6 Ways a Crawl Space Can Affect Your Home and Your Family’s Health
Your home is supposed to be your safe haven. Your home is the one place where you can go and escape all of the cruelties and dangers of the world. But what if we told you that the one place where you're supposed to be safe is actually making you sick?
Is your home making you sick? Have you or your family been feeling under the weather lately? If your allergies have been flaring up or you've noticed that you just haven't been feeling well, it might be time to look into the health of your home.
If your home has a crawl space, this is one of the first places to look. A damp crawl space can have major effects on the health of your home, which then leads to serious health issues for you and your family. Most homeowners know about the dangers of black mold growth in a home, but are you familiar with the dangers of an unhealthy crawl space?
Learn everything you need to know about how an unhealthy crawl space can affect your home by continuing to read below.
1. Rodent Infestations
Even if your crawl space is surrounded by a concrete foundation, you'd be surprised at how well rodents find their way into it. If you have a crack or hole that's the size of a dime, it's enough room for rodents to squeeze into. Once they make their way into your crawl space, they'll then begin to build nests and permanent homes.
Aside from rats and mice, you'll also need to worry about bats, snakes, skunks, opossums, and squirrels as well. Because the crawl space creates such a warm and ideal home for many of these critters, they most likely won't leave too often. This means that all of their droppings and urine is then built up in the crawl space over time.
This is horrible for air quality in your home. And to make matters even worse, some critters will chew through exposed wires, insulation, and more.
2. Poor Quality of Air
Rodent droppings aren't the only thing that affects the quality of air in your home's crawl space. Because crawl spaces are so often overlooked, the moisture in the air isn't monitored as well as it should be. Once moisture builds in a crawl space, rot and mold begin to develop.
Moisture can easily find its way into your home's crawl space due to rainy weather, a change in temperature, or even lack of proper weather barriers. Any insulation or wooden beams in the crawl space will be damaged by rot and mold. All toxins from the rot and mold then seep through your home's floorboards.
This is why homeowners must realize that just because mold is not in the house. doesn't mean that it doesn't affect the air quality in the home. Crawl space encapsulation is one way to resolve any moisture problems, keeping your home safe.
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3. Ruined Foundations
Unhealthy crawl spaces can also have an effect on your home's foundation. Once the floorboards begin to grow rot and mold, they're slowly deteriorating. Wooden beams responsible for holding up the structure of your home will also become rotted and overcome by mold.
This then ruins your home's foundation. Although foundation failure might not cause health issues for you and your family, it does pose safety issues for everyone living in the home, which is just as serious.
4. Radon Gas Levels
Radon gas is found in just about any type of soil. The scariest part about radon gas is that it has no smell or color to it. The natural decay of uranium is what causes radon gas to form in the soil.
It then rises, leaving the soil, and entering your home. Radon is one of the main causes of lung cancer aside from smoking. To ensure that your home is radon free, you'll need to test for the gas inside your crawl space.
A crawl space that's contaminated with radon gas will have negative effects on your health.
5. Ducts in Your Crawl Space
Do you have HVAC ducts running through your home's crawl space? If so, then you'll want to ensure that the ducting is cleaned out on a regular basis. If not, the ducting becomes a breeding ground for many harmful chemicals and pollutants.
This could include dust, rodent droppings, moisture, and chemicals. All of these things travel through your ductwork and into the vents that lead right into your home. Other than having your ducts cleaned on a regular basis, you'll want to ensure that they're sealed correctly as well.
Another thing to keep in mind is that when cold air travels through the ducts, condensation forms, which creates more moisture in your crawl space.
6. Outdoor Air Seeping in
Having filtered air in your home is a necessity as most homes are surrounded by polluted air. When the quality of the air outside is worse than the quality of air inside your home, you'll need to ensure that the air isn't entering your crawl space and then seeping through the floorboards of your home.
This could potentially create asthma problems, allergy problems, or other respiratory issues.
Keep Your Crawl Space Problem-Free!
In order to keep your home safe and clean, you need to keep your home's crawl space problem-free. Keep these 6 issues listed above in mind when checking off your own list to ensure that your crawl space is well managed.