Many homeowners take an out of sight, out of mind approach to their basements, cellars and crawl space cleaning. That can lead to a long list of problems that may impact your health and the structural integrity of your home.
Every change in season can bring a new round of threats to your home in Indianapolis, IN. The winter brings freezing and thawing snow. Spring brings extra showers. Summer can bring more humidity and cracking, not to mention all the little pests which like to breed and take shelter in this space.
Crawl space cleaning is rarely at the top of many homeowners’ to-do lists, and that makes the problems even worse. If you’ve been putting off doing it or hiring someone, here’s what you should consider.
1. See What’s Happening Down There
If you haven’t cleaned your crawl space in a while, then you probably have no idea what’s lurking in your home. Maybe you know there is some dirt, junk and rotting insulation, but that could just be the tip of the iceberg.
It may not be an enticing job, but you can hire someone to get in there and clear it out for you.
2. Insects & Rodents
You might be shocked at what you find in your crawl space, though the sooner you tackle it the better. Indiana has been invaded by one of the most destructive species of termites. They can wreak havoc, eat your home, cause structural damage and prevent you from refinancing or selling your home until you have them treated.
There may also be cockroaches, mice, rat droppings and who knows what else. Even just having dust mites can be a health hazard. These pests will move in, soak anything they can in their urine and feces, bring in old food and breed. It is a major health hazard to your home and pets. Sooner or later they’ll move up into your home too.
Get rid of the type of environment they love, and that attracts them, so they get out and stay out.
Your crawl space is one of the most notorious parts of your home for growing mold. If you don’t look and haven’t waterproofed it recently, then you don’t know. These mold spores will get carried throughout your home. That mold will spread and grow under the floors and between the walls.
Simply scrubbing visible mildew in your home isn’t enough to protect anyone who lives there or visits. The real mold is in porous surfaces, hiding out of sight.
The presence of mold can start with simply causing more headaches and allergy symptoms. Prolonged exposure can cause asthma, permanent lung damage, internal bleeding and organ failure.
4. Identify Types Of Cracks & Leaks
Cracks and leaks here will continue to erode your foundation. They let in dampness and encourage mold and pest infestations.
Look for stair-step crack patterns in concrete block walls. They can be a sign of uneven settling, problems with the soil under your home and more. Vertical cracks normally suggest too much water has been accumulating next to your walls and they are failing. Horizontal cracks are urgent and indicate failure of your foundation is imminent.
5. Make Room For Vapor Barriers
Vapor barriers can be one of the best solutions for keeping out damp and mold and preserving your home. You don’t want to encapsulate a ton of junk and potentially poisonous materials. Start with a clean crawl space.
6. Remove Moisture, Keep Utility Bills Down
Whether it is finding leaking pipes, wall cracks or standing water, or missing insulation and waterproofing, crawl space humidity and damp will drive up your utility bills.
7. Improve General Air Quality
The majority of the air you breathe in your home is coming from your crawl space. If you are turned off from even getting in there to clean your crawl space, remember that you are breathing all of that every day.
8. Improve The Resale Appeal Of Your Home
Showing you took enough care to improve the typically out of sight parts of your home says a lot about you to the next buyer when it comes time to sell. Being confident there aren’t structural issues and health hazards can add a lot of value to your home too.
9. Reduce Allergy Symptoms
Runny noses, itchy eyes, sneezing, stuffiness, headaches, rashes and asthma attacks can all be stemming from your crawl space.
10. Create Usable Space
Even if it is just for organized storage, crawl space cleaning can help create more usable space in your home, and in turn, help you keep the inside of your home cleaner and more organized too.