Over the weekend, I let our Facebook fans in on a little secret. In the ten years, my husband and I have owned our home, I have never been in the crawl space. It’s not an area I ever felt the need to explore. I knew there were pipes down there. I knew my husband would go under the house to turn the water off to pipes in the winter so they wouldn’t freeze or to fix the garbage disposal if it was acting up. I didn’t really know what was in our crawl space and the things I imagined were in there, were not things I wanted to see.
But in preparation for this post, I went down there. It was a bit muddier than I expected and I came to appreciate why it’s called a crawl space. You literally have to crawl. To explore your crawl space involves crawling around on your hands and knees in a dark space all while trying to avoid pipes, hanging wires, and creatures that can stir in the dark.
Why Do I Have A Crawl Space?
Homes have crawl spaces to promote air circulation through the home. Crawl spaces also give homeowners and repair technicians easy access to plumbing, electrical wiring, and other pipes and ducts that need regular maintenance or repair.
That seems obvious, but recently I learned there is a lot more to having a crawl space than that. A few weeks ago, Atticare reached out to me about working together. When we first spoke we talked about their attic insulation removal services and attic insulation services. They were both services I was very interested in. Our house is a bit unique because it has 2 attics, one for each floor, and both could use new insulation. I agreed to let an Atticare NJ technician come out and provide us with a free inspection. They do that for everyone.
While our attic does have damaged insulation, neglected air ducts, and perhaps improper air ventilation what surprised me most was the report back about our crawl space. Our crawl space had no insulation to keep outside air from coming up through the floors! There was no vapor barrier to keep our foundation dry and free of pests. Barriers to rodents were nonexistent. Clearly, our crawl space needed care.
Just like parenthood, there’s no handbook on how maintain a home. We moved in to this old home about a week before I was due with our youngest, who turns 10 this July. We went from juggling babies in diapers to getting them started in school. Now it’s school, homework, sports, repeat. Time moves fast and sometimes the things we don’t know, we don’t know. I think for many parents, when it comes to home maintance if it’s not broke we don’t know it needs to be fixed.
The NJ Atticare team and I came up with a partnership that I believe not only benefits both of us but also you our readers. While I am being provided with crawl space cleaning, crawl space insulation, and rodent proofing services in my crawl space I’ll also be sharing my experience and education around crawl space maintenance with you. My 11 year old recently asked me, “What does crawl spaces have to do with family fun?” I admit I laughed at first too. But it comes down to three things.
- If we are spending money on high energy bills because our homes aren’t properly insulated, that’s less money we have for family fun. Imagine how quickly your vacation fund could grow if you could save up to 20% on your energy bill every month.
- If we have to take care of emergency repairs because a critter has chewed through wires or duct work, the first budget to likely get cut is your family fun budget.
- If your children are getting sick because rodent infestation is exposing them to germs and pathogens, that’s not fun.
For over 15 years, Atticare has been providing homeowners with attic and crawl space cleaning, insulation, and rodent exclusion to keep homes clean, safe, comfortable and energy efficient. As a nationwide company, they offer a one-stop shop for attic and crawlspace needs. With consistent five-star reviews and A+ ratings, Atticare prides itself on delivering exceptional customer service. That’s why Atticare offers free advice and free inspections to homeowners and business owner. They help lower energy bills and protect homes and businesses from rodent damage.
After talking with different Atticare team members here’s what I’ve come to understand about caring for your crawl space.
3 Things No One Ever Told You About Caring for Your Crawl Space
Crawl spaces need cleaning.
Yes, crawl spaces need cleaning. It’s highly unlikely you’ll find a Lego below your house or any of your kids toys. What you may find are random items from previous homeowners. I found a basket and what I think is a pick tool. Beyond that a crawl space that has not been cleaned in a long time can become infested with contaminants. Those contaminants can develop a noticeable and distracting odor. While I didn’t notice any odors, I did notice wires hanging around, random debris, decay.
Crawl spaces need insulation
You need crawl space insulation! Maybe that’s obvious to most homeowners, for me it’s not something I thought about. I had wrongly assumed that if our house was supposed to have insulation in the crawl space it would have been there. After all, our attics have insulation, it needs replacing, but they have them. That was not the case with our crawl space. The lack of crawl space insulation explains why I’m always so cold when I spend hours working at the dining room table or why sometimes it’s chilly walking across the kitchen floor.
Insulating my crawspace with Atticare NJ should help reduces my home’s energy bill. No more having to crank the thermostat up when I’m downstairs. Plus with so much winter to go crawl space insulation will keep the outside air out and prevent our pipes from freezing. Can you imagine what it would do to your family vacation fund to have a pipe burst in the middle of the winter?
You can prevent animals in your crawl spaces.
You may think it’s normal to have squirrels in crawl spaces. Maybe you’ve thought it’s cute to have chipmunks or rodents in your crawl space. Those rodents might not seem to bad to have below your house. But some rodents aren’t so cute and fuzzy. Heck, when we had a problem with mice one summer, I dreaded the thought of rats in the crawl space. Cute or creepy, rodents in crawl spaces can cause BIG problems for homeowners.
Crawl space rodents cause BIG problems
- Rodents in the crawl space gnaw on electrical wires and chew holes through housing insulation. Some may shred ductwork and vents resulting in expensive home repairs.
- Damage to insulation will drive up energy costs.
- Exposure to pathogens and parasites carried by rodents puts you and your family at risk for illness and drives up healthcare costs.
I don’t want to gross you out, but as homeowners we need to be aware of how critters are attracted to crawl spaces and what we can do to get rid of them. It makes sense that rodents are naturally attracted to humid, dark spaces like crawlspaces. Think about how often you go into the crawlspace. With little interference from you, rodents can use your crawlspace to store food, reproduce, and seek shelter from the cold. They don’t need a lot of room to get in either, a hole as small as an inch will do. Problem is not only is it difficult to remove crawl space animals from your home, but it’s even harder to keep them away. Like dogs, rodents leave behind a scent for other rodents to follow. It doesn’t take long for a few rodents in the crawl space to turn into a significant problem.
I have to say just the idea of critters in the crawl space gives me a case of the heebie jeebies. Thankfully, I didn’t see any animals in the crawl space upon my inspection, but I also didn’t stick around long enough to wait for any to show up. I am leaving that up to the pros at Atticare NJ, they have services for rodent proofing and rodent control and I am happy to not have to deal with it. After their visit, I’ll share more details how they rodent proof crawl spaces.
When’s the last time you thought about your crawl space?
Keep following our series on Caring for Your Crawl Space. Coming soon:
- Our next post will talk about Atticare NJ in more detail including the services they provide: Crawlspace Cleaning, Insulation Services, and Rodent Exclusion and Animal Waste Removal. I’ll share what it was like having Atticare NJ at my home to provide crawl space services.
- The final post about Caring for Your Crawl Space will come later this spring when we share with you the benefits we’ve already noticed by having Atticare NJ provide us with crawl space insulation and crawl space cleaning services.
Atticare locations office are located in Burbank and San Francisco, California and Wallington, New Jersey whom serve residential and commercial customers throughout Northern New Jersey, the San Francisco Bay area and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.
To arrange Atticare NJ services and take advantate of a special Atticare coupon:
- Call 1-888-743-7243.
- Submit an online form.
- Visit them online atticareusa.com
- Mention Jersey Family Fun and this Atticare promo code to save 10%, Save10.