If you’re like most homeowners here in the Puget Sound area, establishing a regular maintenance schedule for your crawl space and attic is probably not too high on your list of priorities. What with your busy careers and leisure pursuits, not to mention your dedicated family time, should you have one, it’s perfectly understandable. But just because it’s understandable doesn’t diminish the importance to your finances a well-maintained crawl space and attic provide.
This is especially true now that you’ve begun to suspect that you have potentially serious insulation problems. It began with you noticing an unexplained increase in utility bills that went beyond the ordinary increases associated with the onset of colder weather. On top of that, you’ve begun to notice a couple of other warning signs: fluctuations in temperatures from room to room, and a faint trace of foul smells that seem to be emanating from beneath your home. You’ve conducted enough research on your own to have come to the conclusion that faulty or damaged insulation may be the culprit.
How Your Crawl Space and Attic May Deteriorate From Lack of Regular Maintenance
If you rarely venture into your crawl space or attic, you may be missing some vital warning signals that not all is well in these spaces. Worse, you may have never ventured into them. Here’s some examples of what can happen in either case.
- Leaks are allowing cold air and moisture into your home. If there are any structural defects such as cracks and holes in your crawl space and/or attic, you’re unwittingly inviting problems with properly regulated temperatures and possible mold and mildew colonization.
- Insulation is wet and damaged. This can happen because moisture has been allowed to accumulate, or it might very well be a sign of rodent infestation. It may even be because of improper installation that occurred years ago.
- Rodents may have moved in. Those same structural defects that allow cold wind and moisture into your crawl space and/or attic are also points of entry for pest such as rodents. And rodents love to make their nests in insulation, and their droppings foul up the air with unsightly smells.
What a Regular Crawl Space and Attic Maintenance Program Looks Like.
- Inspection. You can’t make an accurate assessment of the condition of your crawl space and attic unless someone — yourself or a professional –periodically inspects it.
- Cleaning. While it’s perfectly understandable — even normal, to treat these areas of your home as storage spaces, you’re only inviting trouble if they’ve become excessively cluttered and unkept. Step two is a good, thorough cleaning, dispensing with articles that you wouldn’t even remember that you had if they were not unearthed during such a cleaning.
- Moisture control. This begins outside of the structure by ensuring gutters are not directing water to points where it can enter the home. It also involves ensuring that any structural defects found during the inspection are repaired and sealed properly.
- Treat mold and mildew. If moisture problems are discovered during the inspection there’s a good chance that mold and mildew have already had a chance to take up residence inside your crawl space and/or attic. This must be treated and eliminated as it can pose detrimental health effects for your home and the people who live in it.
- Proper insulation. If during the inspection process it’s discovered that the best course of action is to have any damaged insulation removed and replaced, it’s the perfect time to upgrade the R-factor of new insulation to enhance the overall energy efficiency in your home. Doing so will do more than any other step in helping to regulate the overall temperature in your home.
- Pest control. All of the steps leading up to this one require that pests be eliminated in order to ensure a healthy and positive outcome for yourself and your home. Whether it be winged creatures or rodents, or both, regular pest control needs to be a vital component of this program.
- Ongoing inspections. This program begins where it started, with inspecting your crawl space and attic, only now on a regular and ongoing basis. That way, potential problems can be identified and dealt with before they grow into huge problems.
How to Set up a Regular Crawl Space and Attic Maintenance Program
Your best course of action in establishing a regular inspection and maintenance program for your crawl space and attic is to first consult with a professional company that specializes in such. Here in the Puget Sound area that company is us. For the past two decades we have been helping area residents maintain these vital spaces in their homes and businesses.
Not only do they know how to inspect and clean them, as a full service organization they also can repair and seal leaks and structural defects and remove and replace damaged insulation. They also offer full-service pest control. When is the right time to put into place a regular inspection and maintenance program for your crawl space and attic? The sooner the better! Why not contact us, today!