Building An Addition: A Homeowner's Guide

Making Crawl Space Improvements To Protect Your Family And Your Home

by Toni Richards

Does your home have a crawl space underneath it? If so, when was the last time that you went under the house to see the condition the area is in? If your crawl space is in poor condition, you're putting your home and your family at risk. Here, you'll learn some of the services that can be performed to ensure that your crawl space isn't making your family sick or damaging your home.

Vapor Barrier Encapsulation

This is one service to which you should give serious consideration. When the crawl space is encapsulated, the area is basically separated from the exterior conditions. When it's raining outside, the water will stay outside – it will no longer run under your home and cause the soil under the house to get wet and hold that moisture, slowly releasing it into the wood supports under the home.

Crawl space encapsulation will prevent unhealthy gases from moving up through the soil and filling the home with toxins, forming mold and mildew, and rotting the wood.

Insulation Replacement

Your crawl space should be well-insulated to slow how quickly your home heats up during the summer and slow down the loss of heat during the winter. For better energy efficiency and comfort all year long, consider having the insulation under your home replaced.

Drainage and Pumps

If the water doesn't have anywhere to go, it's going to sit under your home; when the water is allowed to sit, the problems begin. If you aren't sure if the water is finding a way out of the crawl space, take a light and check under your home after a heavy rain. You should see the water flowing in a controlled manner out from under the home or into a pump tank.

The pump tank utilizes a sump pump to pull the water out of the tank and away from the crawl space. If you have a lot of water and don't have a sump pump, it's time to consider having one installed.

If you are new to owning a home with a crawl space, contact your local crawl space professional. Allow him or her to perform an inspection and make any suggestions that will protect your home and your family from the nasty things that can happen if the crawl space is not kept clean, dry, and well-maintained. In the end, you'll have a healthy environment to call home and a crawl space that won't need much attention for quite some time.