News & FAQ

Creepy Crawl Spaces

10/22/2014

Valerie Johannsen People & Brand Manager

If you don’t have a Halloween costume yet, we have the perfect idea! You can spend Halloween day getting intimately familiar with your dirty, cobwebby crawl spaces and emerge as a believable zombie.

When it comes to crawl spaces, there’s the good, the bad, and the ugly. Many people never inspect their attic, never mind their crawlspaces. It is a scary task – who knows what you’ll find down there? There will definitely be dirt and dust, but maybe even spiders, bugs, rodents, and other terrors. But, it’s the season of scares, so get in the holiday spirit!

Like roofs, chimneys, and insulation, we normally don’t think about the status of our crawlspaces; out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, as we all know, prolonged neglect of nearly anything will cause more expensive structural, or even health-related issues.

Your crawl spaces are vital to the foundation of your home, and if left unchecked, can cause moisture, airflow, air quality, and other issues in your home. Most crawlspaces have a lot of air leaks, bringing warm humid air into y our home during the summer, and letting in cold air during the winter.

Before your crawl space causes problems for your living area, check these items off your action list this fall. If you wait until Halloween day to creep around your crawlspace, you’ll already have a believable zombie costume by the time the first trick-or-treaters appear. First, put on your breathing mask so you don’t inhale dirt and dust, and maybe even dangerous chemicals like pesticides. Next, put on gloves, jeans, and knee pads, and get ready for a crawl space adventure. You might also want a helmet; they call them crawl spaces for a reason.

  • Check the exterior of your house to make sure your gutters are cleared and properly diverting water away from your home’s foundation. Most moisture-related problems in your basement and crawl spaces can be fixed by checking the gutters and making sure water is diverted away from the foundation. Make sure you use weatherproof caulk to seal up any cracks you find in your home’s foundation. Your crawlspace should be waterproofed.
  • Assuming that moisture penetration is under control, you are ready to inspect the interior. If your crawlspace has a dirt or gravel floor, it is a good idea to seal the floor with a polyethylene, roofing paper, or concrete to prevent vapor and moisture. Even if your crawl space feels dry, there still may be moisture underneath, especially after heavy rains.
  • When you are down there, look for any unstable supports, leaking or cracking ducts, unstable walls, signs of moisture penetration, and cracked floor joists. If there are any signs of structural damage, rotted wood or termite damage, repair the problem immediately before proceeding. Use mastic sealing to seal air duct leaks. Call in a professional if necessary.
  • If everything is OK, you can put down the insulation. Use vapor barrier foam insulation to prevent moisture, reduce odor, and save energy. Right before winter is a great time to insulate your crawlspaces, keeping things cozy in the living spaces above. It will also help keep things dry and prevent mold problems. Here is a good video on how to insulate crawlspaces:
  • If you need help insulating your crawlspace, we can do that for you and in the process, calculate how much ventilation your crawl space needs and make appropriate changes to the vents and insulation.

Service Legends is your trusted HVAC company in the Des Moines area. Give us a call now at (515)-266-3678 or visit us on our website for a full list of services.

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