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Are Crawl Spaces Bad? (4 Potential Issues)

Are Crawl Spaces Bad? (4 Potential Issues)
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Having a crawl space foundation is pretty normal in many areas of the United States. In some ways, crawl space foundations are quite convenient.

You might have heard some bad stories from people who have crawl spaces as well, though. It is indeed possible for crawl spaces to lead to certain problems in your home.

Does this mean that crawl spaces are bad? Should you avoid homes that have crawl space foundations?

Read on to learn about crawl spaces and whether they should be considered bad or not. This will help you to better understand the situation so you can decide how to move forward.

Crawl Spaces Are Only Bad When Not Maintained Properly

Whether a crawl space is going to be bad or not will depend on how you maintain it. A crawl space foundation is perfectly viable and safe for your home, but you must take care of it properly.

Many problems can pop up in crawl spaces if you don’t take certain steps to protect your home. It’s up to you as a homeowner to keep these issues from occurring.

Below, you’ll learn about some of the problems that you might experience. These are all issues that you can avoid, but you need to put in some effort.

1 – Standing Water

Standing water has the potential to be a huge problem in the crawl space area. You might deal with standing water for several different reasons.

If a pipe has a crack in it, the water from your home will leak into the crawl space. This is a problem that can be fixed by addressing plumbing issues as soon as you notice them.

Water might also come up from the ground. In humid areas, problems with moisture are more common.

It’s important to protect your home from moisture issues. Moisture will come up from the ground, but you can protect the crawl space by installing a vapor barrier.

A vapor barrier is made out of 6-mil plastic and you’re meant to cover the entire dirt floor with it. This keeps moisture from touching the foundation of your home or ruining your floors.

Issues with standing water can lead to problems with rot if you don’t take action. Installing a vapor barrier is imperative when you have a dirt floor crawl space.

2 – Mold

Mold issues can be just as bad as standing water. You might not have huge puddles of standing water in your crawl space, but moisture could still be present.

The presence of excessive amounts of moisture will create the right conditions for mold to grow. You can wind up with a significant amount of mold and mildew in the crawl space area.

Luckily, this is something that can be remedied by installing a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier will protect from moisture and prevent mold from being able to grow in the crawl space.

Proper ventilation in the crawl space is also important. Your crawl space should be ventilated since it needs to adhere to building codes and quality standards in your area.

If you have mold in the crawl space, you’re going to need to remove it before you can install a vapor barrier. The dirt floor crawl space should be dried out and then you’ll need to remove the mold.

Removing mold from a crawl space is something that can be done with chemicals as well as some types of natural cleaners. However, mold has the potential to be dangerous, and this is why it’s best to call mold removal professionals to do the job.

These workers can remove the mold safely and effectively. They have the right protective equipment and will be able to help you to take steps to protect your home from mold in the future.

Take care of mold issues as soon as you recognize that there is a problem. Mold can travel from the crawl space into your home through the vents, and the presence of mold can ruin your floors, too.

3 – Pest Issues

Pest issues can easily become a problem in a crawl space. Pests will likely enter the crawl space if it isn’t encapsulated.

Ensure that you encapsulate your crawl space for safety purposes. It’s also wise to protect it from moisture issues because damp environments appeal to many types of pests.

Many bugs are known to enjoy living in crawl spaces. Cockroaches, mosquitoes, spiders, and other undesirable pests will be less likely to become a problem if your crawl space is both encapsulated and protected from moisture problems.

It’s also common for mice, rats, snakes, and bats to enter crawl spaces. Ensure that your vents are properly sealed and that there aren’t cracks that pests will be able to exploit.

4 – Energy Efficiency Problems

Sadly, many people with crawl space foundations wind up paying much higher energy bills than average. A crawl space can cause you to lose a lot of heat and air underneath your home.

This is something that can be fixed by taking the time to insulate your crawl space. You need to install insulation in the crawl space area so you’ll stop wasting energy.

There are a few ways that you can go about doing this. It’s common for insulation to be installed on the crawl space ceiling.

This insulation can be held in place with wires. It’s also common to insulate the crawl space walls using insulation boards.

Installing both types of insulation can be beneficial. You’ll save a lot on your monthly energy bills if you do this.

If you don’t insulate your crawl space, you’ll continue to pay higher energy bills. This is something that you want to avoid.

Getting Professional Help

If your crawl space has issues, it might be best to reach out and get professional help. Sometimes crawl spaces will have significant problems that will need to be addressed.

You might purchase a home that has a crawl space that has not been taken care of well over the years. There are certain things that you can do yourself to solve these issues, but more complex problems are better handled by experts.

For instance, if you have issues with sagging floors, you might need to install support columns or fix issues with the foundation. This is something that is best done by experts so you can ensure that everything is done safely.

You can also get workers to handle issues with mold, standing water, and pests. It isn’t necessary to try to tackle these problems yourself if you’re not comfortable doing so.

Final Thoughts

Don’t think that crawl spaces are bad just because they can have issues. All types of foundations can have problems if they aren’t taken care of the right way.

There are things that you need to do to protect your crawl space as a homeowner. If you don’t take the right precautions, you could wind up having a bad experience.

Crawl spaces commonly have to deal with moisture issues. Moisture can be such a problem that most will need to install vapor barriers to protect their homes.

Sometimes people use crawl space dehumidifiers to solve moisture issues as well, but this will only be necessary for areas with very high humidity. Solving moisture problems will help to prevent mold from becoming a nuisance in your crawl space.

Pests can be kept out of the crawl space by encapsulating the crawl space and ensuring that vents are sealed. You also need to repair any cracks or crevices that are allowing pests to get inside.

Insulating your crawl space is wise since it can save you money. When a crawl space isn’t insulated, it causes people to lose a lot of heat unnecessarily, and this leads to high monthly energy bills.

Now you know what you need to do to have a good experience. Make good choices so you can enjoy your home and your crawl space will never be problematic.

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