Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 by Betsy Rathburn
Winter is coming quickly to Minnesota and North Dakota, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to think about next spring. Crawl spaces – especially the vented, dirt floor crawl spaces so common across the two states – can pose significant problems for your home. And those problems only get worse after the winter ends.
At Innovative Basement Authority, we know that when you don’t take care of your crawl space, the rest of your house suffers. We’ve seen unprotected crawl spaces cause problems for enough homeowners that we know the perfect solution: encapsulation. But why?
Your Unprotected Crawl Space Could Be Home to Dust Mites
When you have a dirt crawl space, it makes sense that all kinds of critters make their home there. Almost anything can easily enter from the outside – insects, snakes, rodents – and make their home under your home. One of the most problematic crawl space invaders is the dust mite.
Why would such a tiny creature be such a big problem? Dust mites have short lifespans, so they reproduce very rapidly. Millions of them – and the remains of many more – could be taking over your crawl space right now. And because of the stack effect, many of them are pulled into your home through tiny cracks and gaps as air rises. This can cause big problems for those who have allergies or asthma and other lung problems.
Your Unprotected Crawl Space Could Allow Mold Growth
Mold growth is one of the biggest risks to your entire home. Because unencapsulated crawl spaces are so humid – especially when the cold, dry winter ends – it makes them the perfect place for mold to grow. And since most homeowners don’t venture into their crawl space more often, the growth could last years before anybody notices it.
When mold spreads over organic materials – like wood joists in your crawl space – it can weaken them and cause serious structural damage. Stopping the growth of mold in your crawl space is incredibly important to making sure your home’s structural integrity isn’t vulnerable.
Your Unprotected Crawl Space Could Be Costing You Money
If the cost of repairing structural damage caused by mold wasn’t enough, there’s yet another way your unencapsulated crawl space could be costing you money. Due to the stack effect, the conditioned air of your home gets pushed through tiny cracks and gaps, only to be replaced by air from the outside – or from your crawl space.
Not only is this air often filled with pollutants such as dust mites, but it’s just not heated or cooled like the air in your living space is. This means your furnace or air conditioner will have to work extra hard to make sure the house is as warm or as cool as you like it – costing you extra money.
So how do you fix these things? Easy. Encapsulate the crawl space. Using a crawl space vapor barrier like CrawlSeal, a thick liner treated with an antimicrobial finish to halt the growth of mold and mildew, is a highly effective solution for any homeowner concerned about mold, dust mites, or energy bills. Used in combination with a high-capacity, energy-efficient crawl space dehumidifier, mold and mites will be a thing of the past.
In the hundreds of crawl spaces Innovative Basement Authority has encapsulated across Minnesota and North Dakota, CrawlSeal has served us well every single time. Winter may be dry, but spring is just around the corner – along with all the moisture and humidity that comes with it. If you want to protect your crawl space – and your home – call us now.
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