No area of a typical home gets less attention than the crawl space. Even the attic receives more care and consideration. But that 3- to 4-foot void between the underside of your floor and the ground below can have a significant effect on your home — and on your monthly budget. An unmanaged crawl space creates its own conditions. Adding insulation and other steps to take control of what’s going on just beneath your feet is an important step to effectively manage the home environment. Here are some reasons why:
- Lower heating and cooling costs. In winter, frigid crawl spaces draw heat through the floor and out of the rooms above. This requires higher thermostat settings to compensate and raises monthly costs. In summer, it’s the opposite: Heat accumulating below rises up into the house, causing your air conditioner to have to run longer cycles. Insulation stabilizes temperatures in the crawl space and lowers HVAC costs.
- Improved air quality. Humid, noxious air that typically stagnates in uninsulated, unsealed crawl spaces supports a variety of bacteria. Air contaminated by microorganisms doesn’t stay contained below the house and may infiltrate living spaces through tiny cracks and gaps.
- Mold prevention. A crawl space without insulation provides a very favorable environment for mold growth. Microscopic, airborne mold spores originating in a moldy space may spread damaging, toxic contamination throughout the house.
- Structural protection. As temperatures change in unsealed, uninsulated crawl spaces, condensation forms on vital structures, including floor joists and other wooden constituents. This source of moisture causes wood rot and degrades the structure of the house.
- Pest control. Crawl spaces often create a sanctuary that harbors infestations of insects such as termites, as well as rodents, snakes, and other unwanted residents. Costly annual pest control is often required to keep the bugs and vipers out. Sealing and insulating the space helps keep the space sanitary and free of pests.
Do you know what’s happening beneath the floors in your crawl space?
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