This sheet creates a thin yet powerful layer around the walls and floors preventing moisture and pests from sneaking into it.

Check for Cracks: Another critical thing to do is inspect the crawl space for cracks. These might seem like a minor issue, but even the smallest one can invite water and moisture into the section. Because there isn’t a place for it to go, the water and moisture will linger inside. This could lead to structural damage and mold growth.

Because of this, do a thorough inspection of the crawl space, especially around the edges. If you notice anything in the walls, flooring, vents, or doors make sure to seal them immediately.

Add a Ventilation System: It’s important that your crawl space has adequate ventilation. This ensures that the space doesn’t collect moisture. It also prevents contaminated air from traveling into your home’s ductwork. While you can have a major ventilation system installed, you could also plug in an air purifier. This can remove allergens and other debris from the air. It will also keep moisture out.

Getting your crawl space ready for fall is vital if you want to keep it in good condition. By keeping this information in mind, you can ensure it is. If you have questions about it or would like a professional to inspect the space, contact RCS in Sonoma County. We’ll be happy to answer any concerns you have and get your crawl space ready for the season.

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How Summer Affects Your Crawl Space

As summer continues to linger, it can cause many issues for your crawl space. While this might not seem like a big deal, if your crawl space is having problems, it will eventually affect your home and health. Below is a bit more about how this season can wreak havoc on this area and a few things you can do to protect it.

Common Summer Crawl Space Concerns

Summer’s heat and humidity can result in moisture. This can make the crawl space very damp which can cause its temperature to fluctuate and encourage mold growth.

If not fixed, these issues can soon create even more concerns. These range from structural damage to poor home air quality.

3 Ways to Protect It

If you want to make sure these issues don’t happen, there are a few steps you can take.

Ensure There’s Proper Ventilation: The key to stopping summer crawl space problems is to make sure there’s good ventilation. One easy option is to blow a fan in it. This can keep it cool while drying out moisture.

Besides this, check that its vents are open. While they should be closed during the winter, during the summer they’ll keep air circulation flowing. This can significantly cut back on condensation.

Verify It’s Sealed: Another critical aspect to check is if the crawl space is sealed. If not, it could cause rain and other liquids to seep into it. If you’re not sure, look at the walls. Does a plastic sheet cover them? Do you notice thick caulking? If not, the space probably isn’t. You’ll want to seal it yourself or have a professional do so for you.

Install a Dehumidifier: A dehumidifier absorbs moisture by sucking it out of the air and then pushing it through its coils. After reaching the coils, the gadget will remove the condensation and then release the remaining air.

This makes it a critical tool to utilize in crawl spaces during the summer. You can plug one in and place it in the middle of the space for a few hours. You’ll want to check on it often and empty its bin so it works well.

Ideally, choose a dehumidifier designed specifically for crawl spaces. These tend to be more compact and powerful than ones built for regular indoor usage.

Summer can be a crawl space’s biggest nemesis. But, with these tips, you can work to fully protect your home.

If you’re worried the season might have already caused some crawl space problems, contact RCS in Sonoma County. Our team will be happy to inspect the area and get to work fixing any issues that might be of concern.

home winter fog

3 Tips to Keep Your Crawl Space Maintained During the Winter

A crawl space is an important part of the home that often goes unnoticed. While it’s located beneath you, it plays an important role in your living space’s air quality and how warm it stays during the winter.

It’s crucial that homeowners maintain this area during the winter for quite a few reasons. Below you’ll discover why it’s so vital and a handful of ways you can do so.

Why Should I Maintain My Crawl Space During the Winter?

Maintaining your crawl space during the winter is important because it will ensure cold temperatures don’t sneak into your home. It will also prevent freezing pipes and discourage pests from living in the space to stay warm.

3 Ways to Keep Your Crawl Space Maintained During This Season

Close Vents: One of the best ways to keep your crawl space maintained during the winter is to close its vents. The vents contain small openings that encourage air flow during the summer. However, if they stay open during the winter, it will only allow cold air to sneak in. Because of this, you’ll find your home might have chilly temperatures or that your pipes easily freeze.

To prevent this, always make sure to close your vents before the first frost. You might also want to seal them with caulking or cover them with a piece of plywood.

Check the Moisture Barrier: A moisture barrier is a thick layer that protects your crawl space from toxins, pests, and cold air. If you have one, it’s important to do periodic checks of it throughout the winter to ensure it’s holding up. If you notice tears in it or that it’s falling off of the wall, quickly fix it.

Apply Insulation: If you notice that your floors are cold or your home’s air seems to be a little chillier than normal, it could be due to your crawl space. The air circulating within it will eventually rise into your home. If the crawl space isn’t insulated, this cold air will make your home seem very frigid despite you having the heat on.

While you should ideally have insulation installed before this season, it’s never too late to add it. You can apply thick insulation around the walls to prevent cold air from blowing through your home. You could also contact a professional to assist with this process.

