One frequently disregards the crawl space when it comes to cleaning the home. It could be due to their inaccessibility and general lack of visibility.
Crawl spaces can become crowded with dust, spiders, insects, and other vermin if left unattended. Allergies and structural damages may also happen. They can even become a home for extremely dangerous creatures, which may significantly impact the rest of your home.
The few justifications above show the importance of cleaning your crawl spaces regularly to avoid problems.
A crawl space is a portion of a building that lies below ground level, either partially or totally, and one can use it as storage for mechanical pieces of equipment. As it is an often neglected area of the house, expect an accumulation of dirt, mold, or pests there.
Cleaning a crawl space can be challenging. If you plan to clean it on your own, you might want to take note of the following:
- Before starting, equip yourself with a mask, gloves, and other proper protective equipment.
- Before cleaning, make sure it is free of clutter.
- You can use water and detergent solutions for cleaning the floor and walls.
- After cleaning, be sure to leave it to dry naturally and regularly come back to observe.
Perhaps you’ve already asked yourself why is it necessary to clean crawl spaces; well, here are a few reasons and benefits you can gain:
- It helps in keeping your home in better condition.
- It improves the air conditions in your home, which lessens the risks of allergies and asthma.
- It protects your home from pests that may cause health and structural problems.
- It helps prevent the growth of mold or mildew.
What’s the best way to avoid risks? It’s to initiate taking action. In this case, cleaning crawl spaces at your home should be your foremost concern.
- Remove any debris that blocks the entrance.
- A shop vacuum can help suck up the remaining dirt and dust.
- Check every nook and cranny for waste that you might miss.
- You can use water and detergent solutions to scrub the floor and walls.
- Leave it to dry.
- Continuously observe the situation in your crawl spaces and clean them as soon as dirt and debris start accumulating again.
If you find standing water or water leaks, you can call a professional to deal with it. If you don’t have the time to do the cleanup, it is feasible to use a crawl space cleanup service.
Here are a few factors to look out for during crawl space cleanups.
Crawl space insulation
A crawl space is an excellent place to keep items, but it can also be an origin of concerns if not properly insulated. It is significant to remember that you can choose from various types of insulation to use depending on your location’s climate and the layout of your home.
Fiberglass batts are common insulation for crawl spaces, but several other options exist too, such as cellulose, closed-cell foam, and spray foam.
Crawl space vapor barriers
If crawl spaces exist in your home, it is best to consider installing a vapor barrier. Vapor barriers keep moisture out of the crawl space, which can help prevent mold and mildew from growing and inflicting damage.
Here are a few different types of vapor barriers that you can choose from:
- Polyethylene sheet is the most common type, a plastic sheet that is waterproof and tear-resistant.
- Asphalt felt
- Fiberglass insulation
- Aluminum foil
In choosing vapor barriers, there are certain factors you have to remember. The following shall explain what those components are and why they are needed:
- It’s essential to think about your local climate while selecting a vapor barrier that would suit your crawl space. If your area is humid, you’ll need a watertight and moisture-resistant vapor barrier. If you are in a dry place, you might be able to get away with a non-waterproof vapor barrier.
- Know the size of your crawl space. You’ll need a small vapor barrier to fit within your crawl space if it’s small. If your crawl space is large enough, a vapor barrier covering the entire area may be an option.
After meticulous deliberation and choosing a suitable vapor barrier, it is important to install it properly. Please read the instructions carefully to know how to install it. Improper installation can lead to moisture problems in the crawl space.
Why This Matters
Crawl space encapsulation, or the process of adding a barrier inside your crawl space, does so much for your house’s integrity, safety, and long-term value. Its many benefits include the following:
- Reduced moisture problems: The vapor barrier prevents moisture from rising from the ground and damaging the crawl space and the home above.
- Better pest control: The sealed crawl space creates an environment inhospitable to pests, such as termites, mold, and mildew.
- Improved air quality: The sealed crawl space prevents outside air and moisture from entering, which can improve the air quality in the home.
- Increased energy efficiency: The insulation can help keep the crawl space cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, saving energy and keeping your utility costs low.
The type of vapor barrier you pick for encapsulation depends on your specific needs. But regardless of which one you get, you need to make sure of the following things:
- It should have a high perm rating: A vapor barrier with a high perm rating will allow moisture to escape from the crawl space, preventing mold and mildew growth.
- It should be puncture-resistant: The crawl space is a harsh environment, so it’s essential to choose a vapor barrier that is thick enough to resist punctures from rocks, nails, or other debris.
- Installing it should be easy: Choose a vapor barrier that is convenient to install to save time and effort.
- A warranty should back it: A warranty will provide much-needed assistance in case the vapor barrier fails.
Remember that working in low-ceiling areas is risky. Call an HVAC expert to lend a hand for repairs, inspections, and replacements.
It’s noteworthy to keep your crawl spaces clean and free of debris. As we provide practical tips on how to clean your crawl space and keep it in good condition, we hope that you found everything useful.
By following the suggestions available in this guide, you can ensure that your crawl spaces will be clean and tidy in no time.