Your crawl space is a really important part of your home. You might not realize this because you probably spend very little time down there. It is dark, damp and even a little creepy, but it houses the most important elements of your home. Your plumbing pipes, air ducts and even the structural integrity of your home depend on the crawl space being in good shape in order for your home to stay healthy. Since this area of the home is so crucial, you should probably be aware of what factors can ruin it.
Animals Can Make Your Crawl Space A Very Unhealthy Place
We go into a lot of crawl spaces and see all sorts of things that can really make for an unhealthy environment, but probably the most common is an animal infestation. Whether it be raccoons, opossums, cats, rodents or skunks, they can do a ton of damage in a relatively short amount of time. The most common of these would probably be rodents since they need a smaller entry point to get in and can even dig underneath the foundation. Some homes can have some rats or mice underneath their home and not have to do a complete crawl space restoration if it never gets out of hand, but once they start to reproduce, it can get pretty contaminated. To make matters worse, the more rodents that are in your crawl space, the stronger their scent gets and the stronger their scent gets, the more rodents are attracted to your crawl space. It can be a vicious cycle that should probably be stopped by doing some pest control.
If rodents are the most common, then raccoons are probably the most damaging. They can really destroy a crawl space quickly because they are smart enough to detach your air ducts and pull down your insulation for a bed. It doesn’t take long before your crawl space is in really bad shape.
How You Can Avoid A Contaminated Crawl Space
With rodents, this is hard to do unless you act quickly. It might be a good idea to be on a quarterly preventative maintenance with a pest control company. This will ensure that the rodents don’t get underneath your home and start populating without you even knowing about it. With raccoons and other wildlife, it is a little bit simpler. Since they will need a larger opening to be able to get in, you should be able to walk around your house and identify possible entry points. Obviously, you are going to be looking at foundation vent screens and making sure they are intact. Be sure to look for opening where wires are going into the crawl space (near a heat pump or cable wires). A common entry point that can easily get missed is underneath a deck, so do your best to ensure that there isn’t an opening there.
If you are concerned that you have a crawl space that is not healthy right now, please give us a call. Remember that the longer that you wait, the worse that it will get. Acting quickly can save a lot of money and ensure that the air that you are breathing is healthy.