crawl space cleaning

7 Tips on When and How to Budget for Crawl Space Cleaning

Is your home dirty and you don’t even know it?

Your kitchen is spotless, the bathroom is immaculate. Your floors? You could eat off them!

If that’s all been taken care of, what could you be missing?

It’s often said that the things we neglect the most are those we don’t see every day. Ask yourself: when is the last time you looked in your crawl space?

The area under your floors or roof could be the dirtiest place in your house. It’s dark and damp, which is a breeding ground for molds and bacteria. This is a danger to your home and family.

Cleaning up mold isn’t a DIY project. You need to hire someone who knows what they’re doing. Unfortunately, that’s going to cost you.

Issues with mold, odors, and water need a professional crawl space cleaning. Read on to learn when to do it and how to budget for it.

1. Your Insulation Is Insufficient

The insulation in your crawl space maybe worn down over time or was never adequately installed in the first place. Visually, you can determine any problems with your insulation by seeing if there are any cracks or defects in it.

Another way to check on this? Go over your electric bill! One clue is if there’s a spike in your heating and cooling utilities that doesn’t make sense.

Faulty insulation in your crawl space can be driving up your electrical bill. That’s because the heating system has to work harder to keep your home warm.

With sufficient insulation, your crawl space will be sealed tightly, just like your wallet.

2. The Ventilation System Is Faulty

The air you let out of your crawl space is just as important as the air you let in. Poor ventilation in the wintertime can result in frozen pipes. In the summer, the trapped humidity can make those pipes rusty.

Make sure to look for pools of moisture or possible blockages around all external vents. The last thing you want to invest in is new pipes!

3. Pest Infestations

Bats, rodents, and pests love to settle down in a dark, undisturbed area. That’s why crawl spaces are ideal homes for them. But, you don’t want uninvited guests in your home, do you?

Signs of rodents, bats, or insects can include noises in the walls, foul odors, and excrement piles. While none of those things are pleasant, the damage these pests can do to your insulation and walls is what you want to avoid the most.

Call a professional to evict these unwanted guests ASAP.

4. Mold Is Taking Over

Mold is the biggest threat that a dirty crawl space poses to your home. Some molds can lead to dangerous health issues in people and pets. To determine if you have any mold, look for visible patches and smell for musty odors.

If mold is spotted, it’s better to be safe than sorry and assume that it can cause you harm. You must get professionals to remove these hazards.

Though it may be a large financial cost, it pales in comparison to the value of you or your family’s health.

5. It’s Time for a Cleaning if It’s Been Awhile

Maybe you haven’t noticed any problems with rodents or an unusually high heating bill. But, just because a dirty crawl space hasn’t caused problems yet, doesn’t mean you have to wait until something happens.

If you’ve never gotten your crawl space cleaned or it’s been years, it’s time to schedule one!

It’s always easier to prevent a mold or rodent problem than to fix it later. Catching it early is also helpful. With homeowner problems like those, it’s likely that it’s been going on for a while before you noticed.

Keeping up with annual cleanings will allow you to find issues before they do real damage.

6. What Price Do You Need to Budget For?

For just a cleaning, professionals will charge you based on the size of your space. The condition it’s in will also be a factor.

A straightforward job won’t cost too much. But, if the pros find a lot of problems that need to be fixed, that’s when it starts adding up.

If it’s a rodent problem, that’s one of the easier issues to deal with. That will be on the low end price-wise.

When it comes to mold, that will charge you a little extra. It’s hard to deal with mold and it’s more dangerous. If that’s your problem, you’ll get another estimate for that cost depending on how much there is.

Water damage can be the most expensive issue to fix. That can run you in the thousands. Additionally, if there’s water damage, there’s probably mold and ruined insulation as well.

7. Spend Money Now to Save Later

Budget for a cleaning as you would any other home costs like the electric bill and seasonal landscaping. Commit to it as being a necessary annual expense that you plan ahead for.

It’s a lot easier to find the money for maintenance cleaning. You can be in control over when to do it. For example, if you know you’re getting a bonus at work in a month, you can wait until then to schedule.

When you let it go until there’s a big problem, that’s when you get in trouble.

Find extreme mold in December? It won’t matter that money is tight from buying holiday gifts. It has to get fixed right away.

Keep up with maintenance now, and your future self will thank you.

Don’t Put Off a Crawl Space Cleaning

Nobody wants to spend money on something they hardly ever even see. But, putting off a crawl space cleaning isn’t the answer. When it gets out of hand, you’ll just end up spending more money later.

