Of all the areas in the home, the crawl space is often one of the easiest areas to ignore. After all, most crawl spaces are out of sight and rarely accessed. However, properly maintaining your home’s crawl space is still an incredibly important part of keeping your home in great condition.
What is a Crawl Space?
The crawl space is a small area underneath the floor of your home that provides access to the home’s wiring and plumbing. Having a crawl space is a necessity if the plumbing or wiring underneath your home ever needs to be repaired. For the most part, though, crawl spaces are used for extra storage if they are ever accessed by the homeowner at all.
Common Crawl Space Issues
Since crawl spaces are out of sight and so rarely accessed, many issues with crawl spaces often go unspotted. Nevertheless, there are number of issues that can develop in your crawl space that pose a risk to the overall integrity of your home.
If your crawl space was not constructed properly, it can create slants in your floor, cracks in the building, misalignments in your doors, and more. Likewise, if the wood in your crawl space begins to decay, many of the same problems may develop.
Sometimes crawl spaces can collect excess moisture, which can come from leaky pipes, rainfall, and more. Too much moisture in your crawl space can cause the wood to deteriorate more quickly and can also give rise to molds and mildews that will affect the air quality in your home. In fact, many mold and mildew problems in homes often begin in the crawl space.
If your crawl space is not effectively secured, it can also give rise to a pest problem in your home. Crawl spaces are one of the most common entry points for insects and rodents alike. These pests are, of course, a problem in and of themselves, but they can also create more issues in your crawl space by eating away at the wood and chewing on the wiring in your crawl space.
Given all of the problems that a poorly maintained crawl space can create, it’s highly important to keep your crawl space in great shape even if it is completely out of sight.
How to Maintain Your Crawl Space
A few simple preventive measures can go a long way towards avoiding all of the crawl space issues we discussed in the last section. One of the first and most important keys to keeping your crawl space maintained is moisture control.
To keep water from collecting in your crawl space, you’ll need to direct water away from your home’s foundation by installing gutters and/or sloping your soil so that water flows away from your home. You’ll also want to check your crawl space from time to time to make sure you don’t have any leaky pipes or other issues leading to excess moisture in your crawl space.
Next, clean out your crawl space, and keep it as clean as possible. The cleaner you keep your crawl space, the less likely it is to form mold or attract pests. You can also help keep pests out of your crawl space by sealing off any entry points that they could use such as cracks or holes.
Lastly, be sure to insulate your crawl space. Fiberglass batts and spray foam insulation are both commonly used for insulating crawl spaces. Insulating your crawl space helps regulate the temperature in your crawl space and can make your entire home more energy efficient. Insulating your crawl space also helps keep out a lot of moisture since insulation such as spray foam insulation is waterproof.
What to do if Your Crawl Space Needs Repairs
Maintaining your crawl space is a great way to avoid many issues. Sometimes, though, the damage is already done and your crawl space will need to be repaired.
Given the serious problems that issues with your crawl space can create, it’s important to repair any damage to your crawl space as quickly as possible.
At Abry Brothers, we are crawl space repair experts. Unlike many crawl space repair services that only address the moisture in your crawl space, we work to completely repair any issues that your crawl space might have. This includes repairing the floor joists, the beams and plates, and more in order to make your crawl space safer and sturdier.
If you check on your crawl space and realize that it is in need of more serious repairs than just simple maintenance, we invite you to contact us today. The crawl space repair experts at Abry Brothers will be happy to learn more about the damage that your crawl space has incurred and provide you with a repair estimate.