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If your home has a crawl space, you probably don’t spend too much time down there. In fact, most people with a crawl space don’t give it much thought at all. However, it’s good to know the basics about crawl space repair and maintenance so that you can prevent your crawlspace from causing problems that can affect the rest of your home.

What is a crawl space? It’s a little bit like a basement, but crawl spaces are vented to outside air. Some crawl spaces are actually about the same size as a basement. Others, however, are two feet tall or shorter, which is where the name “crawl space” comes from. With those short spaces, you have to crawl on your belly to gain access. If a home doesn’t have a basement, it either has a crawl space or a concrete slab.

There are two main reasons homes have crawl spaces:

  • Cost: It’s less expensive to build a home with a crawl space instead of a concrete pad because the builders don’t have to level a sloping lot.
  • Accessibility: It’s convenient to install an HVAC unit in a crawl space, and it’s a good place for pipes and ductwork to be located. Contractors will be able to easily access these things when repair is necessary.

Unfortunately, crawl spaces can be problematic. Moisture problems can lead to mold, wood rot, and termite infestation. When proper care is not taken with a crawl space, foundation issues can be the result. If the builder doesn’t insulate the crawl space properly, this can lead to increased heating and cooling costs. Installing a dehumidifier and performing strategic crawl space repairs can prevent many problems associated with the crawl space, including odors, floor failure, and diminished indoor air quality.

Your crawl space should have a vapor barrier, which is the first line of defense against moisture, dirt, and pests. A dehumidifier can also be helpful because it can reduce the moisture in your crawl space air before it enters your house. It’s estimated that about half the air in the first floor of a house comes from the crawl space. Especially if your crawl space has a dirt floor, it’s likely to have excessive moisture. That moisture, along with mold spores and other airborne contaminants, can have an impact not only on the air inside your home, but also the structural elements of your house. Using a dehumidifier, then, can help protect the integrity of your home, prevent pest infestations, and make your home’s air healthier for you to breathe.

If your crawl space needs help, Reliable Basement Services is here for you. A family-owned and operated company, we’ve served the greater Chicagoland area for over a decade. We offer a full spectrum of basement services, charging reasonable rates for work that includes crack repairs, sump pump systems, basement waterproofing, basement windows, and floor repair. Our consistently high standards have made us an award-winning Chicago basement waterproofing contractor, so call us at (630) 777-0539 or visit our website.

Crawl space under typical american house.
Crawl space under typical American house.

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