Crawl spaces are often areas that are “out of sight, out of mind.” Paul Jamison is joined by Sam and Marty Ivey, of Ivey Exterminating, to discuss the importance of the condition of your crawl space. They should never be ignored.
One of the most important topics we discuss is maintaining a healthy crawl space. With all of the rain we have experienced in the Charlotte area over the last few months, this is a topic we find worthy of revisiting. What constitutes an acceptable crawl space environment? Is it really that important to have your crawl space inspected periodically?
Signs that your crawl space could be in peril.
We arrange for many home inspections to be conducted each year at Jamison Realty. The crawl space is, without doubt, the most crucial part of the home inspection. A poor or good crawl space inspection can determine the overall health of your home. If it is found that your crawl space has moisture, microbial issues, rodents, or insects, this can be detrimental for your entire home. It could mean that these issues are creeping their way up to other parts of your home and its structure.
The presence of bugs, like camel crickets, could mean that your crawl space has at least an impending moisture issue. Camel crickets usually congregate to one area – the wettest area, most conducive to the survival of insects and rodents. If you see them in one area, you likely have one problem area. If you find them all over your crawl space, it is indicative of a widespread moisture problem, which must be addressed immediately.
- Insect fact: Camel crickets can be easily terminated with insect baits.
What’s so bad about moisture in crawl spaces?
Mice and insects thrive in warm seasonal changes and moist environments. No one wants to address house-wide termite issues, because they neglected to maintain a healthy crawl space. Mice and squirrels love making themselves comfortable in cozy crawl spaces. They will destroy insulation and HVAC ductwork. Don’t allow your crawl space to become their playground or breeding ground! Aside from insects and rodents, microbial issues will extend into your home from your crawl space. Moisture is also bad news for your insulation – it will fall under extremely moist conditions.
- Crawl space inspection fact: Insect fecal matter, which appears as a black, tar-like substance, is often misidentified as microbial issues during home inspections.
What does your crawl space look like right now?
When is the last time you went into your crawl space? Perhaps you have never even seen it. Many homeowners have not. Have you ever had it professionally inspected? Did you know that brand new homes, or even homes under construction can have crawl space issues? Many of us function under the false assumption that new homes don’t require crawl space inspections, but nothing could be further from the truth. It takes very little time for crawl space catastrophes to evolve!
What types of changes could affect your crawl space’s health?
Seasonal changes cause expansion and contraction in our homes, including the crawl space. Un-seasonally wet or warm weather might even prompt an unplanned crawl space inspection, especially for encapsulated spaces. The vapor barrier installation should be checked thoroughly, as should the dehumidifier, to ensure that everything is in working order during unusually wet weather. If issues are detected, they can be addressed in a timely manner with no long-term effects to your home. Poor crawl space conditions can reach catastrophic levels in as little as two months.
It takes very little time for rodents to breach your crawl space and wreak havoc. It takes even less time for a drain line to become clogged, causing literal tens of gallons of water back-up underneath a home.
If it has been a while since you had your crawl space inspected, take the time to schedule one right now, and in future, keep an inspection schedule of at least once or twice yearly. It’s the best thing you can do to maintain the overall health of your home.