Unless you live in the Midwest or Northeastern part of the United States, chances are, you probably have a slab or crawl space foundation rather than a full basement. Each type of foundation has its own advantages and disadvantages, but a crawl space is usually the most economical and wisest decision.
A crawl space will provide more protection than a slab, but it won't cost nearly as much as a basement. However, it's important you take care to protect your home from problems common to crawl spaces. Here's what you need to know.
1. Don't Just Forget About Your Crawl Space
Most people have no desire to visit their dark and creepy crawl space, so it's really easy to adopt an "out of sight, out of mind" attitude. But to ensure there aren't any issues, it's important someone goes in and checks it out. Thankfully, many companies offer crawl space services and will be more than happy to annually inspect your crawl space and address any problems they may find.
2. Waterproof Your Crawl Space
Excess moisture or even standing water are one of the most common issues with crawl spaces. This excess moisture can lead to mold and mildew, which isn't good for your air quality and can wreak havoc in allergy and asthma sufferers. A damp crawl space can also attract insects and cause your wood supports to rot. Crawl space waterproofing services will assess your crawl space problems and then decide the best course of action for your specific situation. This can include:
- Applying a waterproof coating over the cement to seal any superficial cracks and reduce sweating from porous materials. This should be done on both the interior and exterior surfaces.
- Installing a sump pump. This should have a battery backup in the event the power goes out, common during bad storms, which is, of course, when you need a sump pump more than ever.
- Installing French drains. The soil around your home may not be hospitable to crawl spaces. This is especially true if there is a nearby lake, river, or another water source. French drains or other drainage systems can help keep the water from collecting in your crawl space.
3. Call An Exterminator
The dark, moist conditions of a crawlspace make it an ideal habitat for some critters. You definitely don't want wildlife taking up residence in your home's crawl space. Insect infestations, especially termites, could spell disaster for the structural integrity of your home. Snakes, especially if they are venomous, could pose a danger. Rodents spread disease, get into your food, and can cause untold damage in your walls. You crawl space should be inspected annually for signs of animal and insect activity and treated as needed.