Maintaining your crawl space during the winter is important if you want to avoid fluctuating temperatures and frozen pipes. Around Santa Rosa RCS can assist with it by sending a team out to do inspections. We can also install insulation, moisture barriers, or clean up debris left behind by pests.

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Common Issues that Plague Crawl Spaces

A crawl space is an empty area beneath your home that is designed to encourage better air circulation in your living space. While they aren’t often used, they still need to be maintained, especially to protect them from frequent problems.

5 Common Issues in Crawl Spaces

  1. Poor Drainage: Most crawl spaces feature a drain running around its perimeter to prevent standing water. However, if this drain is blocked it can result in water back-ups, the development of mold, and foundation issues. Sometimes it can also lead to pipe cracks because water will saturate the ground and cause the surrounding pipes to expand.
  2. Excessive Moisture: Moisture is a very common problem in crawl spaces because of their dark, humid atmosphere. If your crawl space has a dirt floor, moisture from the ground will rise up and get trapped in it. Excessive moisture can also invite mold to grow which can sneak into your home’s air.
  3. Bad Insulation: Insulation in crawl space is designed to seal your home from fluctuating temperatures and improve its air quality. However, if this insulation isn’t installed properly or monitored, it can start to fall apart. Because it often contains wool or fiberglass, the insulation can be a haven for mold spores.
  4. Pests: One of the biggest issues that crawl spaces deal with is pests. Rodents, termites, ants, cockroaches, and a variety of other insects will often make their home in it thanks to its desirable environment. Besides being a nuisance, pests can also cause foundational damage because they’ll build their homes beneath it or chew away at the foundation.
  5. Foundational Cracks: Crawl spaces also tend to have foundational cracks, especially if they are packed with dirt, moisture, and uncontrolled hot or cold temperatures. Vertical cracks are somewhat common and tend to be due to water damage. However, horizontal cracks can be very dangerous as they are a sign of intense soil pressure or a wearing down of foundational anchors. Fixing foundational cracks can sometimes be done by applying a mixture of epoxy ports and concrete. This will help to fill in the cracks while providing extra stability. However, to ensure that there isn’t a dangerous underlying condition, it might be best to have a professional take a look at them.

Crawl spaces can suffer from a variety of different issues if they aren’t maintained. RCS can help prevent these common problems by doing intricate crawl space inspections while cleaning them up. Call today for more information.

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Managing Crawl Space Humidity

It can get toasty and humid at times in California. Historically the state’s residents have had issues with crawl space humidity when the there isn’t enough ventilation. Unfortunately, residents are often overwhelmed with excess moisture throughout their crawl space, leading to mold, mildew, rusting metals, and rotting wood, as well as an increase in unhealthy allergens and odors, which can creep up into the home via air circulation.

These issues are not only harmful to your home and will cause you a headache if you’re in the process of selling. Mold and mildew love wood. If those support beams or floorboards begin to rot, the consequences could be disastrous. The issues caused by high humidity can also be damaging to your health, especially if you already suffer from allergies, asthma, or lung problems.

Thankfully, humidity is fairly simple to control. Below are a few simple and cost-effective ways (some may not be cheap up front, but purchasing these now will save you much more money in the long run).

Crawl Space Vents and Fans: Fans can do a lot to help out the humidity problem in your crawl space. These help to move air from your upstairs living space into your sealed crawl space. Vents move air from the outside into your crawl space; this may or may not be appropriate depending on the weather and temperature in your area. Keep in mind that crawl space vents and fan sometimes do not do enough if there is excessive moisture and vents can also be an access point for pests and insects. You may need to use a dehumidifier as well or in place of a vent or fan.

Crawl Space Dehumidifiers: There are several different dehumidifiers to choose from, mostly depending on the size of your crawl space. Do not buy too big for your needs. Bulky dehumidifiers can run your energy bill up high; if you are concerned, check out energy efficient systems. Even if you have waterproofed your crawl space, it is still recommended to invest in a dehumidifier.

Crawl Space Vapor Barrier: By choosing this option, you will need to seal up any doors or vents until they are airtight. If your crawl space is damp, it will be necessary to dry it out (there are options for this and a professional can assist you). Encapsulating the crawl space would be the next step, and once that is finished, placing a dehumidifier down there to get rid of any excess moisture is key.

Sometimes getting rid of the moisture and humidity can be done by trial and error. If starting out with a vent and/or fan doesn’t do the trick, then you know that you need to look at investing in a vapor barrier and dehumidifier. Neglected moisture underneath can end up having disastrous consequences for your home and your health and well-being.

If you do decide that you’d like to encapsulate your crawl space and need some advice going forward with it, give Restoration Certified Specialists, Inc. a call in Santa Rosa, CA. RCS prides themselves in excellent customer service and in being experts in water and mold restoration and also specialize in creating moisture and vapor barrier for crawl spaces. They treat each project with the utmost importance and care.