Simple Crawlspace Inspection and Maintenance Tips for Homeowners
Most of the homeowners tend to pay very little attention to their crawlspaces because it is out of their sight. However, it is always great to have a properly functioning crawlspace because it provides us easy access to different important components of the home such as plumbing, electrical wiring, ductwork, etc. Ignoring the crawlspace can cause a series of problems, leading to costly repairs. Follow these crawlspace inspection and maintenance tips to avoid these situations.
Please remember that regular inspection of crawlspaces should be an essential part of owning a home. As a homeowner, try to make it a regular habit, just like inspecting gutters, roofs, attics, or basement.
Don’t forget that a neglected crawlspace may cause serious issues inside the actual home. You may suddenly start noticing an increased humidity or dampness, soggy floors, or signs of mold and mildew. Worst of all, this may also lead to a significantly higher utility bills.
Why do crawlspaces need inspection and maintenance?
Regular inspection and maintenance is required for all crawlspaces because of the natural wear and tear that the home’s systems undergo over a period of time. Interestingly, most of these issues can be prevented rather easily with timely inspection and maintenance of the crawlspace.
- Moisture and/or Water: Presence of excess moisture and water within the crawlspace is one of the foremost causes of mold and mildew. If the moisture or water is caused by a leaky plumbing, this can also lead to serious damage to the insulation and the building’s wooden support.
- Pests: Starting from roaches to annoying water bugs and termites, all types of pests can find their way into the interior of your home through the crawlspace. If the wooden support under your home is damp, wet, and rotting, many different species of wood eating insects and termites will be attracted towards your home.
- Rodents: Don’t be surprised if you find racoons, mice, rats, or even squirrels in your crawlspace. After entering this space, they tend to look for warmer areas for the purpose of nesting and reproducing. Rodents can also cause problems by chewing your plastic plumbing parts and electrical wiring.
- Problems related to electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling systems: If you are experiencing any problems with any of the systems, the root cause could well be concealed under the home. By finding it out sooner, you can prevent the problem from becoming a major repair.
- Insulation related issues: If your house is excessively cold during the winter and exactly the opposite in summer, this indicates that the insulation within your crawlspace has been damaged or completely destroyed by water or rodents.
- Excessive flooding, rain, or snow: Flooding, snow, and excessive rain brings tough times for your crawlspace because a significant amount of water or moisture can enter the space at these times.
Types of Inspection for Crawlspace: As we have discussed, there are numerous factors that make regular crawlspace inspection an extremely essential activity. Please remember that these inspections require spending a fair amount of time in this space. Make it a point to get into the crawlspace and thoroughly inspect each and every section. It is good idea to wear goggles, gloves, and a hat while carrying out these inspections.
- Check the exposed wood and exterior walls for discoloration. If you feel wet or damp while touching them, it is a clear indication of the presence of water or moisture.
- One of the most dangerous crawlspace issues is standing or pooled water. This is caused by drainage problems and you will need to find out the water source so that corrective measures can be implemented.
- Carry out a thorough check to ensure that all insulations within the space are in the correct place and not damaged. Immediately replace any insulation lying on the ground or hanging down.
- Look for all probable signs of rodent and insect activities such as pin-like holes in wood and rodent droppings.
- Thoroughly inspect all gas pipes, plumbing pipes, electrical wiring, and ductwork. Verify each section of the ductwork to ensure that they are securely connected. Check the electrical wirings for exposed parts and plastic insulation.
- Look for gaps and openings around the exterior walls and seal them immediately, if any.
Types of Maintenance for Crawlspace: The type of maintenance required by your crawlspace depends on the problems revealed during the inspection stage.
- Water Drainage: If you are experiencing pooling or standing water in the crawlspace, you need a sump pump to get rid of the accumulated water. This issue can be resolved by elevating the building’s landscape so that water cannot pool around it in the future. You may also consider installing downspouts or gutters.
- Pest and Rodents: Seek help from an exterminator to eliminate all pests and rodents before undertaking any repairing activity. Prevent future problems by treating all wooden components after the repairing.
- Insulation Issues: Replace all missing and damaged insulations. If you currently have just one layer of protection, you may add more insulation.
- Leaky Pipes: Fix all leaks and replace all faulty and damaged components of the plumbing system.
- Openings and Gaps: Waterproofing is the perfect remedy for all types of openings or gaps you may have discovered during the inspection.
ExtractAir is a noted expert in the field of sub-floor ventilation, delivering state-of-the-art systems that maximise the life of your home, reduces maintenance cost, and improves your home’s air quality. Please contact us today to discuss your crawlspace issues.