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WHAT ARE YOU LIVING WITH IN YOUR CRAWL SPACE?

When is the last time you looked in your crawl space?  Do you know what you are living with under your home? Under the floors of even the most beautiful and expensive homes is this tight dark, and scary world called the crawlspace. Although the crawl space is out of sight, this environment impacts the air you breathe and has a major influence on the health of your home. You could be living with a problem that is impacting the quality of your life and the structural integrity of your home. 

A crawlspace is the area located between the soil and the first floor of the home providing space and access to the foundation, framing, and utility systems running below the floor. Many crawl spaces house the heating and air-conditioning ductwork, plumbing, gas lines and electric that runs throughout a house.  Crawl spaces are also known to house all types of animals, including mice, rats, snakes, raccoons, skunks, possums, lizards, scorpions and poisonous spiders like the Hobo, Brown Recluse and Black Widow. The floors of most crawl spaces are exposed dirt which provides a perfect environment for mold and pest.  Disconnected ducts and plumbing leaks not only cause a loss of energy and structural damage to your home; they create a comfortable environment for the pest that reside under your home. These unwanted residents live and die under your home, they leave behind a trail of urine and feces that can contribute to human diseases including Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Fallen insulation provides a perfect environment for mice and rats to nest in. Animals and rodents have also been known to eat through flex duct runs causing loss of energy and access into the home. 

The crawl space also houses dangers and hazards ranging from poisons, volatile organic compounds to electrical shock. Rusty nails could snag the skin and old wood may give you splinters as you try to maneuver the space. Pests may inhabit the space and could injure people who try and enter. Spider and snake bites can be lethal through infection or poison. Standing water increases the risk of chemical contamination. If pesticides were applied in the space at one time, they could still be present in the water. Because the floor of the crawlspace is below the surrounding grade, water will naturally pool there if given a chance. Moisture is the enemy of your home. Moisture in the crawl space can damage wood and insulation, leading to dry rot and decay. Crawlspace moisture can come from many sources including exterior ground water, plumbing leaks, condensation, ground vapor and humid external air which can keep moisture levels exceptionally high. A plumbing leak or disconnected duct run can go unnoticed for years costing hundreds of dollars of energy loss. 

Air moving through the crawl space naturally flows upward bringing polluted crawl space air directly into living areas through open bypasses, registers and plumbing penetrations. This air movement carries with it mold spores, odors and any harmful particles residing in the crawl space.  A poorly sealed duct system can also draw this contaminated air from the crawl space directly into the breathable air inside your home. This is bad for your health and the efficiency of your HVAC system.  

Once a year you should look under your home to see if you can notice any issues that need to be addressed. Do not enter a crawl space if there are any signs of chemical presence, standing water and exposed electrical wires or pest damage. Working in the crawl area is not easy and can be dangerous. We recommend experienced professionals do the work. 

Let Supreme Home Services develop a crawl space remediation plan that will improve the health of your home and its occupants. It will also increase the efficiency and comfort of your home.

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