How to Clean Your Crawl Space
Keeping a clean house can be hard work, especially with kids and pets running around, and getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Everyone has different living preferences; some people are neat freaks, and others don’t mind a bit of clutter. But there’s one area of your home that must be clean but that often gets forgotten – the crawl space.
Most homeowners don’t give this space beneath their main living area a second thought, but it can make or break the home’s overall living conditions.
Yes, cleaning is a chore, but this project doesn’t have to be. You can rid your crawl space of “monsters” and other dangers for good with a one-time professional cleaning, encapsulation, and repair.
Read on if you are ready to create a safer and healthier living environment for your family.
What Parts You Need to Clean
This type of project depends on the condition of your crawl space. If you can easily access your crawl space and safely clear some things out of the way, it will save you time and money.
However, most crawl spaces are dark, damp, dingy, and full of hazards like rotting wood, moldy insulation, failing vapor barriers, and pests. If you get inside, you could be exposed to pest feces and carcasses, irritant-causing fiberglass insulation or asbestos, and poor air conditions.
As you can see, going into this space can be icky and dangerous. It’s easy to avoid these hidden hazards so they stay “out of sight and out of mind.”
But ignoring these issues only makes them worse. It’s a vicious cycle. That’s why it’s important to have the entire area cleaned and encapsulated by the pros.
This includes the floor, walls, ceiling, the whole nine yards.
The Steps Involved in Cleaning Your Crawl Space
Every home is different, but crawl space experts generally take the following steps to address crawl space problems through cleaning and installing repair solutions.
- Remove Old Insulation and Liners
- Take Out Debris and Other Organic Materials
- Regrade Dirt Floor
- Apply Mold Treatment (If Purchased)
- Install Encapsulation Solutions
Let’s take a closer look at each piece of the puzzle.
Remove Old Insulation and Liners
Fiberglass has become the standard for insulating homes. But it doesn’t belong in a crawl space, so that is the first thing that needs to be removed.
Rodents use this soft insulation as a nesting place. Plus, it acts like a sponge when it gets wet and exposes your floor joists to water. Wood rot then results as the damp insulation rubs against the wood.
Older liners or barriers that lack proper thickness and water resistance also can be a haven for mold, so these items need to be removed, as well.
Take Out Debris and Other Organic Materials
Sometimes, builders leave extra materials like wood behind, and other trash can even blow in through open vents.
These items will decompose and smell because of the organic ingredients, and your vapor barrier will be damaged by debris and sharp objects.
These are all things professionals will take great care to remove and properly dispose of, as well.
Regrade Dirt Floor
Especially with water intrusion and pest activity, the dirt floor of the crawl space is often rough terrain. Water can easily pool in sunken spots and sit there.
The pros will regrade or smooth out the dirt floor, which helps create a flat surface for further installations. These include drainage matting and a vapor barrier.
Apply Mold Treatment (If Purchased)
If there is mold in your crawl space, it won’t do any good to simply cover it up, even if other solutions remove moisture from the area. It will only grow back and worsen.
It’s important to have the mold treated and removed. If you purchase this service along with other crawl space encapsulation systems, crews holding a special applicators license will spray the affected areas in your crawl space before installing anything else.
Install Encapsulation Solutions
Once your crawl space has been thoroughly cleaned and prepped, other solutions to waterproof, encapsulate, insulate, and dehumidify the crawl space can be installed.
Every encapsulation looks different because every house is unique. However, a full encapsulation typically involves installing the following solutions:
- Interior drainage
- Drainage matting
- Sump pump
- Support posts
- Vent covers or blocks
- Insulation board
- Vapor barrier
- Air system (dehumidifier)
While your crawl space may not need everything listed here, all these solutions work together to give your crawl space the complete protection it deserves so it will stay clean, dry, and healthy.
Materials Needed to Clean Your Crawl Space
Along with the aforementioned solutions being installed, crawl space experts use other materials when cleaning crawl spaces and installing repairs, including:
- Trash bags
- PPE (masks, gloves, eyewear, suits)
The latter, especially, allows crews to safely and effectively clean and repair these often hazardous areas.
Contact the Pros at JES For Crawl Space Cleaning
You never know what could be lurking in the crawl space underneath your house. Instead of risking your health and safety, leave the “dirty work” to trained professionals.
Crawl space experts like JES have the right tools and experience needed to safely and properly inspect, clean, repair, and encapsulate your crawl space.
As industry leaders, we have been doing that for 30 years, and we have seen it all when it comes to problem crawl spaces that need some TLC.
If you’d like to learn more about how your home’s crawl space can benefit from professional repairs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. We’re just a click or call away, and so is a healthier home.
Crawl Space Cleaning
Absolutely. A clean crawl space translates to a healthier home.
Once your crawl space has been cleaned and encapsulated, you can take advantage of the following benefits:
- Better air quality
- Fewer health issues
- Lower electric bills
- Better energy efficiency
Cleaning your crawl space is not like other chores that require frequent attention.
When a crawl space expert cleans and encapsulates your crawl space, it’s a one-time deal. Other than annual maintenance check-ups, you won’t have to worry about it again.
There is no set time range on professional crawl space cleaning. How long it takes for crews to clean your crawl space and then repair or encapsulate it varies.
It depends on the condition of the space, whether it has water intrusion or other damage, if mold needs to be addressed, if exterminators need to first remove pests, as well as other variables.
Call JES for a Free Estimate
Our team at JES Foundation Repair is proud to serve homeowners in locations throughout Virginia, including: