Caring for your crawl space is just as important as caring for the rest of your home. Your crawl space is the entryway to your home’s mechanical systems, so you shouldn’t take home crawl space maintenance lightly. According to Angie’s List, homeowners who properly maintain their crawlspace “will save up to 25% on their heating and cooling bills.” If you’re worried about your crawl space—of if you just want to save some money—follow these five steps.
Step 1: Encapsulate the Crawl Space
A durable vapor barrier seals the crawl space from the outside. This prevents humidity and helps keep the foundation dry. Encapsulated crawl spaces also maintain temperature and reduce the presence of foul odors.
Step 2: Install New Insulation
After you install water vapor barriers, you should also consider your crawl space’s insulation. Keep in mind that crawl spaces promote air circulation throughout the rest of your home. Damaged insulation affects the rest of your home, and it also increases energy costs.
Fiberglass batts are a popular insulation choice. To ensure maximum effectiveness, you can pair them with spray foam insulation. The spray foam will create a tight seal that prevents mold.
Step 3: Schedule a Cleaning Service
You should regularly clean your crawl space. Call your local professionals, and let them take care of the dirt and debris in this area of your home. Routine cleaning will keep your floor dry and give you a better look at any issues in your crawl space.
Step 4: Block Entry Points
Once your crawl space is clean, you’ll need to keep it that way if you want to avoid issues in the future. Moisture attracts insects and rodents, and these pests can cause huge problems. They can chew on electrical wires and wood structures, destroy insulation, and potentially travel to (and wreak havoc on) other areas of your home. Needless to say, pest damage results in expensive home repairs.
Seal any areas where small critters can possibly make their way inside—and don’t overlook any cracks. Even the smallest crack provides more than enough room for cockroaches and mice to crawl into your space.
Step 5: Dehumidify the Crawl Space
You can never completely seal your crawl space, so it’s important to control air movement with a dehumidifier. However, a dehumidifier’s primary purpose is for prevention. It won’t eliminate existing puddles, and too much moisture can lead to mold growth and rot. If you ever notice mold, notify your local crawl space and basement waterproofing professionals.