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How to Prepare Your Crawl Space for Spring

February 25, 2015 | STORY BY JULIE SIMMONDS

Old-style crawl space access points are often run down and
cracked, allowing water to seep through.Photo from Clarke
Basement Systems.
The spring season is just around the corner, which means snowmelt and rainy days ahead. As we prepare our homes for spring, we often forget about the importance of our crawl space. This is a space where moisture is often present, a great place for mould to grow.
 
If water is present in the crawl space, it can impair the foundational structure of your home. Homeowners need to inspect the crawl space on a regular basis for any signs of cracking in the floors, walls and ceiling and for the presence of water.
 
According to Clean Crawls, a Seattle-based crawl space clean-out company, a clean, tidy and dry crawl space is critical to the longevity of your home. When you’re inspecting your crawl space, don’t forget about the insulation, where water damage and mould can destroy it. 
 

Here, the company gives instruction and tips to homeowners looking to prepare crawl spaces for spring.

 
Cracks
When cracks are present, it’s a welcome invitation for water, moisture and small rodents to enter your home. All three of these will destroy your wood and insulation. Be sure to fill in the cracks before the wet weather comes.
 
Vents or windows
Ensure to seal all vents and windows in your space. The presence of puddles or a draft is a key indicator that they need resealing.
 
Insulation
Look for discoloration and decay. These are two signs that water and/or rodents have compromised your insulating ability.
 
Eliminate Water
Is water present in your crawl space? All water should be mopped up and aired out. Place large fans around the damp areas to dry it out. If water keeps coming back, then it could be coming from the ground below.
 
Hire A Pro
Call a professional. They will do a more intensive search through your crawl space, properly dry it out and professionally reseal cracks, or repair any other major damage to your crawl space and foundation.

 

    A new vapour barrier will help keep your crawl space dry.
                     Photo from Clarke Basement Systems, Toronto.
 

Toronto-based company Clarke Basement Systems makes a few reccomendations about keeping the space dry once you've made repairs.

 

 

Keep It Dry
Once your space is dried out, you may need to install crawl space support jacks to keep your floors from sagging. Then, keep the space dry permanently by installing a self-draining crawl space dehumidifier. This ensures that your crawl space is protected from mould, dust mites and mildew damage. They also recommend a sump pump system or a crawl space drain, as well as a crawl space liner to keep the tiniest bit of moisture from coming in.
 

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