It’s essential to be aware of everything going on around your house, especially in your crawl space. Excess moisture can cause mold growth, musty odors, and significant structural issues like wood rot. Inspecting your crawl space once a year can help you catch the problems before they get gradually worse.
This is a Safety Task!
This allows outside air to circulate under the floor in the summer to prevent the moisture buildup that encourages mildew and mold.
This is a Health Task!
Mold can grow anywhere that there is excess moister. With many different variants, mold can significantly affect the health of you and your family over time.
This is a Preventative Maintenance Task!
A wet basement or crawl space can cause a musty smell and greater humidity. Depending on the situation and time of year, humidity can be good or bad. It can lead to higher heating and cooling costs, damage to walls and flooring, and mold growth. Also, with mold comes wood rot or dry rot, which can be very costly to repair.
Tasks can be done by: Homeowner, Handyman, or Home Inspector
Step 1 – Remove Insulation/Cover From Air Vents
- Most crawl spaces will have some form of ventilation. This allows the moisture that builds up underneath your home to have a place to escape to. There should be some insulation cover that can be inserted or removed from your vent. There may be a flap/door to the vent with the same purpose as the foam insert.
- In the spring, remove any insulation or covering that will obstruct the air vents from allowing air to circulate through the crawl space area. When fall/winter arrives, do the opposite to keep the cold air from coming in and up from under the floor, causing increased heating costs.
- Remove the insulation and store it somewhere you’ll remember so that you will have it for the fall. The air circulation will also prevent excess moisture buildup under the floor during warmer months.
- If you have mechanical vents, now would be an excellent time to make sure they are working.
- Tool List: Knee pads, flashlight, camera – digital/phone
Step 2 – Inspect the Crawl Space
- Crawl through the crawl space, inspecting for water seeping through-wall cracks or water pooling (pictures may be helpful). Determine what is needed to fix any issues.
- During daylight hours, turn your light/flashlight off and look for any daylight from the outside coming through any cracks.
- Tool List: knee pads, flashlight, camera – digital/phone
Step 3 – Fix Any Problem Areas
- Cracks can be filled with mortar, foam, or cement caulking. This will prevent water, cold air, bugs, and mice from getting into your home.
- This would also be an excellent time to apply bug and mice deterrents.
- If you run into issues, you can’t fix yourself. Then it’s probably a good idea to have a professional come out and investigate for you.
- Tool List: Caulk gun
- Supply List: Caulk – concrete, bug spray $10
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