Protect Your Crawl Space
Some homes have crawl spaces built into the roof, or usually under the floor. These are areas that have been constructed to allow access to electrical wiring, insulation, or plumbing that aren’t actually useable as rooms like the rest of the home. Still, they serve an important function in terms of accessibility for important repairs, so they’re a useful addition to a home depending on how it’s built. But that also means that you should ensure that the crawlspace has the same kind of protection as the rest of your home, especially when it comes to water damage.
Crawl spaces on the ground level are ones that require special care. Because of water’s natural tendency to follow gravity, a ground crawl space can be a major source of water leakage if it hasn’t been properly inspected and protected against water penetration. Even excessive moisture, such as Maryland’s hot, humid summers may be enough to cause problems not from water damage, but the growth of mold, which is especially hard to spot in the a dark, confined crawl space that isn’t subject to regular inspection. It’s very easy to miss mold growing in tough see or reach corners of a crawl space if you’re reluctant to get inside and thoroughly check out the entire space.
But there are some things home owners can do to ensure added protection for these hard to reach places. A vapor barrier for example, does a very good job of keeping moisture under control, and is relatively straightforward to install. Although the name sounds complex, a vapor barrier is really just a sheet of plastic large enough to cover the entire floor area of the crawl space. By placing it on the ground, the plastic keeps moisture that is in the ground from evaporating into the air in the crawl space and simply remaining there. This helps control the musty smell that some associate with crawl spaces, and discourages mold from finding the crawl space conducive, since many molds require both darkness and humidity in order to start a colony.
If you want to take things a step further, the best thing to do is call an expert. AA Action Waterproofing, for example, has extensive experience with evaluating foundations, crawl spaces and other parts of the home to find vulnerable areas and come up with solutions to address moisture or water leakage problems.
It’s easy to forget about the crawl space in your home, but it’s also easy for this same area to become a problem without diligent inspection and care.