Crawl spaces are an extremely important—but often overlooked—part of your home. (Out of sight, out of mind, right?) The benefits of keeping your crawl space and attic clean and well-maintained go beyond what many people realize; they are an integral component of your family’s safety, comfort, and overall ease of living!
A properly kept sub-crawl area will promote good air flow and circulation, allow easy access for electrical wiring, plumbing and duct work, protect the underside of your home from excessive levels of moisture, reduce energy costs, and prevent rodent and other pest infestations.
Proper Air Circulation
Good air flow in the sub-crawl space is achieved simply by making sure you have an adequate amount of crawl space vents, and making sure they aren’t clogged with leaves and debris from the outside or by other clutter from the inside.
We see many homeowners cover their vents in the winter time to keep pipes from freezing and to prevent heat loss. Our recommendation, however, would be to leave your vents opened, insulate the crawl space properly, and make sure your water pipes are wrapped well.
Easy Work Access
A clean, secure, dry, and clutter-free crawl space is much easier and safer to work in than one filled with debris, water, falling insulation, untethered wiring, detached ducting, loosely-installed vapor barrier, and rodent feces.
Some of these concerns are merely a nuisance, but others are extremely dangerous to people working in the crawl space, and potentially to those inside the house. Mitigating all these potential issues will make it simple and safe to run electrical wires, work on plumbing problems, and wrap ducting.
Moisture can be a home’s worst nightmare. Left unchecked, high levels of moisture in the crawl space and attic will lead to the development of mold and fungi, rotting beams and joists, rusted/corroded electrical wiring, damaged insulation, pest infestations, and even a shifting foundation.
Controlling temperature and humidity and installing a vapor barrier in the crawl space are great ways to cultivate a moisture-free environment, ensuring your home and family are protected from the effects of a wet crawl space.
Other steps might include placing splash blocks under all of your downspouts to direct rain water away from your home, having a French drain system installed (if your home sits on a low spot), putting in a sump pump, mounting an efficient dehumidifier in the crawl space, or making sure your AC drain pipe isn’t clogged and draining too closely to the house.
Lower Energy Bills
Reducing energy costs is beneficial for everybody, and a properly-insulated crawl space and attic can save you lots of money on your energy bill, too!
People are often unaware of the condition of their insulation—sometimes they don’t know if they even have insulation! A thorough attic and sub-crawl area inspection will easily identify any deficiencies, allowing you to address them right away and start saving money.
Preventing Pest Infestations
Rodent and other pest infestations in your crawl space can be dangerous to your family’s health and detrimental to the structure. Rodents vector numerous harmful diseases, contaminate and destroy insulation, and are the number one cause of electrical fires in homes.
Other pests, such as termites, carpenter ants, moisture ants, and wood destroying beetles can compromise the structural integrity of a home, and go completely unnoticed until it’s too late.
The well-being of your most expensive investment (your home) can hinge upon what’s happening in your crawl space. We hope we’ve helped you identify what you need to do to ensure your family and home are well taken care of – read more about Sentinel’s crawl space clean-out process or contact us for an inspection!