If you can’t remember the last time you entered your crawl space in your Dallas or Fort Worth home, you’re not alone. Most homeowners don’t check their crawl space for years. A majority of houses built prior to 1970 are pier and beam with crawl spaces.
Although often neglected, the crawl space could affect your home more than you think.
Did you know that close to 40% of the air in your home can enter from the crawl space?
However, the potential issues aren’t only a threat to your health. Crawl space problems mean compromised foundation, rodent infestations, and even higher energy bills.
In this article, you’ll learn how the crawl space affects everything on top of it as well as your health.
#1: Cold Floors
Have you ever noticed that your floors always seem to remain frigidly cold even when you heat the rooms?
The crawl space underneath the floors is to blame for this. Cold floors are a symptom of a crawl space that lacks adequate insulation and protection. As the air circulates in your home, the warm air rises, while the freezing air gets pulled from the crawl space.
In the long run, it’s not only a matter of comfort but when the crawl space remains uninsulated, the risk of frozen pipes increases.
#2: Critter Invasion
Crawl spaces have a surrounding layer of concrete, but that doesn’t ward off all critters. Even a tiny hole could let them inside the crawl space, potentially leading to bigger infestation problems.
It’s not only rodents like mice and rats that could live in your crawl space. There have been cases of bats, skunks, possums, and snakes being in crawl spaces.
The issue with critters is that they leave behind droppings that compromise the air quality inside your home. Further, rodents could start to chew on exposed wires or destroy the insulation layer. For these reasons, you should always make sure there’s zero infestation in your crawl space.
Assure that mandatory crawl spaces are adequately screened.
#3: Air Quality
Air quality is one of the most common issues. Many owners neglect the moisture levels in the crawl space. They avoid monitoring it, and as a result, moisture starts to grow, creating the possibility of significant trouble under the floors.
There are many reasons for moisture development. Here’s a quick overview of the most common causes:
- Lack of vapor barriers or other preemptive measures
- Major changes in temperature
- Rainy and wet climate or season
- Inadequate ventilation in the crawl space
If there’s too much moisture, you may start seeing mold and rot develop in the crawl space. Insulation and wooden beams are easy targets for any mold spores. Mold and rot generate mycotoxins that enter your living spaces through the floorboards.
You should always take sudden allergies or respiratory issues seriously. Never underestimate the hazards that could result from unkempt crawl spaces.
#4: Growing energy bills
If your energy prices stay the same yet you experience more expensive bills, your crawl space could be the reason for it.
The crawl space under your home might allow air and moisture inside. As a result of the heat transfer between the crawl space and your living areas, the AC or furnace has to work harder. Not only does this increase the unit’s wear, but it also causes your energy bills to take a larger sum out of your household budget.
There’s evidence that adding crawl space insulation leads to instant savings on energy bills. Your home turns into a more environmentally sustainable place while saving you money. Even though the insulating job is an investment, the resulting savings will pay for the work.
#5: Foundation problems
Accumulated moisture can create serious problems in your home’s foundation. When you have wooden beams supporting the structure, high moisture levels can cause extensive damage, rotting joists as well.
Crawl spaces run the risk of getting flooded. The structural damage from serious flooding may end up costing you a significant amount of money. However, the rotten sub-flooring and floor joists won’t be the only things that need attention. The fiberglass insulation saturates from all the rancid water. As a result, the insulation loses any resistance against heat transfer.
BONUS: Radon gas
Radon gas is odorless and colorless, but its concentration in the soil can be high in some areas. Radon results from the natural decomposition of uranium. The gas could find a way into your home when the crawl space isn’t properly insulated.
Chronic radon exposure is linked to lung cancer. In case of any doubt, consult an expert.
The bottom line: How does your crawl space affect your home?
Many homeowners in the Greater Dallas and Fort Worth area ignore their crawl space.
In reality, you should keep an eye on what happens in your crawl space. This area can affect the air quality in your entire home. Further, serious moisture issues can cause foundation damage.
Watch out for common signs that something is wrong. The red flags include strange smells, cold floors, noise from critters, and an unexplained increase in energy bills.