As you remodel homes in Washington, don’t neglect the crawl spaces of those homes. Trouble-free crawl spaces allow homeowners to relax and enjoy their homes rather than worrying about radon, termites, or mold. When you hire a crew to ventilate the crawl space in a remodel, it’s a major selling point for people who want to know that every system and part of the home is under control.
Buyers and homeowners may need you to explain why adequate ventilation if necessary for their crawl spaces. Remember, when they understand the benefits of having the right cross-ventilation between their homes and the earth, your handiwork in their homes lasts much longer, because their homes will be less susceptible to rot, insect damage, and air-quality issues.
Use the following information as a guide to help explain crawl space integrity to people who want to make sure their home stays in great condition.
The Crawl Space Affects the Foundation
A home is only as sturdy as the foundation on which it rests. If support members like posts, joists, fasteners, and brick are exposed to mold, termites, and moisture, those support members may rot and fail. Floors may cave or sink, and wooden beams may break. Even some types of cement block will begin to break down under repeated flood conditions.
Unless the crawl space is inspected on a regular basis, these disastrous results may go unnoticed until it’s too late. Having a crawl space expert examine the space and make repairs is a key to the long-term stability of the home for those who are aging in place. Ventilating and improving the crawl space before a remodel is a wise idea to ensure that the foundation of the home is solid and protected.
A Crawl Space Exam Finds the Moisture
Most moisture found in Washington crawl spaces is due to what’s called bulk water. This is improperly channeled water from storms or other runoff. There may be irrigation that’s directed the wrong way, a high water table, or snowmelt that takes the path of least resistance into the crawl space.
A crawl space expert knows how to drain that water away from the home. When they also take steps to ventilate the crawl space to remove any water vapor from inside or outside of the home, there is additional dampness protection provided for the foundation of the home. Drainage and ventilation installed the correct way ensures that the residents get to enjoy their homes with less maintenance and worry in the future.
Ventilated Crawl Spaces Reduce Radon Risks
While King County and surrounding areas generally have low risks of radon in the underlying soil, residents of all Washington counties must still do all they can to protect themselves from the risk of radon exposure.
Older residents and people with suppressed immune systems should be especially on guard, since they may be more vulnerable to the effects of radon and other gases that accumulate in crawl spaces. All homes should be tested for the presence of this odorless, tasteless, invisible gas, and you, as a contractor, are a trusted advisor who should strongly encourage testing at all homes you service.
A proper vapor barrier over the ground in the crawl space is one way to reduce radon exposure. The plastic or other ground-covering barrier must be overlapped at least six inches at the joints and extend to the edges of the foundation. This requirement is waived if there is at least two inches of concrete slab installed over the floor of the crawl space.
Open and free-flowing cross ventilation reduces levels of radon in the crawl space. The ideal placement of vents depends on the location and style of the home’s foundation. In some older homes, new vents may need to be placed where there is a need for more airflow. Older vents may need repair, cleaning, or replacement.
Future Repair Crews Appreciate Fresh Air
If plumbing, wiring, or other infrastructure is located in the crawl space, future repair crews appreciate knowing they’re in safe, well-ventilated surroundings as they work. Plumbers, cable installers, and electricians must sometimes shimmy into tight spots in crawl spaces. This work proves dangerous or unhealthy when there’s mold or gas accumulating in the crawl spaces.
Ensure that proper crawl-space ventilation is taken seriously by the homeowners. By improving the crawl space now, you help make repair professionals’ jobs in the future safer and easier. You also make it easier for residents to hire workers and avoid potential liability for unsafe working conditions.
Perma-Dry Waterproofing & Drainage, Inc. has all of the evaluation and diagnostic equipment necessary to inspect crawl spaces and drainage systems. We have the experience and tools necessary to do repairs, restorations, insulation, waterproofing, and ventilation of crawl spaces and basements in any home you’re remodeling. Contact our team today to set up our crawl-space ventilation services for those who want to keep their homes in great condition.