If you own a home in Oklahoma, it probably has a crawl space. The question is, what are you doing to make sure it stays in good condition?
Many homeowners never give this vital area of their home a thought until it’s too late, and they find themselves facing costly foundation repairs, air quality problems, or frozen pipes. But to safeguard your home and make sure its foundation and guts are functioning at their best, your crawl space needs proper care and maintenance. And it isn’t complicated to do so, as long as you understand how your crawl space is intended to function.
A crawl space is a hollow area between the ground and the first floor of a house, meaning it serves as an alternative to having a full basement or a solid concrete slab foundation. It’s typically between one to three feet high, just large enough for you to crawl into—hence the name. And it’s normally vented to the outside air.
What Does a Crawl Space Do for Your Home?
While you may not have thought much about it, your crawl space provides some essential functions for your home. It’s where your home’s essential inner workings are contained, such as:
The crawl space provides access when these parts of your home need repair.
The Benefits of Having a Crawl Space
There are two reasons why a home may be built with a crawl space rather than a basement or slab foundation:
To lay a slab foundation, the ground needs to be even, which can mean costly leveling work. And basements involve a lot of building out, which is expensive. A crawl space eliminates these costs.
By nature, a crawl space is designed to allow workers convenient access to pipes, ducts, gas hookups, and more.
Common Problems Your Crawl Space May Encounter
Like any other area of your home, the crawl space requires care to function well and protect your home’s structural integrity. Be aware of these common issues that befall crawl spaces:
Susceptible to Moisture — Hot, humid weather can subject your crawl space to excessive dampness, leading to mold and mildew. This can damage your home’s foundation or cause air quality problems within your home.
Susceptible to Freezing Weather — Without proper insulation, your crawl space can’t stay warm enough to protect your pipes from freezing.
Susceptible to Pests — If your crawl space is not well sealed, it can be invaded by rodents, termites, raccoons, and other problem creatures.
The Results of Damage to Your Crawl Space
When homeowners don’t properly maintain their home’s crawl space, a host of problems can result — some dangerous to your health, and some damaging to your home’s condition:
Mold and mildew growth
Poor indoor air quality
Increased allergic reactions
Increased heating and cooling costs
Structural damage to foundation and flooring
How to Protect and Maintain Your Crawl Space
There are several ways to ensure your crawl space performs at its best, limiting the need for foundation repair:
Have your crawl space inspected.
Find a reputable foundation company with experienced professionals and have them inspect your crawl space for problems.
Install a vapor-barrier system.
This limits the amount of air that can flow in from outside and keeps the crawl space similar in temperature to your home’s first floor, which cuts down on moisture buildup.
Use a dehumidifier.
By removing moisture from the crawl space’s air, you prevent mold and mildew from growing in the crawl space and then making its way through the ducts into your home’s living space.
This helps protect your home’s structural integrity, so you’re less likely to need foundation repair.
Use the vents.
Open your crawl space’s vents in summer to allow more airflow to cool your home. Close them in winter to help prevent frozen pipes.
Ensure gutters are in good condition.
Another way your crawl space can be exposed to moisture is non-functioning gutters. Be sure your gutters guide water away from your home’s foundation to avoid foundation repair costs.
Professional Foundation Experts You Can Rely On
Whether you want your crawl space inspected, have questions about the condition of your home’s foundation, or need reliable foundation repair, Edens Structural Solutions is here to help you protect your investment in your home. We’re happy to offer a free consultation. Simply call us anytime.