How Healthy is Your Crawl Space? A Crawl Space Health Checklist

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Since we don’t often spend time in our homes’ crawl spaces, it’s easy to neglect them. However, maintaining your crawl space can have a significant impact on the air quality and energy efficiency in your home. In turn, these factors impact your physical health and your finances. For that reason, it’s important to maintain a crawl space health checklist that’s reviewed annually. To make this task easier on you, we’ve created a handy checklist below that you can refer to when your crawl space becomes due for its annual health screen.

Crawlspace Health Checklist

Ensuring that your crawl space is free of moisture, pests, and debris will help to protect the insulation and foundation of your home, which, if left unattended can create efficiency and structural issues later on. Here are a few tips on how to maintain a healthy crawl space:

Clear the area of debris: This includes leaves, branches, and other vegetation. Not only will this clear the way for the inspection steps to follow, but it will also help to prevent pests from taking up residence in your crawl space.

Inspect the area for signs of moisture or damage: If you notice any signs of moisture or water damage, address them immediately. At Managed Services Group, our experts are trained to find crawl space issues like moisture that can negatively impact the rest of your home’s health. After we inspect your space, we not only address the issues, but we work to prevent future problems.

Inspect your vapor barrier: Builder-grade vapor barriers only last a few years before they start to become brittle so it’s important to canvas your vapor barrier for signs of wear. If your vapor barrier has dried out, it is no longer effective at preventing moisture from entering your home and should be replaced. If you’re due for a replacement, MSG can help you select the best vapor barrier solution for your family’s needs. If you purchased a higher-grade vapor barrier option and you notice wear, contact your supplier since your vapor barrier could still be under warranty.

Use dehumidifiers and ventilation fans: Dehumidifiers are a great way to keep the area dry. Keeping your crawl space dry is key to preventing mold and mildew growth and further foundational problems for your home.

Common Crawl Space Issues to Look For

If you’re not sure what to look for when it comes to inspecting your crawl space, begin with some of the items below.

Water accumulation: One of the most common crawl space problems is water accumulation. This can be caused by rain or snow seeping in through cracks in the foundation, or by groundwater flooding the space. Water can damage insulation, wiring, and framing; it can also lead to mold growth. Signs of water accumulation include water stains that might look like dark or wet spots on crawl space beams or walls. 

Pest infestation: Another common issue is pest infestation. Insects and rodents often find their way into crawl spaces, where they can cause major damage to insulation, wiring, and framing, not to mention they can carry disease. Signs of pest infestation include odors and droppings, such as from mice, raccoons, or even larger animals like foxes. 

Structural damage: Crawl space damage can also cause structural problems for your home. If the crawl space is not properly sealed off from the rest of the house, it can act as a wind tunnel, causing your roof to leak or your walls to buckle. It can also increase moisture levels in your home, leading to mold growth and other moisture-related problems, which can, in turn, create foundational issues. Signs of structural damage include cracks in the drywall or floor, sagging floors and ceilings, and gaps around door and window frames.

Crawl Space Remediation 

There are a number of crawl space remediation methods that can be used to address common crawl space problems. If you have found mold in your crawl space, it’s important to contact a professional service, like Managed Services Group, to remove the mold. If you suspect a rodent infestation, you’ll need to call wildlife management or a specific wildlife removal company to clear away the pests. If you have identified structural issues, it’s important to get those addressed as well. 

Once the problems have been addressed, there are several preventative measures you can take to ensure a healthy crawl space – and peace of mind – moving forward. One common method is the use of higher-quality vapor barriers that will last longer than the builder-grade materials. Encapsulation takes this a step further by sealing off the crawl space from the rest of the house completely. This prevents water accumulation and helps keep moisture levels down. Another common method is the use of insulation, which can help improve energy efficiency and can be installed in a variety of ways. Managed Services Group offers many kinds of insulation to fit your specific needs. Dehumidifiers and crawl space fans can also be installed to help keep the space dry and conditioned to maintain good air quality throughout your home.

Maintain Your Crawl Space’s Health with Managed Services Group

Our crawl space experts can quickly identify crawl space issues and walk you through a plan to remedy current problems and prevent future issues to keep your home and your family healthy. Contact us today for a free estimate.

Since 2008, Managed Services Group has provided comprehensive moisture control and basement waterproofing services to homeowners throughout the Greater Richmond area. As a licensed and insured Class A contractor, we have the experience and knowledge to back up our passion for home improvement. Give us a call today at (804) 972-3007 (434-299-9382 for Charlottesville) for a free estimate. We’ll schedule an inspection with you, make a recommendation, and, in most cases, give you an estimate right on the spot.