Is it time for your crawl space to get some attention? Then contact us to get a free service cleaning estimate.

attic insulation cost

Why an Attic Insulation Cost Is an Investment in Energy Savings

Ready to start saving up to 50% of your home’s power bill? It could be as easy as outfitting your attic with insulation.

To get started, you need to look at the attic insulation cost and how it compares to your potential savings. Those in warm climates will save when keeping their home cool while those in colder climates will save when keeping their home warm.

Insulation stops the flow of heat and air through your attic. Ready to learn more about how you can save by investing in insulation today? Then keep reading!

Get an Energy Audit

Before you decide whether or not you need insulation, get an audit. This will give you a good idea as to where your home stands when it comes to energy efficiency.

Signs You Need Insulation

Even before your audit, if you see these signs then you most likely need insulation in your attic. The first of these signs would be ice dams.

Ice Dams

Ice dams happen to homes that are in colder climates. You’ll see ice building up on your home’s eaves in winter. This ice will damage your shingles and roof.

These ice dams happen because you are heating your home and that hot air escapes through the roof. The hot air melts the snow, and the melted snow runs down the roof. This water then refreezes into those ice dams.

Temperature Changes

You have the air or heat running, yet you notice the temperature changing as you walk from room to room, this is a sign that your attic is not properly insulated.

You are spending too much money trying to evenly heat or cool your home. If you insulated your attic, then your whole system will get a break.

Drafts

If there are drafts in your home, that’s likely cold air from your attic. You need insulation to stop this movement of air.

High Energy Bills

Talk to your neighbors and ask them what their average energy bill is. If you find that yours is significantly higher, you may have an insulation problem.

R-value

When buying insulation, you’ll see that it is rated with an R-value. This is the material’s ability to prevent the flow of heat.

The higher the rating, the better the material is at preventing the flow of heat. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a double layer of insulation means double the R-value.

It doesn’t work this way. The insulation needs to be a single layer for it to effectively work as intended.

You need to use the climate zone map to know what R-value level you should aim for when you buy insulation. For example, if you’re in the warm climate of zone 1 then you can use insulated rated as low as R30 for your attic.

While if you are in a cold climate in zone 7, for example, then you’ll want insulation rated as high as R60 for your attic.

Types of Insulation

There are three main types of insulation for you to choose from that will be effective in insulating your attic.

Batt or Blanket Insulation

This is the insulation that people typically think of when they talk about insulation. It consists of large rolls of fibers that are held together with a paper backing.

These are best used when your attic is large. It doesn’t work so well in tight spaces. If your joists and studs are a standard distance apart, then you’ll be able to unroll these into the spaces with no problems

R-Value

Insulation batts come in four main types of materials: fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, and cotton. You’ll find that the R-values range from 2.9 to 4.3 per inch.

Loose Fill or Blown-in Insulation

This type of insulation either comes in large bags of loose fill to be spread around or a professional installer “blows” it in by a machine. This is perfect for filling small or unusual spaces.

You’ll find it in the same variety of materials of batts including fiberglass, cellulose, and mineral wool fiber. This should be your first choice if your attic is older and already has insulation or is an awkward space.

R-Value

The R-value varies depending on which type of material you choose. It will generally range from 2.2 to 3.8 per inch.

Spray Foam Insulation

There are two types of spray foam to choose from: open and closed cell. The open type is the cheaper option but doesn’t provide a barrier to vapor. The closed cell option is more expensive and denser.

The great thing about spray foam is that when your installer sprays it, it sticks to whatever surface it is aimed at. This is a perfect solution for the ceiling of the attic.

R-Value

This type of insulation has the highest R-value ranging from 5 to 6 per inch. This is an important consideration if you live in a more extreme climate.

Attic Insulation Cost

The cost of your insulation installation entirely depends on the size of your attic, the amount of material needed, and the type of insulation you choose. As a general guideline, pricing can range from $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot.

If you decide to have a professional install the insulation, you’ll also need to factor in the cost for their services.

Start Saving Money on Your Home Heating and Cooling

If you are looking to save money on your energy costs you need to give your attic a check. If you see that you either have no insulation or it’s old, then it’s time give your attic an insulation update.

Don’t let yourself be deterred thinking that attic insulation cost is too high. Investing in the insulation now will translate to a more comfortable home and big savings on your bill.

Contact us today to get a quote for insulation removal and replacement in your attic today.

Insulating an Attic? Read this First

Fall and winter are the times when your home will need to work overtime. This means that it’s about time to check on your attic insulation and make sure it’s up to par.

After all, a poor insulation leads to energy loss, which then leads to higher bills.

The insulation in your attic will degrade over time. If you’ve been noticing your energy consumption going up, it may be time to replace the insulation.

