Most homes in Florida do not have basements, unlike homes in much of the rest of the country. This is because the groundwater in the Sunshine State is very close to the surface, so it is usually impossible to dig out for a basement.
Instead of basements, many Florida homes have crawl spaces, which serve several purposes. They provide a buffer between the house and the ground below. One benefit of this buffer is that it can help minimize the likelihood of termite infestations. Crawl spaces also can be used to run piping, duct work, and wiring throughout the home.
Because crawl spaces are out of sight (and often unsightly!), many homeowners never give them a second thought. However, crawl spaces should be a regular consideration for homeowners who have them.
One reason to be aware of the crawl space in your home is that air from the crawl space enters the home, so crawl space problems can quickly lead to other issues. (Estimates suggest that more than half the air in your home may come through the crawl space.) Dust, mold, and mildew are all common in crawl spaces. Due to the way air circulates, those can all end up in living areas where they can lead to damage and potentially serious health problems for people and pets.
It is important to do crawl space cleanup periodically, and even more important to clean the crawl space if you notice any of the following issues:
- Musty odors inside the home. Odors from the crawl space will naturally make their way up into the living areas of the home.
- Dampness in unusual places in the house. Worn or damaged insulation in the crawl space can result in dampness rising into the home.
- Sagging floors. As joists below the main floor age or get damaged from water or pests, they may begin to sag.
- Mold that cannot be explained. Mold is a common issue in homes, especially in Florida’s humid conditions. However, while a small amount of mold in a bathroom or kitchen may not be a serious issue, unexplainable mold on walls, floors, or baseboards can be a sign of a crawl space issue.
- Wood rot. Dampness in the crawl space can cause rot of floor joists, wooden support jacks, and any other wood.
- Higher than normal energy bills. If the crawl space has insulation, over time it can be damaged by mold and humidity, leaving it to become less effective. This results in less energy efficiency and higher energy bills.
- Animals living in the crawl space or pest infestations. Rodents, insects, and even bats are drawn to dark, quiet areas like crawl spaces. Their presence directly beneath the home raises the likelihood that they will enter your home. Additionally, they can do damage to the insulation, floor joists, or structure of your home.
Issues in your crawl space can also cause health problems like allergies and asthma.
Crawl Space Cleaning
Routine crawl space inspection and cleaning can help to ensure that there are no issues or identify small problems before they become larger.
Professional crawl space cleaning services can take care of everything that needs to be done, including:
- Removing debris. Anything found in the crawl space is susceptible to the moisture that is naturally found there, so unnecessary items should be removed and disposed of properly.
- Repair or replace damaged vapor barriers. Vapor barriers prevent ground moisture from damaging the structure of the house, so if they become damaged it is important to repair or replace them.
- Inspect for evidence of rodents or pests. If any evidence of rodents is found, pest removal services may be needed and then openings sealed once they are no longer present. Termites or other insects can also cause serious damage and would need treatment by the appropriate professionals.
- Remove and replace insulation if needed. Insulation in the crawl space can help keep the home cool or warm, and it can also prevent the growth of mold and mildew in the crawl space. If necessary, a crawl space cleaning and repair service will remove worn or damaged insulation and replace it with new.
- Seal any openings. Rodents and other animals may seek shelter in crawl spaces, so openings may be sealed to keep them out.
Getting Rid of Mold in Crawl Space
By their very nature, crawl spaces are dark and damp – the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria. As a result, mold is one of the most prevalent issues in crawl spaces. Moisture and water can get inside the crawl space, leading to the growth of mold and mildew, which can cause damage to the insulation and even the structure of the home.
If you spot mold in your crawl space, it is recommended that you not attempt to remediate it yourself. Mold can lead to dangerous health issues, so it is best left to professional crawl space cleaning services who have the knowledge about how to be safe during the removal, and the tools and equipment to ensure that the issues allowing the mold to start are addressed properly.
Why Choose Urgent Restoration of Lakeland?
If you are a homeowner who is experiencing any of the issues mentioned above in relation to your crawl space, contact Urgent Restoration as soon as possible. We can assess the issues and make a determination about the best way to correct them as efficiently, quickly, and thoroughly as possible.
We offer a complete array of restoration services, including:
We have locations in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Plant City, Bartow, and Auburndale.
You can trust us to get the job done quickly and effectively, and our thorough process also helps to prevent any further damage from happening to your home.
We are highly experienced in all restoration services. If you have a busted pipe or flood water intrusion, fire or smoke damage, or mold, you can trust our certified and experienced associates to restore your life back to normal. All our technicians are IICRC certified compliant, and certifications are renewed annually.