Admit it. Your crawlspace is scary.
Spider webs, dirt, damp, dark and dungeon-like are what comes to mind.
Our hot, humid Birmingham weather makes your home’s crawlspace an even more unpleasant area. But have no fear, we asked our local and trusted friends at AFS, A Groundworks Company how and why they should inspect your crawlspace for you this summer.
The air you breathe
According to AFS, as much as 50% of your indoor air comes from below in spaces like your crawlspace and even your basement.
The nation’s leading advocate for clean air, the American Lung Association (ALA), identifies moist and damp crawlspaces as potential breeding grounds for mold growth, a dangerous air pollution source for all of us, especially to people who are sensitive to bad air.
From ALA’s website on mold and dampness:
“The best way to control dampness and mold indoors is to control the sources of moisture. That means preventing the problem from developing as well as fixing new problems quickly. Common problem areas include air-conditioning units; basements, attics and crawl spaces…”
Furthermore, according to the association, exposure to mold can trigger allergic reactions and asthma symptoms in some people. Anyone—with or without allergies—may experience irritation of their eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs when exposed to airborne mold particles.
But even if you don’t have mold – dampness inside a home via places, such as your crawlspace, can cause asthma attacks and other upper and lower respiratory problems.
Dampness and mold have been linked to:
- Worsening of asthma
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
Make your home more livable
So, how do you go about making the air in your home cleaner? Here are a few tips from our friends in Birmingham, AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists.
Be on the lookout for these signs of potential problems
Look around your home. Do you have cold floors and high energy bills in the winter? What about musty and offensive odors, sagging floors and walls? Do you see standing water, a soft muddy crawl space floor, any mold growth appearing on the joists, beams and sub floors in your crawlspace?
Prevention is the best solution
Crawlspace maintenance will help you avoid unnecessary repairs and could create a healthier living space. In fact, according to the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy it can also save you money. From their “Building America research” on unvented crawlspaces, repairs and preventative measures has demonstrated energy savings up to 15% to 18% for heating and cooling, and can reduce humidity up to 20%.
Not only can you save money on your electric bills, one additional bonus: if you encapsulate your crawlspace with a vapor barrier, you’ve gained valuable storage space in your home.