But first, there are important pointers you need to know before insulating an attic. Read on to make sure your attic is ready for insulation and how you can prepare it.

Clear Out Your Attic First

An attic serves an important purpose in the insulation and ventilation of the whole house, but for homeowners, it has another purpose in storage terms. It’s spacious, making it perfect as a room for storing old items.

If you’re planning to add an insulation for attic rooms, though, you must clean your attic first. Not only will it make working in the attic easier but it will also allow you to add an insulation to the floor.

You may have to add some insulating material to the floor. This is one of the cheapest ways of insulating the attic, so you also have to consider doing this.

To do this, you’ll have to remove the plywood to do a proper job. With this in mind, look for another spot in your house that can store your items in the meantime.

Assess the Condition of Your Attic

Next on your to-do list is to evaluate your attic to spot if there are any problems you need to address first. For example, the size of your rafters may not be up to the current building codes, or there are some compromised structures within your attic.

You may need the help of an architect or a builder to make sure. They’ll be able to see if there are things that need fixing and provide a solution for you.

This step is crucial; you don’t want your roof to fall on you when winter comes. The insulation will prevent the roof from warming, which then makes the snow above melt at a slower rate. For this reason, the snow load increases faster, putting your roof at risk of collapsing.

This will cost you money, but it’s still cheaper than when your roof collapses. It’s much less dangerous and inconvenient, too.

Check Your Current Attic Insulation

While evaluating the condition of your attic, you’ll also come across your current insulation. Check if it’s wet or damp; these are signs that you’re dealing with moisture issues, such as a roof leak.

This is also the time to throw away any bad insulation material – those that are moldy, stained, or compressed. If you see a loose grainy insulation with shiny flecks, this could be vermiculite, which might contain asbestos. You don’t want to remove this yourself as it poses a risk to your family and neighbors; it’s best to call a professional instead.

Seal Before Insulating an Attic

When you add insulation, you don’t want the heated or cooled air escape outside, do you? This renders the insulation useless, which is why you should make sure to seal all holes, gaps, and cracks.

Check around the attic windows, ducts, wires, exhaust fans, and chimneys. Use a spray foam, but for gaps 1/4″ or less, use caulk.

Still, remember that your attic needs some sort of ventilation. You may talk to a professional to assess your ventilation system.

Determine Your Target Insulation Level

The R-value specifies the insulation level, which measures the insulation’s thermal performance. The R-value differs per material and thickness, which is also something you should check when evaluating your current insulation.

The recommended R-value for your home depends on where you live and the climate. On hot climates, the minimum is R-30, whereas it’s R-38 for temperate climates and R-49 for cold climates. To know the recommended value for your state, check the U.S. Department of Energy website.

Choose the Right Insulation Type

After doing these steps, your attic should be ready for insulation. The only thing left to do is to choose what material you’re going to use. You’ll have to take into account the attic insulation cost and the R-values here.

Let’s discuss the 2 most common types used in insulating attics.

Batts and Rolls

Batts and rolls are great materials for a DIY insulation of the attic, and it’s somewhat inexpensive as well. As for installation, you fit these into studs, beams, and joists.

You have different material options for this type of insulation with varying R-value per inch:

  • Fiberglass: 2.9 – 4.3
  • Mineral Wool: 3.0 – 3.3
  • Cellulose: 3.7 – 3.8
  • Cotton: 3.7 – 3.8

Each material offers different advantages; for instance, fiberglass is cheaper, but cellulose won’t irritate the lungs or skin. Mineral wool is fire-resistant, and cotton is good for blocking sounds.

Loose-Fill and Blown-In

If you have spaces with irregular shapes, loose or blown-in insulation materials may be better for this job. They’re also great for filling around obstructions. The installation methods for this type is blowing it using a special equipment or pouring it in.

As with the batts and rolls, you have different material options as well:

  • Fiberglass: 2.2 – 2.7
  • Mineral Wool: 3.0 – 3.3
  • Cellulose: 3.2 – 3.8

The fiberglass option is cheaper here as well, and it’s lighter than the other 2. Loose mineral wool is also still fire-resistant, but as you would expect, it costs more.

The most common out of the 3 is cellulose, but you have to make sure to not expose it to moisture. It’s susceptible to growing mold and rotting.

Insulate Your Attic Now

These are pretty much all you need to know before insulating an attic. The next step is to learn how to insulate attic spaces, which is useful information if you plan to do it yourself.

You can also visit us and discover some of our other blogs and guides for additional help. If you need expert help, don’t hesitate to contact us now. We’ll provide you with the best attic solutions.