old vapor barrier

Annual Crawlspace Checkups: A Proactive Approach to Homeownership

If not maintained regularly, your home can become a health hazard. Yes, we know that this sounds harsh, but it is true. If you don’t resolve all problems as soon as they arise, things will only go downhill from there. It is why you clean everything constantly, repair things when they break, invest in remodeling, and so on.

However, there is one thing that people usually forget to deal with – crawlspace. No one ever goes down there, so why would you care? Well, the fact is that this is the area of your house where most of the major issues occur. In this article, we will explain why it is important to conduct the crawlspace inspection and tell you everything you need to know about it.

untreated crawl space

Potential problems

This area is the foundation of your house, and its main purpose is to act as a shield and protect your property from the negative effects of pests and moisture from the earth. Still, keep in mind that this place also has to be maintained regularly. When we say regularly, it means that you have to check it every year. Otherwise, you will face numerous issues that can cause structural damage and endanger your health, and here are some of them.

mold in crawl space


Mold is probably the first thing that comes to your mind. You know that the spores are all around, but when do they start developing and become an issue? The answer is when they find a perfect breeding ground. Naturally, the best ground for mold spores development is a tight, dark, damp space. It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Considering how frequent this issue is, it is vital to add the crawlspace to the list of other areas of your home you have to check when looking for mold. It almost doesn’t matter if your basement is clean because if there is mold in the crawlspace, it will eventually infect it and spread through floors and ceiling until it infects the entire house.

damaged insulation

Damaged insulation

While on the subject of potential moisture issues, your home’s insulation will suffer first. If there is moisture in the crawlspace, this is where mold will develop. In fact, it will have easy access to the floors and walls. If you haven’t inspected this area in a while, it can be fairly easy to notice this damage. If the floor is too cold during the winter and hot during summer, it is a red flag that something is occurring in the crawl space.

flooded crawlspace


Now there are many reasons why flooding can occur. First of all, it can happen due to heavy rainfall if the drainage system doesn’t function perfectly. Oftentimes, the water will recede on its own, but there are telltale signs that this is a reoccurring issue. Yes, we are talking about so-called efflorescence stains. These chalky marks are a deposit of water left on foundation walls. If you notice these, it means that you have a problem.

On the other hand, there may be leaky pipes. Naturally, this is something you have to fix as soon as possible. If you ignore these, the water will damage foundation walls, wood, insulation and cause other above-mentioned problems.

Pests and Rodents

Pest infestation is probably your worst nightmare. Getting rid of these can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Generally speaking, people do not understand they face this issue until they see the actual damage in and around their home. It is when they choose to act but oftentimes forget to look for the source. Yes, the crawlspace is the most common area pests attack.

Similarly, rodents love this space because it is a perfect warm shelter. However, they will chew through insulation, wiring, PVC, wood, and other materials. Plus, rodents are always noisy. The last thing you should do is ignore these sounds, but instead, make sure to go out and check the crawlspace immediately.

How to prevent these?

Now that we have given you more than enough reason to inspect the crawlspace and deal with these issues, if you notice them, let us tell you how you can prevent or at least minimize the chances of them occurring. We are talking about crawlspace encapsulation. In a nutshell, you can observe it as a process of lining and covering the entire area with a barrier to entirely seal the place.

This is done by professionals, and there are a few tasks they have to complete. Firstly, they clean the area and remove all the trash, debris, damaged insulation, and so on. Next, they have to eliminate all the visible mold. If they skipped this step, the spores would only continue developing, and mold would easily spread. Upon completing these tasks, it is time to seal off the vents and install new insulation that will be a barrier between the natural elements and your home. Finally, the last step is installing a dehumidifier, which will control the air quality and moisture levels.

properly encapsulated crawlspace

Benefits of the crawlspace encapsulation

Before we conclude, we have to tell you about the benefits of encapsulating your crawlspace. Did you know that over 50% of the air inside your home comes from this area? Because of this, it is vital to keep this place clean and moisture-free. It is exactly what encapsulation does. During hot months it regulates the moisture levels, and during the cold ones, it eliminates dust. Simply put, this is the best way to improve the quality of the air you breathe in.

Furthermore, due to the fact that moisture won’t be an issue anymore, you won’t have to worry about mold, wood rot, and similar structural damages, as well as pests and rodents. These represent most of the problems we have discussed, meaning that you will eliminate all of them at once.

Finally, did you know that crawlspace encapsulation boosts your home’s energy efficiency? Not only it shields your house, but it also reduces your energy bills. As we have already explained, it serves as a form of insulation, meaning that you will stop wasting energy trying to warm up or, on the other note, cool your home down.