While a lot of homes have basements, many homes in California have crawl spaces instead. Let’s look at the dos and don’ts of crawl space cleaning.
What Is Crawl Space Cleaning?
Most homeowners don’t want to look into their crawl spaces or clean them. As a result, the crawl space starts attracting pests, dust, and debris. In time, the effects creep into the living space above, turning a once livable, breathable house into an uninhabitable environment.
Check your crawl space if you have not cleaned it in the past six months. Depending on your home’s structure, you may have trouble accessing it. We recommend hiring a professional to learn how to clean the crawl space.
If you decide on DIY crawl space cleaning instead of using crawl space services, you will need a disposable crawl suit, gloves, a headlight, and a respirator mask. Next, carefully wrap the debris from the crawl space in plastic and dispose of them safely. This is especially true for any damaged or discarded crawl space insulation. Call a professional if you have no prior training or have trouble with cramped spaces.
Why Should You Clean Your Crawl Space?
Water in crawl spaces can cause significant damage. Water can enter and stagnate in the area if it rains, causing dampness and high moisture levels. After cleaning and drying the crawl space, you can use an encapsulation system to create a vapor barrier around the area.
60% of the indoor air that circulates in your home comes from the crawl space. A thorough cleanup can remove dust, mold, and other contaminants that affect air quality. Additionally, your family will not experience allergic reactions or respiratory illnesses.
The crawl space underneath your home can give off a musty odor. Regularly cleaning the crawl space can prevent strange and unpleasant odors from entering your home. Use an EPA-registered spray such as Oust before performing a DIY crawl space cleaning.
A crawl space may contain plumbing, wiring, and ducts. The fixtures can malfunction, requiring a technician to fix them. A clean crawl space will allow the technician to easily access the area to diagnose and fix the problem.
Protect Your Home
Mold and standing water in the crawl space can weaken the structural integrity of your home. Water can corrode the plumbing and cause the foundation walls to crack. Additionally, mold causes the wooden support beams to rot and deteriorate.
Keeping your crawl space clean will ensure the strength of underlying structures.
Next, we will discuss the dos and don’ts of crawl space cleaning.
Do’s of Crawl Space Cleaning
Cleaning a crawl space begins with checking for signs of pest infestation, including animal droppings, holes in the ground, and torn crawl space insulation. Common pests include rats, squirrels, cockroaches, and termites.
Add Sump Pumps
Sump pumps can get rid of extra water and are especially useful if your crawl space floods frequently or has leaks. Water damage can occur from a small amount of moisture, so keep your crawl space and foundation dry with a sump pump.
Install French Drains
A french drain can help divert water away from your foundation’s crawl space walls. We recommend installing a full perimeter trench system in the crawl space to prevent water from accumulating. Many variations exist, such as grated pipes, drains, and gravel-covered ditches. Proactive installation of this type can help prevent many crawl space issues.
Check the Gutters
A clogged, broken, or missing gutter on the exterior of your home can cause crawl space leaks. If the gutter cannot move the water, it will seep over the sides of the house or build up around the footing of the crawl space. Start by inspecting your gutters if you want to preserve your home with fewer expenses.
Don’ts of Crawl Space Cleaning
Cleaning a crawl space requires you to remember a list of things to avoid. For example, do not use the wrong type of insulation, make more holes in the exterior, use a vapor barrier instead of a moisture barrier, etc.
Forget to Remove Debris
Debris in the crawl space can make it harder to perform scheduled cleaning. Before a crawl space inspection, clean out all debris and junk. The debris consists of construction waste, rusted nails, moldy insulation, and broken pipes.
Ignore Water Leaks
Mold grows in moist spaces, so the next step toward a clean crawl space involves sealing the air, water, and sewage leaks. Leaky pipes, walls, and open vents can flood the crawl space. Unfortunately, water damage can cost thousands of dollars to fix.
Fail to WaterProof
Waterproof your crawl space to make it safe and dry. Select insulation with waterproof, mold, and rodent-resistant properties. Foam panels can expand, creating a tight seal that traps warm air and releases cold air from the crawl space.
FAQs – Crawl Space Cleaning
How Often Should I Clean My Crawl Space?
Most homeowners should clean their crawl space at least twice a year. In addition, watch for common signs of trouble, including strange odors, water damage, and pest infestations.
Should I Vacuum My Crawl Space?
No, do not use a household vacuum to clean your crawl space. Professionals use a special vacuum to remove dust and other particles to avoid cross-contamination.
How Do You Maintain a Crawl Space?
Start by encapsulating the crawl space, sticking to a regular cleaning schedule, checking for pests, and installing proper insulation. Keep your crawl space clean and free of debris and other pollutants.
How Can I Dry My Crawl Space Fast?
Using fans can remove moisture and prevent mold and mildew growth. Fans can also effectively dry out condensation from your crawl space. After that, install a dehumidifier to keep the area dry.
Hire a Professional Cleanup Company
Attic and crawl spaces can affect the health and comfort of your home. The experts at Attic Projects specialize in crawl space cleanup, insulation installation, and home energy assessments. We provide inspections, cleaning, repairs, and other services to maintain attics and crawl spaces.
Hopefully, you now understand the dos and don’ts of crawl space cleaning. Contact Attic Projects today to get a free cleanup quote from the crawl space experts. Start by calling us at 858-923-4083 or filling out our online form.
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