The crawl space is an easy place to ignore, however it is an important area to check and maintain. Crawl space issues can develop over a long period of time or in an instant, both leading to costly repairs. Team Newman has a few suggestions on what to look for and prevent major issues.
Be Wary of Elevated Moisture in a Crawl Space – Standing water and high humidity can create lasting damage in a crawl space. Humidity levels over 60 percent can allow for microbial growth and rot structural materials. A damaged or missing vapor barrier can allow for elevated levels of moisture in a crawl space because of ground water penetration. There is a wide range of possible solutions for elevated moisture in a crawl space. It can be as simple as installing a vapor barrier or managing air exchanges. It can also be as complicated as installing a system of sump pumps to control rising ground water.
Winter Water Intrusions Need To Be Monitored – Snowmelt and ground saturation can be an issue for a crawl space. Imperfections in a foundation allow for water to enter a crawl space. As foundations shift, settle and deteriorate, waterproofing and structural measures are often required to prevent water instructions. Cracks can develop in the foundation and become an easy water penetration point. Foundation cracks should be sealed to prevent water from settling in a crawlspace.
Check Crawl Space For Damaged Vapor Barrier or Missing Insulation – Damaged or missing vapor barriers lead to eventual moisture issues. It is also important to inspect a crawl space for missing insulation. A lack of insulation leads to issues with frozen pipes and makes heating a home less efficient. If there is an issue with keeping a crawl space warm, investing in pipe wrap is a good start to preventing frozen pipes.
Rodents Are Another Potential Hazard – Rodents can take shelter in a crawl space during the winter. It is common to find them living in the insulation. Rodent feces can create an unhealthy environment in the crawl space. If they are detected in the crawlspace, it is important to contact an exterminator before the problem gets worse. Areas that have been contaminated by rodents need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.