Other Foundation Space Mistakes to Avoid
Crawl space issues are very common and most homeowners have faced them at one point or another. When it comes to keeping your home’s crawl space safe, properly insulated and out of reach for pests and rodents, ensure you’re not making these mistakes.
Mistake #1: Ineffective Crawl Space Doors: Crawl space doors serve a crucial function. On one hand, they keep your home’s foundation space free from pests and rodents. On the other, they are also meant to keep your crawl space dry by keeping moisture or humidity out to the extent possible. Dampness or increased humidity levels are the biggest concerns when you think about keeping these under-house spaces mold-free. A good crawl space door will solve both these problems, it will seal your space effectively, keeping moisture and other unwanted elements out, provided the rest of your crawl space is effectively insulated as well. This will reduce the maintenance costs you would otherwise incur in mold treatments and in keeping these spaces dry. It will also lead to more efficient energy usage for your home and lower energy bills. Homemade wooden doors and old-fashioned metal doors are prone to rot and rust damage and are often not as effective as PVC crawl space doors that are used in most newer homes.
Mistake #2: Adding vents: Some people believe that additional vents help in air circulation and in drawing moisture out of the crawl space. Contrary to popular belief, additional vents don’t keep your crawl space dry. In fact, this can lead to added moisture content in the crawl space. The humid air eventually rises up into the space above, into your home’s living area as well. The additional vents will also cause considerable energy loss. Energy companies recommend closing crawl space vents and sealing them with insulation from the inside during the winter.
Mistake #3: Improper insulation: It’s very important to create a vapor barrier between the ground floor of your home and your home’s crawl space. It is equally important to keep outside air out of your crawl space to keep it dry. Insulating damp crawl spaces with the wrong material or in an improper manner makes the problem worse leading to even further mold and mildew challenges. Review the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s current recommendations on types of insulation before you start working on your crawl space or hire someone for the job.
Other common mistakes related to crawl space maintenance include venting the dryer into the crawl space, having an ineffective drainage system and improper gutter and downspout maintenance. All of these will directly impact your crawl space and thus lead to recurring maintenance and repair expenses if not taken care of. The good news is that the solution is not very difficult to implement. A good quality PVC crawl space door, for instance, can solve many of these problems today.