How to Clean Up a Crawl Space

Published On: September 15, 2022

While combing through your newest house on the market, you just so happen to venture into the crawl space and find a huge mess—fallen insulation and water on the torn vapor barrier, evidence of various pests, wood rot, and even some mildew on the floor joists. How does one clean up a crawl space in this condition? Where do you begin when your client’s basement or crawl space needs repair? Now is the time for such a project before matters get worse and affect the property’s structural integrity. To help you and your clients get started, we’ve created a quick start guide on how to clean up a crawl space, visuals of a healthier, cleaner crawl space, and a list of crawl space resources for specific crawl space symptoms.

Debris Removal

Cleaning up any crawl space begins with debris removal. Sometimes, removing fallen insulation, trash, and leftover items makes a world of difference in the appearance of the home’s lower spaces. Specialty home service contractors can help correct these crawl space eyesores:

  • Loose ductwork
  • Termites and other insects
  • Tangled electrical wiring
  • Unsecured plumbing conduits
  • Fallen insulation
  • Animal remains
  • Sewage, hazardous waste

Without a thorough inspection, these annoyances can progress into compromising issues for a home. See our Crawl Space Repair Resource Guide for more resources to address these and other common crawl space problems.

A Closer Look

Often it takes much more than cleanup efforts to create an attractive crawl space. Here are some of the more impactful ways to clean up a crawl space with the help of a foundation repair company:

  • Removal & replacement of old, damaged block supports
  • Removal & replacement of ineffective, torn vapor barriers
  • Waterproofing the crawl space (various options)
  • Crawl space encapsulation

Making sure your clients have a healthy crawl space is the ultimate objective. While appearance matters, hiring a crawl space professional for a thorough inspection and comprehensive repair plan will ensure the job is done right and that the health of the home is secured for years to come.

To get started on finding the best solution for cleaning up a crawl space, contact a foundation repair and waterproofing company who will provide a free estimate for crawl space repair. Foundation repair companies can diagnose and provide crawl space solutions for:

  • Wet crawl space walls
  • Water in the crawl space
  • Wet, drooping insulation
  • Pests in the crawl space
  • Musty odors in the crawl space
  • Mold & mildew in the crawl space
  • Wood damage, wood rot
  • Sagging floors and floor joists
  • Cracks in concrete or block
  • Damaged floor supports

Mold & Mildew

If you suspect mold and mildew in the crawl space, your clients can have it removed by a mold remediation company. Then, a foundation repair company can encapsulate the crawl space to not only prevent the return of organic growth but also dramatically improve the crawl space appearance. It does no good to have a mold removal company remove the mold and mildew from a crawl space if you make no changes to the environment to keep mold from coming back.

Pests

If you or your clients find evidence of pests in the crawl space, contact a pest control company to identify and implement processes to remove the pests. A foundation repair company can then help create a less humid, sealed environment with crawl space encapsulation, deterring pests in the crawl space.

Cracked Concrete Block

If your clients have significant cracks in the block foundation of a crawl space that is over two feet tall, a foundation repair company can provide a solution to remedy the cracked block foundation problem. There have been many times that a home has been stabilized with piers around the entire perimeter of the crawl space. However, if you believe your clients need a new footer poured or a completely new foundation, you will want to contact a concrete contractor or general construction company to assist with the project. If the crawl space is less than two feet tall, a general contractor is needed for interior floor removal in order to access the crawl space for repair.

Failing Floor Supports

If existing crawl space concrete block columns are leaning or other crawl space floor supports are failing, a foundation repair company like United Structural Systems can replace them with adjustable steel support posts that are warrantied, providing not only a more appealing crawl space, but also a peace of mind in knowing the repairs will make the home more secure.

Quick Fix vs. Permanent Solution

Despite the immediate need your clients may have for various crawl space repairs, they may not be able to completely redo the basement or upgrade the crawl space beneath the home in order to attain a healthy crawl space at the present time. Perhaps you and your clients are simply looking for a quick fix. While a temporary solution may be okay on occasion, remember that putting a band-aid on a crawl space water problem or a foundation problem after cleaning out the crawl space only masks what’s truly wrong—if there is a problem—and could actually make the problem worse. Allow a foundation repair and waterproofing expert to design a complete personalized repair plan for the crawl space so that when your clients are ready, they know what to expect.

Foundation repair companies like USS offer same-as-cash payment options to help with the unexpected cost of crawl space repairs. If you have a house under contract, paying with Escrow funds is a popular preference. You may also be surprised to find that the solutions for a crawl space may not be as intrusive or extensive as you thought. Most crawl space repairs can wrap within a few days, sometimes even less. The inconveniences are much better options than a problem magnified after putting off important crawl space home repairs.

There’s a common theme in the table of crawl space resources featured above. Foundation repair companies remain the trusted resource for crawl space repairs providing reliable expertise to locate, solve, and fix problems in the crawl space. From damp air to wet walls and sagging floors to cracks in concrete block, foundation repair experts, who are typically also skilled in waterproofing homes, are the problem solvers who can provide lasting solutions in all things crawl spaces and all things basements. (Basements less than 4 feet tall that are not utilized as living spaces can be repaired as crawl spaces. True basements require basement waterproofing, which is covered in our basement waterproofing blog.) While foundation repair experts are not for hire when it comes to actual crawl space cleanup, the value in hiring a foundation repair professional for crawl space services is unmatched considering the numerous benefits that result from having a healthy crawl space.

Achieving and maintaining a clean crawl space generates a healthier space in the upper areas of the home. Likewise, a crawl space that is free of debris, damaged support posts, pests, and mold, makes for a much safer place to live. For more information on the benefits of a clean crawl space
and how to keep a healthy crawl space, see related articles Mold & Mildew in the Crawl Space and Your Crawl Space Could Be Aggravating Your Allergies. Cleaning up a client’s crawl space is a big undertaking, so we’re here to help! Call USS today for a free estimate to help make your client’s crawl space a healthy space with our warrantied crawl space repairs.

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