What Is A Crawl Space Anyway?
Most people have heard the term "crawlspace" before, but what is it exactly? It's the space directly below your house that both props it up off the ground, as well as containing all sorts of necessary things. Wiring, plumbing, even the air conditioning and heater, all these things are kept in this space that's usually only a few feet high. Hence the name, as you must crawl through it. So, why should you care about its cleanliness?
The Insulation There May Be Damaged
That's right, there's even insulation in your crawl space! Your home has to be sealed up on all sides to keep the heating in and temperature stable, and the bottom is no exception. Unfortunately, if your crawlspace is not properly tended to, the insulation there is likely suffering. Water damage, animal gnawing, even mold growth can all destroy it, and drastically lower its ability to keep your home's temperature steady. This means rising energy costs if left untreated, as your air conditioning and heating will have to run more to keep up.
The Ventilation Will Be Blocked
Vents are also located in the crawl space to allow for airflow, which is how air circulates in your home. If the vents are blocked with dust and other substances, not only does that make it harder for this process to happen, but it leads to the air being polluted with these materials and lowering the air quality. Contaminated air can cause health problems in the elderly, children, and those with breathing disorders. It will also aggravate allergies, and can cause fatigue in even the healthiest of people.
A Damaged Vapor Barrier
The vapor barrier is what keeps moisture from entering, and causing mold and damage from water accumulating over time and degrading materials. If not tended to properly and regularly, there's a high chance of it being impaired, which will cause even further issues.
Pest Infestations And Disease
A dirty crawl space is the perfect place for rodents and insects to make themselves at home, which is bad news for your home. They cause damage to insulation and wood by gnawing and burrowing for nests, lowering the integrity. Their waste, or carcasses if they die, can spread diseases as well, which can enter the home.