As winter closes in it’s time to start prepping your house for the cold that it to come. One of the most important things to check in this process is the crawl space. This small area can be the cause of high heating bills, mold issues, and even structural damage if you’re not careful. Here are 4 tips to help you ensure your crawlspace is ready for the winter:
1. Check for Cracks and Holes
Check the foundations and walls for cracks or holes that lead outside. Even a hairline crack or a hole the size of a dime can let in moisture, insects, and even rodents that can damage the structure of your home. Cracks can usually be sealed with expanding insulating foam or with foundation sealant, though you may need to hire a professional to deal with any large problems.
2. Close the Vents
There is some debate over this topic, but most experts agree that if your crawl space has vents, they should be closed over the winter. Keeping your vents closed will allow your crawl space to retain heat which can cut down on the possibility of your pipes freezing. Since the air is drier in the winter, you don’t need to be as concerned about humidity build up.
3. Inspect the Pipes
Pipes bursting in the winter is not as common as some people think, but it does happen, and when it happens it can cause a lot of expensive damage to your plumbing and your home. To cut down on this possibility, inspect your pipes now before it gets too cold. Check for any drips that can add to moisture in the crawl space, and especially check for any rusty or week spots that can increase the chances of a pipe bursting. Insulating the pipes in your crawl space can also help, but a bad insulation job is worse than no insulation at all. Make sure there are no uncovered areas including the joints and any bends or curves.
4. Check the Insulation
In addition to pipe insulation, you’ll want to check the floor insulation in your crawl space as well. Old, damaged, or sagging insulation can lead to cold floors, heat loss, and mold damage in your home. Properly installed insulation will help keep your house warm as well as your crawl space, which will in turn protect your pipes.
Before winter sets in, be sure to inspect the structural integrity of your crawl space, open the vents, and ensure the pipes and floors are properly insulated to ensure your house is properly prepared for everything winter can throw at it.