The winters in Virginia can be rough, Roanoke is no exception to this rule; the sudden fluctuations in temperature that causes snap freezes and thaws are jarring, but they can also be dangerous for your home. This is especially true if you have a crawl space. Your property’s crawl space, after all, is one of the most vulnerable and exposed parts of your home.
5 Problems Ice Can Cause in Your Crawl Space
Water and dampness can take root in your crawl space at any time, especially if you have uncovered crawl space vents. This dampness can cause issues on its own, of course, but the real danger is found in winter when that water and dampness turns to frost and ice. When this happens, you could see severe damage to your home including:
- Damaged support joists
- Warped floorboards
- Increased energy bills
- Frost heave
- Frozen or burst pipes
These are problems on their own, but they can cause extra damage too. Dampness and standing water can cause rot, mold formation, and attract pests. And frozen or burst pipes can cause flooding in your home as well as damage the structure of your property and your belongings.
How You Can Protect Your Home from Ice
The best thing you do to protect your crawl space, in the long run, is to hire a professional contractor to insulate and waterproof it. This may have a cost attached, but it will save you money and inconvenience in the long run by minimizing the risk of damage to your home. If you are unable to undertake this work right now, however, there are things you can do to keep ice and frost out of your crawl space this winter. These simple tasks will help you to keep your crawl space dry and relatively warm.
Maintain Your Sump Pump
Your sump pump is hugely important to keeping your crawl space free from standing water. However, this hardworking piece of equipment can break down if you do not ensure that it is regularly maintained and cleaned. Having yearly maintenance undertaken before winter bites in earnest will give you the best chance to keep your crawl space dry.
Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning out your gutters and drains is a very simple task that can be done over the course of an hour or two, but it makes a huge difference. When your gutters are working at peak capacity, they will divert the lions’ share of rain away from your home perimeter and crawl space. This will minimize frost and ice by preventing water from pooling in your crawl space.
Clear Your Perimeter
When snow does fall, which is fairly frequently in Roanoke, VA, you should clear it away from your property perimeter to prevent it from building up by your crawl space vents. This will minimize the likelihood of snowmelt getting into your crawl space and freezing again when the temperature drops again.
Cover Crawl Space Vents
If you have covers for your crawl space vents, you should put them to use before winter really takes hold. This will not only prevent water from getting into your crawl space, it will help maintain a slightly higher temperature inside your crawl space. This will make it less likely that any exposed pipes will freeze. Along with sealing off these vents, it’s also best to insulate and encapsulate the crawl space.
What Professionals Can Do for You
Professional crawl space waterproofing services can take a number of forms. You could have hard foam insulation and well-fitting vent covers installed or even simply have your pipes insulated to keep them from freezing. The best possible thing for your crawl space, however, is total encapsulation which will ensure that it stays dry, clean, and relatively warm. This will protect the structure of your home, reduce humidity, and even ward off pest infestations.
There are some blogs that suggest doing this yourself, but it is better to allow professionals to undertake this kind of work to ensure that it is done properly. After all, if you fit these kinds of measures improperly you could end up trapping dampness into your crawl space, which will cause a whole host of different problems.
This is where the experts at JES Foundation Repair come in. Once you request a free crawl space inspection and repair quote, these professionals can evaluate your home and recommend solutions best suited to its unique repair needs.