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A Safe, Secure Crawl Space is a Gift to Your Family

Now that the holidays are behind us and the emphasis on parties and presents has passed, it is the perfect time for a new focus: home maintenance. We are well into winter, and that means our homes are reacting to harsh and fluctuating temperatures, melting snow, freezing winds, and all that Mother Nature can conjure. Over the past weeks, many homeowners have endeavored to shore up their homes against the forces of nature, but one area is quite often overlooked: the crawl space.

Most people have a general idea of what a crawl space is, but it’s important to be fully educated so as to be proactive and avoid problems. The crawl space is an unoccupied, unfinished, and hollow area underneath the flooring of many homes. Some 15 percent or 27 million homes have a crawl space, which is a barrier between the ground and the first floor of the home. It can be as high as five feet, but it is typically one to three feet high – and has low ceilings, hence its name. To support its weight, the crawl space uses footings and walls of either cinder blocks or poured concrete.

The crawl space offers several benefits. It allows homeowners easy access to their electrical wiring, plumbing, heating, cooling systems, drywall, and insulation. Furthermore, if the home experiences issues with moisture, mold, insulation, and any home system, the owners can locate the source of the problem quickly and easily and fix it. For example, if a homeowner notices low water pressure, he can take an immediate look into the crawl space to see the source of the problem: perhaps a leaking pipe.

Yet, as with most anything, a crawl space does have drawbacks. In the spring and summer, people might think that because the air temperature outside seems normal and not overly humid their crawl space is problem free. Unfortunately, crawl spaces can still be wet because higher temperatures keep the moisture in the air and on the walls and floors. In the fall and winter, the cooler air mixes with the air in the crawl space. This cools it, and the water evaporates. During this time of year, crawl spaces typically have a low humidity level and will stay dry. However, with fluctuating temperatures and snow melt, especially as spring approaches, moisture can enter a crawl space and might not evaporate in timely manner. Thus, problems can occur.

One such problem is the stack effect. If a crawl space is ventilated, a stack effect can result. Water infiltrating the area leads to moisture from the ground moving upward into the home through various cracks in the flooring. This is a concerning situation.

The moisture in the crawl space can lead to a damp, musty smell throughout the home and much worse: rotting floor joists, compromised HVAC ducts and wiring, various types of fungus, insects like termites, and small animals. A pest infestation brings droppings, fur, and dander that can make the home unhealthy. Also, microorganisms like mildew, bacteria, and mold can develop. People may not realize it, but mold can grow on most anything in a house: ceiling tiles, wood products, in dust and paint, wallpaper, fabric, carpet, upholstery, drywall, and insulation.

Additionally, mold in the crawl space and eventually the home can cause air quality problems like headaches, allergy-like symptoms, and more severe effects if the mold persists. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that people can have allergic reactions to mold like sneezing, skin rashes, runny nose, and reddened eyes. The most common indoor molds are CladosporiumPenicillium, and Aspergillus, and they can have a variety of consequences on human health.

In a study conducted by the Institute of Medicine in 2004, evidence was reported linking indoor mold exposure to coughing, wheezing, and upper respiratory tract symptoms. It also reported that mold can induce asthma symptoms in asthmatic people. Further, in 2009, the World Health Organization reported that studies suggest children who are exposed early to mold may develop asthma, especially children who are genetically predisposed. People with asthma and respiratory issues can face decreased healthy quality and even death.

Clearly, moisture in the crawl space can lead to a range of problems, some quite serious.

Many might assume the solution to this problem is to open their crawl space vents. However, this is incorrect. Open vents will allow air and water, both hot and cold, into the crawl space. Over time, damage can occur and then worsen as more and more air and moisture enter the space. The humidity builds, and then the damage begins. So, what is the solution to all of this? Rock Foundation.

This serious situation requires the attention of experts, so homeowners should contact Rock Foundation of Fenton, Michigan, right away. Rock Foundation offers several products for waterproofing and dampproofing homes to prevent and solve these issues. Homeowners need their crawl spaces to be secure and allow for good air quality in their houses, making them safe for years to come.

Rock Foundation, understanding the importance of a secure crawl space, utilizes superior products to fortify them. Further, these products are procured from local companies, supporting the Midwest economy. For example, some products come from a Dewitt, Michigan-based firm, and the professional installers at Rock Foundations spray with Tremco products. In addition to using premium products, the installers at Rock Foundation are experts and certified. Thus, they can assess any situation in a crawl space and apply the appropriate measures to solve the problem. They will install various insulating products, depending on the particular needs of a homeowner.

Typically, these products are installed when new homes are being constructed; however, moisture problems in an existing crawl space requires insulation installed by experts. Additionally, Rock Foundation can address problems with the footings and walls of poured concrete in a crawl space.

Therefore, the best course of action is to contact the professionals at Rock Foundation as soon as possible. They are knowledgeable, highly trained, and certified with years of experience repairing crawl spaces. These repairs should not be put off. If so, they can lead to even more damage and expense in the future as the seeping moisture continues to wreak havoc on the home. Further, moisture buildup that leads to mold cannot only damage a home but destroy it, and as explained above, cause serious health effects.

So, inspect your crawl space. Look for instances of moisture buildup and damage. Be on guard for mildew and mold, and watch for insects and other issues. Also inspect the footings and walls of your crawl space. Further, if your family experiences unexplained and enduring health issues, you might look to your crawl space for the answer. If you suspect any issues, call the experts today. Call Rock Foundation; their professionals will promptly visit your home, inspect your crawl space, and diagnose and solve any problems expertly. This will secure your home and family’s health for years. Even though the holidays are behind us, give you and your family the most important and precious gift of all: safety and security.

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