Whether you've just moved in or you've been a homeowner for years, chances are there are a few places in your house you haven't come across yet. Your attic and basement are good places to explore upon purchasing a new home; however, you'll need to venture into smaller, tighter spaces to maintain your place. Here's what a crawl space entails and four things you should probably know about it.
What Is a Crawl Space? The crawl space is the area of limited height under your floor or roof. Because this area houses important features like vents, beams, drains and pumps, it needs regular attention. Familiarize yourself with your crawl space and set aside time every month to check it.
Have You Ever Been in Your Home's Crawl Space? Now that we've gone over what a crawl space is, you should know whether you've been in the one in your house. If you already monitor this space from time to time, you're off to a good start. There are several things to keep in mind when you do evaluate it, and, in case you haven't taken a peek at it yet, the list below includes a breakdown of what you need to know about this area. Things You Should Pay Attention to in Your Crawl Space 1. The Vapor Barrier Prevents Buildup The sandy or earthen floor of the average crawl space should be covered with a polyethylene vapor barrier (plastic sheet). One timely LA Times newspaper article disclosed that the use of a vapor barrier will reduce the amount of moisture entering a crawl space through the natural process of ground water evaporation. This is beneficial because keeping that area dry will reduce the potential for wood rot and mold. Moreover, arid conditions in the crawl space also cut down on wood-destroying insect activity. The polyethylene vapor barrier should be replaced every few years to prevent moisture, dirt and dust buildup as well as energy losses from heating and cooling. 2. The System of Ducts Affects Energy Efficiency Your crawl space encompasses ductwork, which requires routine checkups to ensure that the ductwork pertaining to your home's appliances and heating and cooling systems is hidden and insulated. 3. The Plumbing Can Suffer From Mold Infestations Your crawl space also includes your home's plumbing system, which depends on renewed insulation to ward off condensation and additional moisture that can cause corrosion and other damage. 4. The Electrical Wiring Can Be Chewed by Critters Your crawl space contains electrical wiring, which, although often insulated and coated with thick plastic, is a target for rodents and at risk of snagging if it is loose or dangling. Be proactive and consider these sensitive areas of your house so you can avoid electrical, plumbing and other issues, and care for your home. Once you find your property's crawl space, evaluate it according to this list and, if anything appears out of the ordinary, make sure to take the proper measures to resolve any problems. Reach out to us today if you have any questions regarding your house's crawl space or additional queries regarding home ownership.