If you have a crawl space beneath your home, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about it. In fact, like most homeowners, you probably don’t spend any time thinking about it.
This is unfortunate, because when you neglect your crawl space bad things can happen down there and unlike Vegas, what happens in the crawl space does NOT stay in the crawl space.
Left untreated, poor crawl space conditions affect what goes on in the living spaces above.
The biggest problem with crawl spaces is their vulnerability to moisture penetration. The sponge-like qualities of soil keep it perpetually moist, and even if a crawl space has a concrete base it will still be porous enough for water to seep through from the ground below.
In the humid Tennessee climate moisture-laden crawl spaces are common. Through a phenomenon known as the “stack effect”, humid air underneath a home will not stay trapped, but will instead rise through every crack, crevice and opening and flow all throughout the upper floors of the house. This boosts indoor humidity levels to uncomfortable levels and can contaminate the air with foul odors and allergens like mold spores and dust mite excrement.
When your crawl space is waterlogged there’s something else you have to worry about. Insects of all shapes, varieties and levels of icky-ness absolutely adore dank, damp, dark areas, and there are a long list of bug species that will swarm into your home’s drenched crawl space like it’s the world’s most attractive vacation destination.
If they make their way into your home’s living space these creepy-crawlies will creep you out and scare guests—and that’s exactly what will happen if you allow the situation to persist.
The Insect Invaders Aren’t Coming … They’re Already Here!
If you haven’t bothered to check your crawl space lately, or ever, now is the time to correct that oversight. If you’ve got a moisture problem you’ll notice it right away, along with the writhing and wiggling of your buggy invaders (they’ll be there, rest assured).
You may not be inclined to scoop up a handful of those insects for closer inspection. But if you did here are some of the critters you might encounter around Tennessee…
- Sow bugs
- Brown Recluse spiders (among other types)
- Carpenter ants
Makes you shudder to think about it, doesn’t it? Most of these insect invaders aren’t a grave threat to your health and welfare, although some may bite or trigger allergic reactions. But that doesn’t make them any less unwelcome or repulsive.
Tennessee Pest Control and Extermination Services
While finding a long-term solution to your crawl space moisture problem is essential, once insects have gained a foothold you’ll probably need to call a local pest control service first.
- Orkin Pest & Termite Control
- All-American Pest Control
- Ortex Termite & Pest Control
- ALPHA Termite & Pest Control
- All-Pest Solutions, Inc.
- Arrow Exterminators
Please keep in mind that no matter how effective and efficient your pest control experts might be, those pesky bugs will eventually return to your crawl space—and your home—in full force if you don’t take steps to eliminate your crawl space humidity issues and seal it from mother nature.
Getting the Wet Out
There are a couple of simple steps you can take to reduce the severity of your crawl space moisture problem.
First, you can purchase a crawl space dehumidifier and have it installed beneath your home. A good-quality dehumidifier that can handle a fairly heavy load is called for, and it should be closely monitored and maintained to make sure it’s working properly.
Second, if your home has crawl space vents you should close them off and keep them closed at all times. These vents are supposed to keep fresh air flowing through the crawl space to remove moisture from the air, but they don’t work well at all in humid climates like that found in Tennessee.
The Crawl Space Encapsulation Option
If installing a dehumidifier and closing the vents is not enough to get the job done, you may want to consider having your crawl space encapsulated. This procedure involves the installation of thin, waterproof vapor barriers that can block water penetration from the surrounding soil. If a good product is purchased it should keep your crawl space airtight and dry and solve most of your moisture problems.
At Olshan we use a high-grade encapsulation product called the SafeSeal™ System to protect your home’s crawl space from further water intrusions. Once these encapsulation liners have been installed by our expert technicians your crawl space moisture problems will improve.
Your encapsulation package may also include interior drainage systems, which forcibly remove water out anda away from the foundation, and our HumiGo™ Ventilation system, which helps keep the air inside the crawl space fresh and clear of gases and bad odors.
Encapsulation may be overkill in some climates, but in the humid conditions common to the southeastern United States it can drastically improve living conditions and even increase a home’s value. Tennessee bugs are pesky and determined little creatures, and encapsulation might be the only realistic option for keeping them at bay long term.
Crawl Space Moisture a Problem? Olshan Can Help
If you discover you have a moisture problem and a bug problem after inspecting your crawl space, we invite you to contact your nearest Olshan representative today. Together you’ll discuss your options and explore all possible solutions.