Except for most of Florida, many homes in the United States have basements. This is due to the fact that it is below sea level. Many homes, however, have a crawl space if they are not built on a slab-on-grade foundation. Crawl spaces were popular in the 1950s and older houses as they were elevated to avoid flooding difficulties. Nowadays, most houses are built on slab foundations, eliminating the necessity for a raised foundation.
If your property has a crawl space, it should be cleaned, but it can be costly. This entails hiring a professional to remove dirt, mold, vermin, look for leaks, use a special vacuum cleaner, maybe remove a vapor barrier, and encapsulate the crawl space to reduce humidity, among other things. Let us investigate.
Why Is This Important?
Crawl spaces were created to assist elevate a property off the ground and prevent flooding. Cleaning is essential because the area is so limited. However, it can be both painful and harmful. Hiring an expert is the wise decision.
What exactly is a Crawl Space?
As previously stated, the crawl space is a space beneath the home and between the bottom of the house and the ground. Plumbing, gas hookups, ventilation, and electrical components are all located beneath. The goal is for you to be able to access them.
If you have mold growing in your ductwork, it might damage the air that your family breaths in. If bugs or rodents have established nests, the air quality in your home will suffer. There will also be a lot of trash and rubbish.
The majority of people inspect the region at least once a year. Some people have the region cleaned out every 10-20 years, while others have it cleaned out more frequently.
Typical Crawl Space Issues
- Animals build nests- In this space, rats and other animals will build nests.
What Does the Crawl Space Entail? Cleaning
Begin by clearing out the debris in the crawlspace before beginning the cleaning. This entails removing all of the rubbish from beneath the house, which includes:
Asbestos insulation – If your home was built between the 1900s and the 1980s, there is a risk that asbestos was used in the ceiling tiles as well as the insulation, so have that inspected.
- Mold and fungus are spreading beneath the water. Mold and fungus grow in the dampness, polluting the air that the family breaths in the home.
- Damaged vapor barriers – These must be repaired because they prevent ground moisture and mold and fungus growth.
- Old wood and cardboard- This can decay or be a source of mold growth and should be removed.
- Broken pipes – you may see these in the crawl area and will need to call an inspector to determine if they have broken off a water line for the home. It will be tough to determine whether it is a water pipe from the floor underground or a water pipe that leads to the wall.
Mold and Pest Removal Following a Crawl Space Cleaning
If you find white or black mold, it is critical that you remove it. This is unsafe, and a home inspector can help you remove it. An inspector will also investigate the crawl space during a house inspection. If mold is discovered, he or she will make a note of it. This is related to safety because it might influence the support beams and the health of the residents, so if you are selling your property, you should discuss what to do next with your realtor.
If you have more than 30 square feet of mold, you will need the assistance of a professional to clean the air in which it was removed. Remember that the crawl area will provide more than half of the air you breathe in your home.
Pests will leave droppings and urine, which when combined can be dangerous. Hiring a professional is once again worth your time, money, and health. To remove the droppings and any deceased animals, a pest control inspection can be performed. The specialist will search your crawl space for living insects or rodents, exit holes, shelter tubes, signs of wood damage, and pest droppings and nesting remnants.
Because dirt and moisture are inextricably linked, you should block off all water, air, and sewage leaks. Air and water can enter through the ground, walls, open vents, and leaking pipes. How did you find out? If there is a leak, an Infrared thermography inspection can be performed. It will assist to seal the vents and cracks so that nothing can go in.
If you had to remove contaminated ground soil, make sure you bring in enough to avoid negative grading. The last thing you want is water flowing towards your house. Examine the foundation, settling floors, gaps in the walls, and any damage to the insulation.
Cleaning with a Vacuum
Cleaners use a special vacuum to hoover up dust and other particles, taking care not to stir up material that could create cross-contamination in the home.
Installation of a Vapor Barrier
After the crawl space debris has been cleaned up and the mold and fungus have been removed, a vapor barrier should be placed. This is a 20 mm plastic protective cover that is placed on the ground to keep moisture from entering and developing. It is completely sealed on the walls and the floor.
This is known as encapsulation (as seen in the video above), and the cost ranges from $5000 to over $15000 depending on size and whether or not other work is required, such as dehumidification or waterproofing. It’s a smart idea to hire an expert so you don’t overspend and get the task done correctly.
This may also be required, and it entails ensuring that the water drains away from the house. If you don’t have gutters or downspouts, you’ll need to have them installed on your property to ensure that water drains properly. A expert can inform you if you also require a sump pump or a drainage system.
Leaks in Sewers
If there was a sewage spill under the house, you’ll want to make sure it’s cleaned up and the cause is identified. This could require another sewer inspection, especially if you have an older property with aging lines. Homes built prior to 1984 may be made of clay and in disrepair. Copper pipes, on the other hand, deteriorate and may need to be replaced.
Crawl Space Cleaning at Home
If you decide to do it yourself, you will need a disposable crawl suit, gloves, a headlamp, and a respirator mask. Also required are plastic wrap to collect debris from beneath the house and a truck to transport all of the rubbish. All of the materials will cost you around $200. However, for those who are not taught, it can be frightening and intimidating.
You can save money by performing some of the duties listed above. They do not all have to be completed at once, so you can stretch them out over time.
The costs will vary based on the amount of work required. Here is an excellent list of price ranges.
Other Things to Look For
Check the landscape to keep water away from the house while you’re out there. Install or remove plants that keep water away from the house and from gathering beneath it.
Also, perform HVAC maintenance to ensure that it is working correctly and not leaking water. If your house is older, the HVAC system may need to be replaced. You should have it inspected to see how much life it still has in it.
When Should You Hire a Professional?
If you need assistance inspecting or cleaning the crawl space, contact a professional. They are skilled in inspections and can tell you what is wrong and how to remedy it. Some things in life are best left to the experts, and this is one of them. Call Crawl Space Makover today to schedule an appointment.