Give Your Home Some Support with Proper Crawl Space Maintenance
Crawl spaces are notorious for their dark and claustrophobic conditions. While these areas may not be your favorite spot in your home, they are vital to your home’s integrity. Crawl spaces allow homeowners and professionals to maintain your foundation and fix any plumbing or electrical issues that may arise. It’s important that these areas be inspected every six months so that they can serve you in the best way possible. What problems can happen? Since crawlspaces are under your home, they are often neglected by homeowners. If left unattended, your crawlspace can have some major issues, such as -Flooding and Standing Water -Rotting or Broken Foundation -Infestation of Pests or other Animals -Mold Growth What can you do to keep your crawl space in tip-top shape? The number one problem for nearly all crawl spaces is moisture. A wet crawl space can lead to multiple issues that can compromise your home. You can prevent moisture from occurring in your crawl space in a few different ways. Cover the Ground. This can be done by simply placing a waterproof covering on the ground underneath of your crawl space. You can purchase a cover that is specially made for this area, but any waterproof, plastic cover will do. Be sure to place bricks, dirt, or other weight on the covering to keep it secure. Insulate. Insulation is also important to your crawl space. Not only will it prevent moisture from coming in contact with your foundation and subfloor, but it will also help to insulate your home -- saving you money on your heating and cooling bill. It is important to note that adding insulation to your crawlspace should be done during dry weather so that moisture does not become locked in against your home. Take a sniff. If you believe that moisture has been present in your crawl space, the best thing to do is to smell the area. A musty smell is a clear indicator that mold has grown. Be sure to remove all mold with a mixture of water and bleach -- 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water. This will help to prevent mold from returning. Inspect Your Subfloor. If moisture has been an issue in your crawl space, then rotting wood may have occurred. Sagging floors are an indicator that moisture has caused serious damage and repairs will need to be made immediately. Encapsulate Your Crawl Space. Encapsulating or waterproofing your crawl space is a sure fire way to make sure that this area will remain in the best condition possible. This process includes insulation, the installation of a sump pump, and much more. Be sure to find a professional, reliable and honest contractor when planning this project. If done improperly, your crawl space will be left in more danger than before. Besides moisture, there are a few other steps you can take to ensure that your crawl space is properly maintained. Remove All Debris. Since this area is underneath your home, it is common for debris to accumulate. This mess can become the perfect place for insects, mice, and other pests to make their home during the winter. By removing all debris, you can significantly lessen the possibility of infestation. Consider Redesigning Your Landscaping. Changing your landscaping is an easy way to promote the good condition of your crawl space. As stated before, the main problem in crawl spaces in moisture. This moisture is caused by groundwater. By adding trees and other plants around the exterior of your home, you are helping prevent groundwater from affecting your crawl space. Crawl spaces are one of the most important parts of any home. Although often forgotten about, they are vital to your home’s structural integrity. Without proper maintenance, many problems can occur that can put your home and your family in danger. Now that you know the possible issues and how to take care of them, we know that you will have what it takes to make sure your crawl space is outstanding. For more information on waterproofing your crawl space, visit the Ameri-Dry Waterproofing website here (http://www.ameri-dry.com/crawlspace_waterproofing). With over 30 years of basement waterproofing experience, Ameri-Dry offers patented, permanently dry systems that are backed by a full lifetime warranty. For more information about Ameri-Dry and Ameri-Dry Guy, visit (www.keepamericadry.com), follow Ameri-Dry on Facebook or Twitter.