Crawl Space Maintenance

When Under Means In

If your home has a crawl space, it's a good idea to have a good look at the space several times a year.

Your crawl space is part of the building envelope and your home environment. You need to have it tested for radon gas, and take note of any flooding issues—either from ground water or plumbing leaks. If you see any water in your crawl space it is prudent to have it evaluated right away.

I recommend that crawl spaces be checked professionally every year along with the homeowner examining the area every six months; however, sump pumps in the crawl space require even more frequent inspections.

If your crawl space has not been inspected in for 5 or 10 years—an immediate inspection is crucial.

What to Look For

The most common problems found in Portland area crawl spaces are due to dampness. The first thing to inspect is the 6 Mil plastic vapor barrier. In order to avoid dampness in your crawl space you need to make sure the vapor barrier covers the dirt completely.

What to look for when checking your crawl space:

  • Rodents
  • Signs of rodent activity such as droppings or pulled down insulation
  • Missing insulation
  • Loose joist brackets
  • Openings in or broken air ducts
  • Signs of dry rot or water damage
  • Evidence of insect damage
Rotted support in crawl space Damage to supports and joists can often be less than obvious. Pay attention to gaps in the foundation from rotted wood.
Water In Crawl Space Water in a crawl space should be evaluated right away.
Rotted support in crawl space Inspect the space between joists and around insulation to make sure mold has not started to grow in your crawl space.
Rotted support in crawl space A rotted support can quickly lead to structural damage to your home.