Cleaners—especially the ones who specialize in difficult cleanups—have probably seen it all. But one type of cleanup that can be especially hard because of the types of things that lurk or have grown underneath the floor is crawl space cleaning. Apart from the space constraints, a crawl space can become a chamber of horrors (albeit a cramped one) if neglected for many years (or even months). Here are some things that can thrive if you have been remiss in cleaning and maintaining your crawl space.
1. Rodents and bugs. If you’ve neglected your crawl space for too long, mice, rats, roaches, and other pests can sometimes find their way underneath. What’s worse is when these critters make the space their permanent home. They can loosen your floor’s insulation or worse, destroy it and turn the pieces into their own nests. They can even damage the electrical wiring, as well as find the gaps in your flooring so they can make their way into your kitchen or living room. Or they can leave droppings around the crawl space, making it one of the least hygienic areas in your home.
2. Mold and mildew. There are several instances that can trigger the growth and mildew inside your crawl space. Floodwater and urban runoff can sometimes enter your home’s crawl space and produce standing water. Damaged pipes can leak raw sewage into the crawl space, turning it into a cesspool. If neglected, the odor from the stagnant water or the raw sewage can emanate from the floor into your home. Apart from endangering your family because of the health risks standing water poses, the fact that your house smells is very embarrassing especially when you have guests. If you’ve neglected the crawl space far too long, you can be sure that you’ll see mold and mildew infesting the area in the future. Mold and mildew infestation not only weakens your crawl space’s floor joists but also threaten your health when you become exposed to them.
Maintaining your Crawl Space on your Own
There are a number of things that you can do to prevent your home’s crawl space from turning into a cesspool or a roach motel.
The first step to ensuring a clean crawl space is to inspect it and have it maintained regularly. Let’s face it; flooding, sewer line damage, and the accumulation of moisture inside your crawl space are sometimes inevitable. Even if you regularly do pest control, there will be instances when rats, mice, roaches, and ants can make your crawl space their home. Regular crawl space cleanup can help you remove standing water, raw sewage, and the critters that have built nests in the area.
After the cleanup, homeowners should ensure that all access points used by rodents and bugs are sealed off. Be mindful of and cover any small cracks in the flooring as even a cockroach or the most limber mice can use it to gain entry into your home. To prevent mold and mildew infestation, allow your crawl space to breathe by installing a vent. Make sure, however, to keep critters from entering through the vent by installing a vapor barrier.
Ensure that your insulation is in place, in good shape, and not tattered to pieces and used by mice and rats as their nest. Your floor’s insulation plays a large role in keeping your home warm, but a damaged one could make your power bill go higher as your heater needs to work harder. Replace insulation if you find that the existing one had been damaged either by pests or it simply fell apart due to its age.
When it’s Time to Call the Experts
You can clean up the crawl space yourself when you see mold, mildew, and floodwater in the area, but this can be a difficult job for those who are not trained to do it. The task can even be nightmarish for people who have claustrophobia. Fortunately, you can easily pick up your phone and dial the number of a professional cleaning company that specializes in cleaning these difficult to reach and dirty areas.
If you live or own a property in eastern Virginia and North Carolina areas and you need to have your crawl space cleaned, you can easily get Aftercare to do that work for you. Aftercare is not your regular cleaning service; the company specializes in cleaning up difficult to reach areas of your house or building, removing and disposing of biohazardous materials, crime scene cleanup, and more. Due to the difficult (and sometimes sensitive) nature of the job, Aftercare ensures that all cleaning technicians the company hires are highly trained and discreet. Our team serves the eastern Virginia and North Carolina areas, and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us for a free estimate for your crawl space cleanup.