Most people do not pay attention to their crawl space until something goes wrong and unfortunately that can equate to a myriad of problems. Your crawlspace is designed to easily access key elements of your home including plumbing, ventilation, electrical components and gas hook ups. Not only that but your crawlspace is also responsible for your home’s air quality. Maintaining your crawl space may not only potentially save you thousands of dollars in repair work but it can also decrease the amount of money you spend on your utilities.
Should I Have My Crawl Space Cleaned?
Imagine having to crawl around in a tight, hard to move around space. Not exactly a pleasant thought but it’s something that needs to be done in order to prevent serious problems from occurring underneath your home. Crawl spaces are prone to standing water that can cause moisture related issues, leaking sewage pipes that can leave a nasty mess, invasions of various pests and damage to the insulation and structural damage of your home can all occur without you even knowing it. If pests have invaded this space your home is also at risk of the spread of disease through rodents which can affect the air quality that you breathe and even your health. Having routine checks and making sure that your crawl space is clean is a preventative measure that is worth your time and financial investment.
The Do’s Of Cleaning A Crawl Space
Cleaning a crawl space, otherwise known as crawlspace restoration, is a very labor intensive and certainly dirty job. At best you may be crawling around on dirt but for those who actually need a good clean out the amount of stuff that has to be crawled through, bagged up and thrown away can be overwhelming. Depending on why the clean out is needed, any dead animals will need to be removed and/or live pests captured. This includes cleaning up any contaminated materials, nesting and debris. If insulation is damaged due to rodents it will need to be completely removed as rodents tend to enter one area of a floor joint and crawl back as far as they can to nest. Moisture barriers that are damaged will also need to be removed and replaced. If there is any standing water then elimination will be important in preventing moisture that could damage flooring, floor joints and structural framework. Repairs to damaged structural parts of the foundation along with repairing or replacing entry ways of rodents and wildlife will also be essential elements of a clean out process when dealing with rodents or wildlife. If damaged ductwork is discovered these will also need to be replaced.
Once these things are done, new insulation may need to be installed and moisture barriers laid down to prevent problems from arising in the future. Sanitizing and deodorizing methods may also be needed. Sanitization ensures that all microorganisms, viruses and bacterial agents are eliminated to protect the health of the homeowner while deodorizing eliminates the pheromone trails carried by rodents. With so many steps to make sure the job is done correctly it’s no wonder that these jobs take a lot of manpower but once it’s finished it will make a world of difference to homeowners mental and physical health as clean out restorations help owners feel at ease knowing everything underneath their home is secure, safe and clean.
Crawl Space Cleaning Don’ts
When it comes to cleaning your crawl space there is a list of things to make sure you or your pest control professional avoid. Within this list is using the wrong type of insulation for the home or using it unnecessarily, creating more holes to the home’s exterior, installing vapor barrier versus moisture barrier when it’s not needed, ignoring a home’s drainage system and leaving a crawlspace dirty with old debris, standing water and/or dead animals.
- Insulation– Not every type of insulation is the same and not every use is for the same purpose. Foam insulation for instance is not always the best option when needing to replace damaged insulation underneath your home. In fact, insulation underneath your home does not actually save you a lot of money on your utility bills and it certainly will not pay for itself anytime soon. Having insulation underneath your floor is really about comfort and preference but if it is something that you as a homeowner want to see replaced it’s important that you look into the varying types of insulation as some can be more prone to retaining moisture. With crawl spaces already prone to moisture issues this is something you will want to look into so you can see which option is best for you. Keep in mind that sometimes spray foam insulation may need to be used to simply seal off spaces that other products cannot accomplish which is separate from actually laying down insulation within the floor joints.
- Foundation Vents– Your home is already equipped with the number of vents needed in order to have the best circulation of air underneath your home. If a company offers to create more vents within your foundation this is a red flag. Having too many vents actually increases the moisture in the air causing more harm than good. It also provides more entryways for pests to enter through which is not something you want to encourage.
- Vapor Barrier Vs. Moisture Barrier– Vapor barrier is specific for handling gas vapors that may be present underneath your crawl space. In most situations, this is not necessary. Laying a simple moisture barrier is what you are looking for to decrease the amount of moisture that could potentially affect your home. Crawl spaces are not prone to gas issues. They are prone to moisture issues so be sure to clarify with your pest control technician about which products they are using.
- Drainage– Every crawl space should have a drainage system to ensure that water does not build up and create flooding issues. Especially in areas that get a lot of rain. A crawl space restoration technician should be aware of your drainage system and be able to report back on whether or not there are any issues as well as solutions when necessary.
- Clean Is Clean– The word clean is in ‘clean-outs’ for a reason. After everything is done your crawl space should be cleared of any debris, pests or contaminated materials along with standing water. To leave any of these behind is a disservice to the customer and reveals poor quality work ethic. Get Smart Rat Solutions prides themselves on doing their job with integrity and that means going above and beyond in the work they put forth. They believe in doing the job right the first time so that the customer is completely satisfied.
You may have been thinking about getting in your crawl space and having a look around because of a suspected issue but crawling underneath your home entails far more than just a quick check up. If there is an issue you can be certain that much work is in order to restore your crawl space back to its original shape. A job that is cut out for those who have experience with this type of work, know what to look for and how to solve the problems that are present. Call Get Smart Rat Solutions today to find out how they can help!