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Why Crawl Space Cleaning Is Necessary

Crawl Space Cleaning

The crawl space beneath your home is an area that often gets neglected. However, cleaning the space can help prevent mold growth and structural damage from developing.

Crawl Space Cleaning Los Angeles can contribute to healthier indoor air since many of the contaminants that travel throughout your home originate in it. The best way to keep your crawl space clean is through a professional cleaning and encapsulation project.

Debris Removal

Crawl spaces are out of sight and mind, but they impact your home’s energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and rodent activity. If your crawl space is full of mold, mildew, rodent droppings, or other contaminants, they can spread to the rest of your house through vents and floorboards. Cleaning your crawl space removes these pollutants, making your home healthier and safer.

While DIYers may be tempted to clean their crawl spaces, it’s best left to the professionals. Crawl spaces are dirty, humid, and cramped areas that can be difficult to work in. They also pose a potential health risk, as pests and rodents infest the area with harmful diseases like Salmonella and Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis.

The first step in a standard crawl space cleaning is debris removal. Old trash, construction debris, and other junk can hinder access to the space or block important maintenance services like vapor barrier installation. In addition, old insulation and splintered wood can be hazardous for anyone working in the area.

Debris in your crawl space can also lead to moisture problems. Mud can build up and block crawl space vents, causing water damage and contributing to mold and fungus growth. Other issues may include rotted support beams and floor joists, which can weaken the structure of your home.

Mold and rodents also release acrid odors in the crawl space, which can permeate the rest of your home. The best way to eradicate these odors is to use an odor neutralizer in the space.

Getting your crawl space cleaned can save you money in the long run. By preventing rodents and pests from causing structural damage and contaminating the rest of your home, you can avoid expensive repairs and improve the overall comfort of your living spaces.

The cost of crawl space cleaning varies based on the services you need, including debris removal, pest and rodent treatment, mold and fungal treatment, and more. However, the benefits of a cleaner crawl space far outweigh the initial costs. For example, a neglected crawl space can increase allergies, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses. By removing rodents, cleaning out the area, and installing a vapor barrier, you can save yourself thousands in future repair costs and improve your family’s overall wellbeing.

Mold Remediation

Mold can grow in crawl spaces, particularly if there is moisture present. To remove mold, a professional must address the source of the moisture in the area, such as plumbing leaks or ground water drainage problems. A sump pump and interior perimeter drain system are common solutions for this.

Once the mold is removed, a cleaning agent is used to treat the area with a disinfectant. The area is then sanitized using a dehumidifier to prevent future mold growth. The area is also treated to ensure the humidity is below 65%, which will help protect wood floor joists, insulation and structural supports from moisture damage.

During the mold remediation process, a professional will use a specialized spray treatment that kills any remaining spores and deodorizes the area. Depending on the extent of the mold, this could take up to a week to complete. Once the area is cleaned, a new plastic vapor barrier is installed to prevent moisture from returning.

A musty smell coming from a crawl space is often caused by mold or mildew growing inside. It is a sign of excessive humidity, which can easily slip into the area through cracks and holes.

To keep the area clean and free of critters, it is a good idea to clean and sanitize the areas under your home on a regular basis. This is especially important if any family members have allergies or asthma. Mold and fungus spores that circulate in the air can trigger these symptoms, particularly in children.

If you plan to sell your home, regularly conducting crawl space cleaning and addressing any mold or radon issues can boost your property value and help the sale go through without problems. However, if you find mold or a musty smell during the sales process, you may be required to disclose this issue, which can cause a potential buyer to walk away from the deal. A reputable real estate agent can advise you on local requirements. If you decide to do the work yourself, be sure to follow proper safety precautions and a standard crawl space cleaning checklist.

Vapor Barrier Installation

After repairing any mold damage and conducting the crawl space mold cleanup, it’s important to install a vapor barrier or complete a full encapsulation. A vapor barrier helps control moisture levels in the crawl space, which prevents wood rot and other structural problems that could affect the rest of the home. It also keeps vapors from traveling through the air into living areas of the home, which can cause problems like poor indoor air quality and pest infestation.

A vapor barrier is usually made from plastic, such as 6-mil or thicker polyethylene sheets. It can be laid on the floor of the crawl space or as part of a more comprehensive encapsulation system that includes a liner and drainage matting. Before laying the vapor barrier, professionals take care to remove any debris that may be lying in the crawl space, including old poly or wet insulation and anything sharp that could puncture the new plastic. They will then rake and grade the dirt floor of the crawl space to help create a smooth, even surface that is easier to work with.

Getting started on a vapor barrier can be a little tricky because a crawl space entry hatch isn’t always obvious or located outside the house. The most efficient approach is to begin with a fixed position and work around the ductwork, pipes and other utility penetrations before beginning to roll out the plastic. Taking the time to cut relief slits in the plastic at each penetration can save significant time and effort later on when it’s necessary to seam and tape the vapor barrier.

A vapor barrier is essential because moisture in the crawl space can seep up through the foundation into the living spaces of the home, where it causes mold, wood rot and insect infestations. This can rot wooden floor joists and beams and cause problems with the integrity of the floors, walls and foundation of the home. In addition, it can affect the air quality in the living spaces and provide a breeding ground for pests like termites and wood-boring beetles.


A clean crawl space can make your home more comfortable and healthier to live in. It can also add value to your home and reduce energy costs. However, the cost for cleaning your crawl space varies depending on its condition and what services are required. Some important things to consider are settling floors, structural damage, and water and pest damage. Some of these problems can be addressed by encapsulating your crawl space, dehumidifying the area, and sealing any holes or vents.

Crawl spaces are areas under a house that are usually large enough for someone to crawl beneath on their stomach or knees. They are usually built to make it easier to install building utilities such as plumbing, HVAC, and electrical wiring. Having a crawl space can also help prevent basement flooding by keeping the dirt underneath the house dry.

Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t think about their crawl spaces until something goes wrong. Moisture in crawl spaces can lead to wood rot, mold growth, rodent infestation, poor air quality, and decreased energy efficiency. These issues can directly affect the rest of the house.

The best way to avoid these problems is to keep up with the maintenance on your crawl space. This includes removing any unwanted items and debris, fixing damaged supports, sealing the crawl space to prevent moisture, installing a dehumidifier to manage humidity levels, and encapsulating the area to improve air quality, increase energy efficiency, and protect the structure of the home.

Some pests, such as roaches, beetles, crickets, and rats, prefer to hide in dark, humid, unkempt crawl spaces to catch prey and reproduce. If left untreated, they can cause serious health issues for you and your family. Encapsulating the crawl space and installing a dehumidifier in the space can help to control these unwelcome visitors.

If you’re ready to get rid of the “monsters” lurking in your crawl space, call a professional cleaning and encapsulation service for a comprehensive cleaning and encapsulation solution. Depending on the condition of your crawl space, you may need additional services such as foundation repair or drainage solutions. A professional can inspect your crawl space and give you a quote for the total cost of your crawl space cleaning.