5 Pro Tips For Crawl Space Cleanup

06/24/2024 | By Ross |

5 pro tips for crawl space cleanup

Is your Bay Area home in need of some crawl space cleanup? We say that attics are frequently forgotten spaces, but crawl spaces probably top the list of home spaces nobody thinks about. For one thing, they’re typically hidden or tucked out of the way, but damp, dirty, or infested crawl spaces can create havoc in the living spaces above and around them. 

Crawl Space Cleanup Improves Energy Efficiency & Indoor Air Quality

Crawl spaces get their name because while they can be substantial in square footage, they rarely allow room to stand up or comfortably utilize the space under the home. So, unlike a basement, which can be finished and has as many uses as a converted attic, crawl spaces are only large enough to:

  • Offer structural support.
  • House or hide the mechanics of your home’s HVAC/ductwork, plumbing, and/or electrical systems.
  • Protect the home from flooding or significant moisture issues (when properly cleaned and maintained).
  • Provide limited storage of seasonal, outdoor, or lesser-used items.

The problem is that unfinished or ignored crawl spaces can harm, rather than help, your home. If a crawl space is inadequately insulated, or ventilated, or lacks proper moisture protection, it becomes a trap for dirt, dead animals, pest infestations, mold, and mildew. 

A neglected or unfinished crawl space can lead to:

  • Energy waste that leads to unnecessarily high heating/cooling costs.
  • Asbestos or urea-formaldehyde exposure from old insulation (in homes built before 1980).
  • Pest infestations.
  • Mold/mildew growth (which leads to structural rot if ignored for too long).
  • Standing water or sewage.
  • Damage to electrical wiring or ductwork.

If your crawl space looks more like something out of a horror movie than a clean and breathable space, it’s time to get to work - or contact local crawl space clean-up pros to do it for you.

5 Tips For Cleaning & Optimizing Crawl Spaces

While crawl spaces may not need a full annual inspection, we recommend opening them up and “crawling around” them once a year just to ensure everything is clean and free of any red flags. 

SAFETY NOTE: Always wear proper protection when entering and cleaning crawl spaces. This includes safety glasses, a mask, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and gloves. Depending on how long you’ll be in there, you may also want to have knee pads on hand.

Perform a cursory inspection

Open the crawl space door and look around with a flashlight. If you notice things like dangling wires, standing water, horrible smells, or significant pest debris (feces, fur, dead bodies, nests, etc.), we recommend contacting crawl space professionals to assess the situation. 

You should also contact professionals if you see dangling or damaged insulation, damaged wiring, or other signs that some level of construction work will be involved. 

Remove anything stored in the space

If you or former residents used the crawl space for storage, it’s time to pull it out of there. If there are issues in the crawl space, there’s a chance that some items will need to be thrown away or reboxed/contained to protect them from further harm.

Clear away any debris 

If the crawl space has never been properly finished with insulation and ventilation, or it hasn’t been cleaned in a while, odds are there will be debris scattered about. This might include construction material remnants, insulation that’s torn or fallen, leaves or other debris, old pest nests and debris from former pests or other animal inhabitants, and so on.

Notice what should be added or replaced

Now that the space is cleaner, you have a better idea of what needs to be addressed. In some cases, it may be clear that paying professional crawl space experts makes the most sense.

Are there obvious plumbing, electrical, or ductwork issues?

If so, these need to be taken care of by a licensed contractor as you can imagine, electrical and plumbing issues are not a good combination. Bringing these back up to code reduces the risk of electrical fires, outages, shorts, and other issues.

Does the crawl space have a vapor or moisture barrier?

If you noticed evidence of moisture damage, the space feels damp, there was standing water unrelated to a plumbing leak, or there was mold/mildew growth, you probably need to install some type of moisture barrier.

Is it sufficiently insulated?

Insulation is another important step in optimizing crawl space environments. Did you know that more than 50% of your household air flows through the crawlspace and then up into the floor of your home - into the living spaces? If it lacks proper moisture control, including updated insulation, we guarantee you’re wasting considerable money on unnecessary HVAC use.

Is there significant pest or mold damage?

While small pests and mold/mildew issues may be a DIY job, significant infestations require professional attention. In addition to clearing it out and putting preventative measures in place, the space should also be sanitized to minimize the risk of dangerous toxins or spores making it into your living spaces and circulated air.

Hire a crawl space professional 

The best way to get your crawl spaces into top shape is to hire a Bay Area crawl space cleanup professional. After inspecting the space, we’ll provide an itemized list of recommended improvements that you can budget accordingly. While we do things like crawl space cleaning, moisture barrier insulation, and replacing or adding insulation, we can provide recommendations for reputable electricians, plumbers, and HVAC contractors to take care of those issues.

Schedule A Crawl Space Cleanup With Attic Solutions

The team at Attic Solutions is affordable, trustworthy, and efficient. We’ve been cleaning and optimizing crawl spaces for homeowners and landlords for more than a decade. The difference between a dirty and cleaned-up crawl space shows up in lower energy bills, better indoor air quality, and balanced humidity levels. Contact us to schedule your free crawl space consultation.

 

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