Many homes in America make use of crawl spaces instead of the traditional full-height basement floor. A crawl space is a shorter type of basement usually no taller than 2 feet, which means a person would need to (as the name implies) crawl inside to gain access. Though they clearly don’t provide the kind of space that a full basement has, a crawl space still allows for easy routing (and later access) to the house’s plumbing, electrical, and venting systems, all while being relatively cheaper to build. The crawl space is also built in such a way that allows the main floor of the house itself to sit above ground.
However, as with all cool and dark places, crawl spaces are vulnerable to moisture from the ground. This will eventually lead to the space becoming a garden for mould, mildew, and other fungi, as well as a great new hope and hiding spot for rodents and insects alike. On top of that, most crawl spaces happen to be built out of wood, which can make these problems arise much more quickly.
When should I have my crawl space cleaned?
Like most other issues around the house, figuring out when you should have your home’s crawl space checked and cleaned out is easy if you are aware of the warning signs. Since crawl spaces are found directly underneath your home, any issues you might find with the home are likely to be caused by the crawl space itself. We’ve listed a few of these issues below:
- Fungi growth: Cold, damp, and dark areas are the perfect place for mould and mildew to grow, and the crawl space is a perfect example of that. As these fungi grow and spread, they release spores that can rise up through the crawlspace and into your homes, which can cause them to appear and likewise grow on the walls of your home.
- Worsening air quality: The spores released from fungi growths, as well as the droppings of animals and insects from the crawl space below, release distinctly foul odours that spread throughout the house. The respective spores and bacteria from the fungi and droppings can very easily be inhaled, which can aggravate allergies and even cause diseases.
- Insulation issues: Like the rest of the home, crawl spaces are often insulated to help keep the heat in, especially during the colder months. If you notice that you are turning up the thermostat hotter than you normally would in the winter, it is possible that that could be caused by damaged insulation in your crawlspace, which causes the cold outside air to rise up into your home through the floor.
How to clean out a crawl space
Although it is not out of the question for some, it is very difficult to clean out your home’s crawl space yourself. For one, the limited height of the crawl space means that it is not particularly easy to access. On top of that, if you have noticed any of the issues we have covered above, it is likely that the crawl space will have even more of the same problem. That means lots of mildew, pests, and possible damage to the wood structure and insulation.
For these reasons we would recommend homeowners to contact a professional cleanup service as they will have the necessary training and equipment to handle the dirty environments of crawl spaces, basements, and attics, and deal with the cleaning and disposal of any biohazards present in the area.
Before the actual cleanup, a cleanup technician will come over and assess the problems you are having. Afterwards, he will conduct a thorough inspection of the crawl space, checking the wooden support structure for fungi growth, checking the insulation for any signs of damage or decay, the presence of pests, and any damage done to the crawl space by moisture and/or flooding.
Depending on the issues you are having and the issues found in your crawl space, the technician will employ several methods to repair and restore the crawl space to its original condition. If the wooden supports are damaged by fungi and/or moisture, these will be replaced to prevent them from buckling in and damaging the floor above. If there is an issue with pests, their droppings will be removed from the area, and preventative measures will be employed to make sure they do not come back. Damaged insulation will also be replaced, and blocked or flooded vents will be cleaned out and replaced if needed.
Have a crawl space, basement, attic, or any dirty area you want to get cleaned up? The Aftercare is the cleanup firm to trust, offering top-of-the-line biohazard cleanup services to everyone in the Virginia and North Carolina areas. Give The Aftercare a call at 757-535-4367 and get a quote for our services today!
David Swan, Marketing Consultant at The Aftercare. The Aftercare are professional cleaners of both hazardous and sensitive natures. They’ve been helping American businesses and families deal with everything from blood, waste and hazardous materials for over 18 years.