Anyone who’s lived in a home with a dirty crawl space can tell you how they wish they’d cleaned up the space before things got out of hand. We’re all too familiar with sorry tales of people who let dirt pile up or mold to colonize this space. Their once comfortable homes became unbearable as the magnitude of their problems sunk in.
If you want a peaceful night’s rest or want your loved ones to enjoy fresh air or spend less money on heating, you’ll have to attend to the crawl space. And the best way to do that is to clean and encapsulate it. Not sure what it costs? Here’s what the process entails and how much you’re likely to spend.
Because of neglect and the fact that it’s exposed, your Charlotte, NC, crawl space may attract all types of pesky pests and insects. You will have to exterminate them. This may require you to set up rat traps and fumigate the crawl space to kill crawling insects. Signs that your crawl space has an infestation include scurrying sounds, scratching and visible marks. Getting rid of pests through a pest control expert could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000.
Pest Droppings Removal
Once you have banished pests from the crawl space, you will have to clean up their droppings and other organic materials down there. Your cleaner may sweep this space or vacuum clean it using a powerful machine. Left to lie untouched, pest droppings may contaminate the insulation material and the crawl space floor. So anyone who gets in there risks contracting diseases.
Animal droppings and urine on the crawl space floor are not only unsightly but can leave a rancid or putrid smell that can get into your living space. This may cause discomfort as it will contaminate the air you breathe. Once the cleanup is done, the specialist will use deodorants to neutralize any awful smells that are lingering. Set aside at least $1,000 for this exercise.
Mold and Fungi Removal
Your damp and warm crawl space can trigger both mold growth and fungi growth, which can manifest as black mold and mushrooms respectively. You should be concerned about mold as it’s dangerous. Besides causing respiratory problems, mold can eat your damp wood joists and weaken them. In the end, you could be left with toxic indoor air and underlying structures that can barely hold your home. Mold remediation professionals may charge you $2,000 to $4,000.
With time, your crawl space can accumulate mounds or heaps of debris. These can make it difficult to access the crawl space and use it as a storage area. It may also make it easy for pests to create hideouts and nest in there. Make sure the cleaners remove all debris whether organic or non-organic. Removal can range from $750 to $1,500, but it’s worth every penny.
Removing and Replacing Insulation
Crawl space insulation material isn’t immune to pests and water. Sometimes, pests claw their way into the material. Moisture may also accumulate on the absorbent material, causing it to sag and eventually fall. This is going to make your home less energy efficient. To remove and replace damaged insulation material, set aside at least $1,500. Costs could be higher depending on the size of the crawl space and the quality of material you’re going to use.
Once you clean the crawl space and seal it, you may have to install a dehumidifier to control internal moisture. An energy-efficient unit can cost you $1,800.
Vents and openings will have to be sealed or they will let in moisture and pests. Where there’s a serious infestation, your contractor may ask you to cement the dirt floor. But the one thing they’re likely to insist on is that you encapsulate the crawl space. It’s costly, but in the long term, it’ll prove worthwhile.
If there’s water damage, you’ll also have to deal with it, as it’s likely to render the underlying structure useless or ineffective in the long term. Again, this will cost you money.
Anxious about what harm your dirty crawl space could cause to your home in Charlotte, NC? Schedule a free crawl space inspection and get practical solutions to deal with moisture and tips to keep it clean.