The crawl space is one area of the home that many people leave alone. There’s no telling what kind of gross stuff you’ll find down there and nobody is even going to see the fruits of your efforts.
You can hire someone else to do it but that costs money that you don’t have. So, you’ll have to DIY it. If you put it off then you may end up paying for expensive home repairs instead of just crawl space cleaning.
Check out this guide to learn the ins and outs of cleaning your crawl space so you can get the job done in the safest and most effective way.
Why Clean Your Crawl Space?
None of your guests are ever going to see your crawl space this is true but they will be in your house. The air quality will be poor if you neglect the lowest area of your house. That’s not the only reason why you should stay on top of maintenance.
Reduces the Appearance of Pests and Insects
Crawl spaces are dark and quiet which makes them the perfect environment for pests and insects. Over time, their droppings will cause a horrible odor to waft through your home.
If you stay on top of crawl space clean up, these pests will be less likely to want to take up residence.
Keeps Mold and Mildew Away
Dark and damp crawl spaces don’t only attract insects and rats. They are also a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Breathing in either can make you and your family seriously ill.
Controlling Moisture and Water
Water in your crawl space typically comes from a busted pipe or some other plumbing issue. If left unchecked, it can cause water damage to your home which can result in a high crawl space repair cost.
A central part of crawl space maintenance is keeping things dry. If you go down there and see puddles of water you’ll know that something is wrong and be able to fix it before it becomes an expensive issue.
Improves Air Quality Throughout Your Home
Your crawl space should smell like dirt and soil. Animal droppings, broken drain lines, and other issues can cause a foul odor to fill the room, however. This odor will bleed into your home and affect your air quality.
Handle Your Moisture Situation First
If moisture is allowed to collect in your crawl space mold will form. After a while, this mold will start to destroy the structural integrity of your house. Installing gutters to keep rainwater away from the foundation of your home is a surefire way to limit water in your crawl space.
If you don’t have the funds to have the gutters installed, you can try forming the soil outside your house into a slope. Doing so will collect the rainwater and detour it away.
If you have a dirt floor in your crawl space it will hold in moisture. The only way to handle it is by installing a vapor barrier.
Gathering Your Materials
Now that you don’t have as much moisture coming in, you can go through your crawl space to start the cleaning process. There’s a couple of things you’re going to need before you head down.
If the ventilation in your crawl space isn’t that great you should consider renting a respirator. Even if the ventilation in your space isn’t that bad you should still pick up a dust mask to stop you from breathing in mold and other irritants.
Put on pants that have reinforced knees and invest in heavy work gloves. That will protect you from any sharp objects hiding under your house.
Close Off Pest Entryways
Once you’ve gotten your crawl space clean you want to keep it that way. Seal off entryways so more little pests can’t get in and make a mess of the place.
Look around for any cracks that might be big enough for a mouse or rat to slip through and close them up.
Mold, Mildew, and Efflorescence
If when you’re in your crawl space you see mold or mildew, leave it alone and call a professional to get rid of it. Don’t try and clean it yourself. If you see Efflorescence though, you can clean that.
All you’ll need to do the job is a brush, anti-fungicide, and a paintbrush. Use the wire brush to scrape away as much of the efflorescence as you can. Dip the paintbrush in the anti-fungicide and apply it to the area.
Dry Out the Rest of the Air
When it comes to crawl spaces, the dryer it is, the better. No matter how many measures you go through to seal it, there will always be some water coming in.
To get rid of this access moisture you’re going to need a dehumidifier. Not only will it dry out your crawl space but it will also soak up particles of mold and circulate the air.
Even though you’ll pretty much always have to have it running, these dehumidifiers are surprisingly energy-efficient.
Crawl Space Cleaning Tips to Live By
A dirty crawl space can affect the structural integrity of your home. The moisture that it collects will cause mold to form which won’t only harm your house. It will make your family sick as well.
Follow the crawl space cleaning tips in this guide to stop mold in its tracks and keep the good air flowing into your home.
Cleaning your crawl space isn’t the only maintenance you’ll have to do in your house. Check out the Home & Garden section of our blog daily for all the latest tips.