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We don’t know anyone who likes to go into their crawl space in Waukesha. Even if it is a higher, four-foot tall storage space, most crawl spaces in their current condition are just plain nasty.

The common crawl space is a vented, dirt crawl space usually ridden with insects, bugs and rodents, or at least the remnants of all of the above. The open crawl space is typically wet and dank. It smells nasty, looks nasty and covered with nasty mildew. As waterproofing contractors, we see a lot of crawl spaces every day. Here are three reasons your crawl space is probably nasty, too.

Water in the Crawl Space

Water is really the culprit to almost everything nasty in the crawl space in Waukesha. Mold grows in a moist environment. So, if there is stagnant water or even just too much humidity in the crawl space mold is most likely there too. High humidity levels in the crawl space also create a nice environment for insects and rodents. Where there is moisture, there pests are also. Pest control professionals will tell you controlling the moisture problems in the crawl space will also help control future pests outbreaks.

Vents Contribute to the Nastiness

Vents in the crawl space in Waukesha also contribute to the nasty environment. The old school of thought was that crawl spaces should be vented, and many code books still require them. However, that is the old way. And just because something has always been done that way doesn’t mean it is the best way. Waterproofing contractors have been closing the vents and closing the crawl space for years before a research team actually tested the concept. Back in 2005, Advanced Energy did a research study testing the theory of closing crawl spaces. They found that by closing the vents and encapsulating the walls and floor with a thick plastic liner it actually created a better, dryer and cleaner crawl space environment that made the houses more energy efficient with better indoor air quality. The benefits of a closed crawl space were incredible and lead to building code changes throughout the southeastern states starting in North Carolina. Over the past ten years, states across the U.S. have been adopting closed crawl space codes for residential construction and retrofit jobs.

Nasty Air in the Crawl Space

Beyond appearances, the real issue is that the air in your crawl space is making its way upstairs through what building scientists call “stack effect” or the “chimney effect.” The air in the lower levels of the house is pulled up to the upper levels of the house making the indoor air pretty nasty when you think about it. That is why you can smell a musty, funky odor coming from who knows where in homes with wet crawl spaces.

More than just nasty air and odors is deadly air. Radon problems are common in homes with open dirt crawl spaces. It makes sense that if an area has a radon risk, the homes with a dirt crawl space in Waukesha will have a serious radon problem. Remember, radon is a cancer-causing soil gas. It has been found in every state and every soil type. The only way to know you have a radon issue in your house is to test for it. Once you test for radon with either a professional or DIY home kit, you can contact a professional radon mitigation contractor to help you solve the problem. A radon mitigation contractor will most likely install a crawl space liner and close the crawl space as part of the mitigation system. Just make sure that the water problems are solves before the crawl space liners are installed.

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