Texas Living

What to Know About Crawl Space Maintenance

By Melissa Flandreau 2.3.21

When it comes to foundation, there are three main types you’ll find in homes: slab, basement, and crawl space. Each option offers different advantages, but for crawl spaces, a few things stand out: Along with offering easy access to wiring and plumbing, they’re durable and work well in dry climates.

Protecting your foundation — no matter which type you have — is an essential part of homeownership, and just like the rest of your house, your crawl space needs regular upkeep. Here are some crawl space maintenance tips to keep in mind before venturing under your house.

Crawl With Caution

If you’re planning to enter your crawl space, safety should always be top of mind. That means taking precautions such as wearing protective clothing, using a respirator, and bringing along a light source, even during the day. Don’t forget to look for any visible hazards, such as standing water, broken glass or nails, or animal nests, before entering. And always tell a family member, neighbor, or friend about your plans before you enter the space.

Watch Out for Moisture

From mold and mildew to structural damage and wood rot, moisture can cause all kinds of headaches for homeowners. That’s why it’s essential to keep your crawl space dry and to always be on the lookout for any standing water or leaks. A few main culprits? Poor drainage, groundwater, and plumbing issues. Insulating a crawl space, installing a vapor barrier, and purchasing a crawl space dehumidifier are all ways to prevent moisture from damaging your home.

Keep Out Critters

Pests such as rodents, roaches, and termites are common problems in crawl spaces. Preventing these unwelcome visitors from moving in is another benefit of controlling moisture. You can also work to avoid pest damage by closing up holes, sealing any cracks, and keeping your crawl space as free from debris and other items as possible. Taking these steps can remove potential homes for pests.

Inspect Regularly

Conducting regular crawl space maintenance can prevent future damage and costly repairs down the line. Whether you inspect it yourself or hire a trusted inspector, it’s important to regularly check on and clean your crawl space once every six months. Remind yourself by adding the task to your home maintenance checklist.

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