The weather in Cleveland, OH, is notoriously unpredictable. That makes the care and keeping of a crawl space a little more difficult, as you can’t always predict when rain, sleet or snow are going to make their way into your home. Amidst these seasonal changes, you may even find that critters make their way into your home alongside the unwanted precipitation.
While waterproofing your crawl space can help dissuade some of these unwanted guests, there are steps you can take to keep them out of your home on your own. You can, for example, clean your crawl space. While cleaning up is always a pain, taking the time at least once a month to check in on your crawl space and to clear away the muck will help you maintain it in the long run. This way, you’ll be able to know if you’ve got leaks to deal with, pests to remove or other problems to sort out.
The benefits of cleaning your crawl space on a regular basis include:
Increase Your Storage Space – The more time you take to organize your crawl space, the more room you’ll have inside of it. This means you’ll be able to better use a clean crawl space for storage – specifically, safe storage of the belongings you want to keep safe and aren’t quite ready to get rid of yet.
Prevent Unnecessary Water Leaks – Cleaning out your crawl space will also help you stay on top of any leaks that may appear. After all, you want to work to keep your stored belongings free from water damage. While cleaning your crawl space, take the time to assess the floor and walls. Does the air feel damp? Is your crawl space unnaturally cold? Good news, it’s not ghosts – but it may be a leak worth calling a contractor over.
Combating Flooding – If you don’t frequently attend to the cleanliness of your crawl space, especially in the Cleveland, OH, area, any small leaks may turn into significant flood gaps. Cleaning your crawl space with flooding in mind may mean encapsulating the space. It may also mean filling gaps in the walls, either on your own or with the help of a contractor.
Counteract Mold Growth – A damp crawl space will eventually become a moldy one. This is all the more reason to keep your crawl space as clean as possible. By actively ridding the space of most of its dampness – either with the help of a dehumidifier or through other means – you’ll be starving mold spores of the nutrients they need to grow. As a result, you won’t have to spend the next few weeks carefully removing dangerous mold from your home. This means you’ll not only be preserving the items you’ve stored in your crawl space but also your family’s health. Different molds, after all, have different impacts on a person’s allergies and immune system – more often than not, it’s best to avoid contact.
Prevent Infestations – Unnoticed gaps in an unclean crawl space will let in more than just water. If you’re not careful, a Cleveland winter could see all sorts of critters trying to make your crawl space their home. If you leave your crawl space unattended, you can come down in the spring to find your home has been overtaken by mice, insects or something larger. Cleaning your crawl space regularly will help you both notice any incoming infestations and prevent them, as you’ll be able to block off any entrances before the critters move in.
Spruce Up Your Home – Have you noticed a strange smell filling your home, but you can’t find where it’s coming from? When in doubt, check your crawl space. Crawl spaces that haven’t been cleaned will build up moisture, mold and occasionally critters – all of which can generate smells you may not be too fond of. By taking the time to clean your crawl space, you’ll be able to keep the rest of your home smelling like daisies.
Preserve Your Home’s Foundation – If water happens to leak into your crawl space, it could damage more than just the personal items you have stored there. Water can cause irreversible damage to the foundation of your home. Not only can this damage cause your home to start sinking, but it can make it nearly impossible to sell without serious renovations. That’s all the more reason to clean out your crawl space and check for cracks in the walls or floors.
Replace Your Insulation – You can also use your crawl space cleaning spree as an excuse to change out your insulation. Insulation in a crawl space pulls double duty: it keeps the space warm and dry while also preventing critters from getting inside. Double up your insulation with encapsulation, and your crawl space should remain safe and dry throughout the year.
Cut Your Costs – As suggested, a clean crawl space retains its heat (or air conditioning, in the spring) and keeps animals and insects from settling in your home. By keeping your crawl space clean, then, you’re saving yourself money. Your heating and cooling bills will be lower when you’re not trying to temperature control the outdoors, and you won’t have to worry about dropping tons of money on pest control! When your crawl space is happy, your wallet is happy.
Maintain a Healthy Household (Even When You’re Not There) – Finally, when you work to keep your crawl space clean, critter-free and dry, you won’t have to worry about the condition of your home when you’re not there to keep it. As a result, you’ll be able to go on business trips and vacations with a greater sense of ease.
Don’t let an aversion to cleaning cost you a fortune. Keep your crawl space clean, and your entire home will benefit.