Winter is the time of the year when a lot of households hunker down and enjoy their time indoors with guests and family. As a homeowner, however, you know that the season also brings a lot of other issues for you to deal with, such as cold weather causing problems to vented crawl areas. Due to melting snow and frost, these low-lying areas are prone to water intrusion. Snow penetrates the soil around your foundation as it melts, and water pressure from melting snow pushes against the foundation walls, causing fissures. Aside from water damage, these cracks allow cold exterior air into your home, resulting in cold floors. How else does winter affect your home’s crawl space? Is there anything you can do about it? Crawl space specialist Special Touch Restoration is here to help!
Effect: Indoor Air Quality Issues
A sealed crawl space is essential for your home’s overall health. A rise in humidity and moisture in the crawl area creates ideal conditions for mold growth, wood damage and pest infestation. Mold, for example, releases spores into the crawl space air (which can number in the thousands and can be dangerous for people if inhaled directly). If the crawl space isn’t properly sealed or maintained, mold spores, foul odors, and dust mites may contaminate the air that you and your family breathe indoors, especially when the chilly air from your subterranean areas rises through the stack effect into your living area.
Effect: Moisture Buildup Problems
The weather outside creates highly damp soil during the winter. This water seeps into your crawl space through the exposed dirt floors and walls before evaporating into the air. If the winter in your location is substantially worse due to heavier snowfall or other forms of precipitation, more moisture will build up in your soil, and you may notice mold and fungi growing quickly in your crawl space, which will prompt you to call for a mold restoration crew.
Preventing Cold Crawl Spaces
Making your crawl space part of the warm side of your home through sealing and encapsulation is one of the best techniques to deal with a cold crawl space. A technician will cover the vents, then enclose the crawl space with a 20-milimeter plastic vapor barrier to keep cold air and water out. The liner goes across the dirt floor and wall to wall. It can also be used in conjunction with other products, such as interior drainage and a sump pump, as well as insulating panels.
Seal and insulate supply and return ducts, as well as hatchways, in the crawl space. Check to see if these fittings are airtight, as you must ensure that there are no leaks or holes that allow heat to escape. Outside moisture and vermin will no longer be significant issues to your property once your crawl area is sealed and securely encased. It’ll keep dry, and the temperature inside will gradually match that of your living spaces, giving you a warm, pleasant home throughout the winter.
Need a team to deal with basement water damage? Special Touch Restoration is a company of experts that strives to be the recognized leader of the disaster restoration industry and to provide a company structure that upholds the commitment of total customer satisfaction. Our restoration technicians have been trained in the methods and practices of the Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), as well as specialize in crawl space encapsulation, which is heavily susceptible to moisture problems that can prompt costly repairs!
For any inquiries, contact us through our offices in North Alabama (256) 330-4822 or South Alabama (251) 512-1424. You can also fill out our contact form to request an appointment.