“Out of sight, out of mind.” As sayings go, this one doesn’t offer the best advice, but it’s dead on for how people act. After all, it’s easy to ignore something when it isn’t right in front of you, no matter how wise or unwise it is to do so.
It’s because of this that crawlspaces often fall into neglect. The trouble starts right there in the name: you have to crawl to get in and look around, and beyond that crawlspaces are often dark, stuffy, smelly, and otherwise unpleasant. All this makes it hard to want to spend any time down there, but even so it’s a good idea to conduct a crawlspace inspection on a regular basis.
Invisible Problems, Visible Results
Since crawlspaces aren’t meant to be living areas, they usually aren’t given the same attention and care as a full basement. Depending on when the home was built and who built it, your crawlspace may not have much in the way of ventilation beyond a small grate to let outside air circulate and maybe a pipe to let radon gas escape without filtering through the house.
However, that poor ventilation could become a problem even if you never spend any time in your crawlspace. The vent should be able to keep animals and insects like termites out, but it’s worth taking a look every few months to make sure it hasn’t come loose or rusted out. And even if the vent is in perfect condition, mold spores are everywhere, and they can thrive in neglected crawlspaces. This is especially worth noting if you live somewhere humid like eastern Maryland, since mold can live on nothing more than dew and condensation.
Of course, even a mold outbreak in your crawlspace isn’t always worth the effort to go down and scrub it away, even if it is responsible for the unpleasant, musty odor. However, sometimes mold can cause problems in your house, too.
“Black mold” refers to a group of mold species whose spores contain a mycotoxin that affects the bodies of humans and other animals, and they can make you feel like you constantly have a mild or even a major cold whenever you’re at home. And if black mold builds up enough in your crawlspace, its spores can infiltrate the rest of your home.
Keep Your Problems In Sight
Because of these factors, it’s important to perform a crawlspace inspection on a regular basis, either personally, with the help of a friend, or with the help of a professional. You don’t have to inspect your crawlspace often, but by doing so you can find mold outbreaks and other infestations before they become a major problem. You’ll also be able to look at the ducts, pipes, and wires that run underneath the floor and see whether they’re in good shape.
You could also choose to go beyond a crawlspace inspection. Crawlspace encapsulation is a process that covers the ground and the sides of your crawlspace with a waterproof and airproof barrier, protecting it from water infiltration, high humidity, and animals both big and small. The process can be expensive, but in exchange you can get much better air quality and a crawlspace that’s so clean and dry you can use it for storage.
Get An Expert’s Help
AA Action Waterproofing serves clients throughout the state of Maryland and beyond, and we can tackle any sort of problem involving foundations, basements, or crawlspaces. We can perform a crawlspace inspection for you in case you can’t do it yourself for any reason or else you don’t know what to look for. Our first inspection and initial estimate are free, and they come with no obligation so it won’t hurt to ask.
Our services include mold remediation, crawlspace encapsulation, and foundation repair. Even if you have a horror story underneath your floorboards, don’t worry, because in the three decades we’ve been in business we’ve never met the basement or foundation we couldn’t fix. So whether you’re just looking for an expert opinion on your crawlspace or you want the professionals to fix up your crawlspace with a full encapsulation, you can count on AA Action Waterproofing to be there and to help you get the job done right.