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Winter crawl space issues

The crawl space is an easy place to ignore, however it is an important area to check and maintain. Crawl space issues can develop slowly or quickly and lead to costly repairs. Team Newman has a few suggestions on what to look for and prevent major issues.

 

Be wary of elevated moisture in a crawl space – Standing water and high humidity can create lasting damage in a crawl space. Humidity levels over 60 percent allow for microbial growth and deterioration of structural materials. A damaged or missing vapor barrier can allow for elevated levels of moisture in a crawl space. 

 

Winter water intrusions need to be monitored – Snowmelt and ground saturation can be an issue for a crawl space. Imperfections in a foundation allow for water to enter a crawl space. As foundations shift, settle and deteriorate, waterproofing and structural measures are often required to prevent water instructions.

 

Check crawl space for damaged vapor barrier or missing insulation – Damaged or missing vapor barriers lead to eventual moisture issues. It is also important to inspect a crawl space for missing insulation. A lack of insulation leads to issues with frozen pipes and makes heating a home less efficient. If there is an issue with keeping a crawl space warm, installing pipe wrap can prevent freezing.

 

Rodents are another potential hazard – Rodents can take shelter in a crawl space during the winter. It is common to find them living in the insulation. Rodent feces and carcasses can create an unhealthy environment. It is important to check around a crawl space for signs of rodents as their presence will create a health hazard.