Crawl spaces are probably the most neglected of a house. Unlike attics – which home owners will most likely go into a few times a year to retrieve stored items – the crawl space is almost never visited. It’s dark and dirty and cramped, and there is no telling what one may find under there. It’s no wonder that homeowners avoid the crawl space!
However, crawl space cleaning is a critical part of home maintenance. Crawl spaces are extremely susceptible to problems such as animal infestation and water damage, which can cause a vast array of structural problems and even health issues.
One of the most common problems in crawl spaces is insulation that has been damaged and contaminated by mice, rats and other rodents. Destroying the insulation means higher utility bills for home owners because heat transfer is compromised. In addition, insulation that has been contaminated with rodent droppings – and even decaying rodent bodies – carries diseases that can be transferred to humans. Rodents in a crawl space will also chew through ducting, vapor barriers and wires, which can compromise a home’s electrical work, plumbing and heating/cooling systems. Professional crawl space cleaning will ensure that the area is free of rodent damage and contamination, and it will make sure that entry points are properly sealed to prevent future infestations.
Most crawl spaces have dirt floors, which makes them vulnerable to moisture. If a home’s vapor barrier is compromised, moisture can build up and lead to mold and even rotten wood. Rotten wood is particularly problematic for homes that have wooden piers and posts as the foundation, as rot can make the home structurally unsound. The moisture can also attract insects, and it can travel into the subfloor where it creates warping. Moisture under a home is also a prime environment for mold, which can create odors, trigger allergic reactions, and cause respiratory problems for residents. The vapor barrier is critical in protecting the value of a home, and proper crawl space cleaning will make sure it functions correctly.
For most home owners, the crawl space is out of sight and out of mind. However, this approach can lead to serious structural and system problems, and it can cost more each month in increased utility bills. Proper crawl space cleaning will protect the value of the home and ensure that it is a safe, clean and energy-efficient environment.