What Is A Crawl Space?
A crawl space is an area under your home acting as your foundation or basement. The primary purpose of a crawl space is to allow air to circulate through your home, along with providing quick and easy access to the structure of your home.
What Purpose Does A Crawl Space Serve?
For many home owners the primary purpose of a crawl space is to store seasonal and infrequently used items. I don’t recommend using your crawl space as a storage space; moisture from damp soil and water seeping through concrete can lead to the formation of mold and mildew on your stored items. Nobody likes moldy toys… I always get asked the question, “what will I find in my crawl space”? If cleaned regularly you will find the following home essentials;
- Dirt, rocks or/and possibly a vapor barrier
- Plumbing pipes and drains
- Electrical wiring
- Beams and support structures
Should I Seal My Crawl Space?
Water pipes, ductwork and electrical wiring are susceptible to the outside temperatures, which become a great concern during Montreal’s winter months. A freezing pipe can lead to a cracked pipe, leaving 3-4 inches of water collecting under your crawl space or on the side of your foundation. Drainage is vital in keeping your footings intact and your home crack free. Insulating your crawl space will also allow your heating/cooling ducts to operate efficiently, reducing any losses of heat during the winter months. You want to make sure your crawl space is sealed from the outside elements; this means holes should be caulked along with vents being closed for the season.
Keeping Your Crawl Space Clean
Keeping your crawl space clean yields many advantages, below are two main benefits you will experience shortly after having your crawl space cleaned.
- Improved air quality; mold, mildew and animal infestations can drastically reduce air quality. As a result a clean crawl space will allow for improved air circulation along with cleaner air being circulated.
- Low energy efficiency; poorly maintained crawl spaces can develop numerous large cracks, gaps or holes that allow water & moisture into the space. Large holes and cracks can also reduce your homes energy efficiencies.
Here are a few surprises you may discover along the way to cleaning your crawl space:
- Pest infestation
- Insufficient insulation
- Moldy or wet insulation
- Various smells (due to animals and mold)
- Water damage