Keeping Lancaster Crawlspaces Dry and Sanitary
Most homes and properties do have basements rather than crawlspaces. Basements can be used for more efficient storage and are, therefore, more popular.
This does not mean that crawlspaces do not exist. Although more common in older homes, newer homes also can be built with a crawlspace as opposed to a basement.
The basement build-outs with a solid foundation are more common in regions of cold weather, as there is an insulation factor involved, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Lancaster, PA, though, although considered a rather cool state, has more of a tropical-type climate than other portions of PA; therefore, crawlspaces are often apparent even in newer homes.
The primary reasons that individuals choose crawlspaces are for lesser costs and more accessibility. It is just a reality that a crawlspace costs less and allows access to all plumbing and electrical easily.
This does not mean that care must not be taken with the crawlspace or that any regulations do not exist. The Pennsylvania Research Housing Center (PHRC) does keep a list of regulations and dimensions of crawlspace requirements. Updates on the IRC (International Residential Codes) are also posted by the Center.
One thing to remember with any crawlspace is that these are subject to municipal laws as well as the IRC. This can lead to additional requirements based on location. Some properties simply do not have the space requirements for a full basement, and there can also be other factors.
Some homes, according to the National Association of Home Builders that was mentioned prior in this article, have both a basement and a crawlspace. It does vary by location, but PA has a combination of basements, crawlspaces, and both in all homes, with the older homes leaning towards crawlspaces.
What Hazards Exist in Crawlspaces?
As hard as it is to believe, vented crawlspaces can be more hazardous than non-vented ones. While vented crawlspaces are oftentimes sought by homeowners, these are oftentimes prone to infestations and intrusion by pests.
Unvented crawlspaces, also called “conditioned crawlspaces,” can relieve any possibility of a pest infestation, and the temperature and humidity inside a home, which vented crawlspaces can control, can be accomplished with proper insulation on the property perimeters.
Comparison of Vented and Unvented Crawlspaces
- Vented crawlspaces can trap moisture from the outside.
- Vented crawlspaces can invite pests into a home.
- Vented crawlspaces introduce pollutants into a home. According to the EPA, inside air with a vented crawlspace is 100 times more toxic than outside air.
- Unvented crawlspaces can maintain the temperature of a home more steadily.
- Unvented crawlspaces, with properly installed perimeter insulation, prevent pests from entering a home through the vents.
- Humidity does not become introduced into a home with an unvented crawlspace.
- Energy consumption is actually lessened in an unvented crawlspace due to the air outside being the determinant of inside temperatures.
Of course, all crawlspaces, whether vented or unvented, should be constructed according to proper regulations. A basement waterproofing company should do methodical checks on the moisture inside a crawlspace and also check for mold and/or mildew routinely.
How to Maintain a Crawlspace, Either Vented or Unvented
- Control moisture and humidity. A dehumidifier installed properly will assist in both types. Moisture that builds up underneath a home eventually will create structural issues.
- Insulation of crawlspaces will ensure that a home stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- Clean out a crawlspace and remove junk and debris both inside and outside the crawlspace. This interferes with airflow and also is enticing to pests.
- If humidity keeps building up in a crawlspace, consider a vapor barrier. This is also called a vapor retardant and is a non-permeable material that prevents moisture seepage into walls. This is commonly used in crawlspaces in Lancaster, PA, since vapor barriers are highly recommended in climates that experience high-temperature fluctuations.
- Something as simple as a fan might also assist in keeping the humidity at bay.
Conclusion—Keeping Lancaster Crawlspaces Dry and Sanitary
Many individuals with crawlspaces under their homes do not realize that a dark, dank, and moisture-laden crawlspace can impact the health and safety of a home.
Mold and mildew, plus pests, can invade a home subtly at first through an impaired crawlspace, and unfortunately, many property owners do not realize this until the problem becomes really difficult to ignore, such as a dank smell, mold that can be seen or even worse, pests that are notoriously invading a home.
Basement Waterproofing Gurus can assist with a free evaluation of any crawlspace and offer zero percent financing on either large or small projects. Help or evaluation of any crawlspace issues is only a mere phone call away: 800-834-6584 for an immediate response!
For more information on basement waterproofing, visit our website at https://basementwaterproofinggurus.com/lancaster-pa/. Call us anytime at our toll-free office number is (800) 834-6584