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The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Crawl Spaces

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The worst advice we've ever heard about crawl spaces

You’ve lived above your crawl space for years, right? So, why worry about it now? Maybe your neighbor heard someone talking about mold or snakes in a crawl space, and she’s got you all worried. Or maybe the floor above your crawl space seems to be sagging more than usual. Whatever the reason, we at Ohio Basement Authority have the products you need to keep your crawl space clean, safe and healthy.

But, you’re a DIY kind of guy or you don’t think your problem is that bad, and you don’t want to spend the money. So, you ask your neighbor to ask her friend’s mom’s sister what she did to repair her crawl space…and you get some interesting answers.

Here is a list of the worst advice we’ve heard about crawl spaces, and why you shouldn’t listen to it:

1. The “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” Approach: “What you don’t see can’t hurt you!”

  • One of our inspectors said, “One of the worst things about crawl spaces is typically people don’t go into them! So, they have no clue that it is wet, moldy, wood is rotting, inspects and rodents are living there, and that this air is being breathed in their home. Crawl spaces are out of sight and out of mind for most homeowners, and they do not realize the negative health effects caused from a nasty crawl.”
A very dirty crawl space covered in cobwebs.

2. “Just put in some vents!”

  • Sure, a vented crawl space sounds like a good idea. Just air it out and the mold and moisture will go away! But, this actually has the opposite effect. If it is raining or humid outside, all of that moisture will get into the crawl space instead of going out. Vents also give insects and rodents great entry points into your home. It also isn’t a good idea to close existing vents without also encapsulating. This can lock in moisture and cause even more mold and rot.

3. “Use pink insulation on the walls to prevent heat loss.”

  • “If any moisture gets into the crawl space, which it most likely will, it will ruin the insulation. A better alternative is CrawlSeal and ExTremeBloc, which will insulate the crawl space and keep moisture out.” – Drew Black

4. “Just use a car jack!”

  • Sometimes homeowners will use car jacks to “repair” the sagging floor above their crawl space. When it sinks again, they just jack it back up. This is NOT a good idea. Our IntelliJacks are designed for this type of repair. They are steel supports which can each hold a load of more than 60,000 pounds. A typical car jack can support 1-3 tons or 2,000 to 6,000 pounds. When the average house weights 80,000 to 160,000 pounds, according to Darrell Hay of The Seattle Times, those car jacks aren’t going to cut it…unless you buy 80 of them.

5. “Use painter’s plastic to encapsulate.”

  • One of our inspectors said, “Painter’s plastic is for painters…it isn’t meant to keep mold and moisture out.” Our CrawlSeal liner is specially designed for crawl space encapsulation. It is 20 millimeters thick and is manufactured in seven layers – a blend of high- and low-density polyethylene and two layers of polyester cord reinforcement. It permanently keeps a crawl space free of mold, insects and dirt. It also includes an antimicrobial additive called UltraFresh and it is known to keep radon out. CrawlSeal is a considerably better option for crawl space encapsulation than painter’s plastic, which comes in sheets less than one millimeter thick, and sometimes up to 6 mils., and is designed to temporarily protect floors from paint spills and splatters.

If you have any questions about these unsuitable crawl space repair attempts, or any other advice you’ve heard, give us a call! After all, we are Ohio Basement Authority.

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