Crawl spaces and basements are some of the most overlooked spaces when it comes to buying a home and routine property maintenance. Yet they are also some of the most critical parts of your house for stability and your health.
If you haven’t cleaned your crawl space in the past six months, it’s a good time to check out what’s happening down there. Keep reading to find out why it is so important to clean, when you should hire a pro, the additional improvements you might want to make, and repair costs.
Why Clean Your Crawl Space
Keeping a clean crawl space is very important for your home and anyone staying in it. Basements can be even more important. These are some of the most valuable extra spaces in your home and shouldn’t be neglected.
If your crawl space isn’t clean, you really don’t have a good picture of what is happening down there. You don’t know what’s hiding or what other problems are lurking there. If you don’t know, chances are there are problems that need to be handled.
If the space under your Columbus, OH, home isn’t clean, then it is a highly attractive place for insects, rodents and other pests. Eventually, they will make it into your home. Even before that, they can eat away at the infrastructure of your home. This is especially true of termites, mice, and rats. They also can impact your home through your air quality. Most of the air you breathe comes from under your home. Obviously, breathing dust mites and rodent feces all day and night probably isn’t the healthiest thing for you, your family or any guests.
The same is also true of dampness and mold that can be growing down there and spreading to the rest of your home.
Once this space is clean you’ll be able to better assess if there are any other water-related or foundation problems. These are essential to address as soon as possible.
How Much Does It Cost To Clean Your Crawl Space?
Crawl space cleaning costs can vary widely based on several factors.
Who is doing the cleaning is clearly the most significant variable. You may be able to clean your own space for less than a few hundred dollars. There are three main problems with this. One, you don’t know what you are going to encounter down there and it can be dangerous. Animals with infectious diseases love living here. You also don’t really know what to look for in other signs of foundation problems and health hazards. There can be dangerous health hazards including toxic mold, radon gas, and asbestos, for instance. Professionals will wear full-body suits and respirators to clean or work in your crawl space.
Access is a factor too. How easy is it to get in, out and navigate your crawl space? If you have a mobile home with no skirting and lots of light, it may be much easier. If you have a concrete block enclosed crawl space with no light and a small entrance, it is going to be much more challenging.
Size plays a role too. Is it 500 square feet or 5,000 square feet? How long has it been since it was last cleaned? Are there any specific hazards you are trying to address — for example, old fiberglass insulation, rodent and pest infestations, or the smell of dead animals?
A simple cleaning may run a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand depending on all of these items.
Cleaning Versus Improving Your Space
Once you have a clean space, you can finally get to repairs and improvements. Remember that your health and protecting the interior of your home and above ground walls all depend on this space. Foundation problems can bring your whole home crashing in.
The most common issues to tackle are water-related. This includes dampness, leaks, cracking concrete block walls and flooding. Waterproofing costs can also vary significantly from a simple but effective vapor barrier to installing new drains. The best local foundation experts should provide you with a free inspection and estimate, custom solutions to fit your unique needs and attractive financing options if needed.