Even though it’s not technically inside your home, it can be easy to forget about your crawl space. During the winter, they need extra maintenance to make sure you avoid bigger, more expensive issues down the road. Crawl space winterization can help you avoid frozen or burst pipes, as well as help with temperature control.
Our repairs solve your cold weather problems:
- Cold floors above the crawl space
- Cold drafts coming up from the crawl space
- High heating bills
- Cold crawl space ductwork that cools the heated air from your furnace
- Frozen pipes due to inadequate insulation
Contact Foundation Recovery Systems for your free inspection for crawl space winterization! Our sealing and insulating treatments improve home comfort and energy efficiency during the winter and all year round. We serve all of Central Missouri and Eastern Kansas, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia, Moberly, and Springfield.
Save on Utility Bills
Fiberglass insulation installed in the crawl space ceiling will not protect you from frozen pipes, cold floors, and high heating bills. Ductwork in a vented crawl space is another problem. Outside air and temperatures make your ducts cold in the winter and hot during the summer. This forces your HVAC system to work overtime to deliver air at the proper temperature, cutting system efficiency by as much as 25-40 percent.
Instead of worrying about your crawl space and making temporary repairs, let us permanently solve your cold weather problems. We don’t just winterize crawl space pipes or vents. Instead, we seal and winterize your entire crawl space foundation to bring your plumbing and heating system inside your home’s conditioned space.
HERES HOW OUR PROCESS WORKS:
- Air seal & insulate the rim joist: A tremendous amount of heat is lost through the rim joist that rests on your crawl space foundation. We prevent frigid air from leaking in by sealing gaps around the perimeter of your foundation. Then we reduce conductive heat loss by insulating the rim joist with foam insulation.
- Insulate crawl space walls with rigid foam: We install high-performance ExTremeBloc™ rigid foam insulation against the crawl space walls. ExTremeBloc™ does what fiberglass can’t: it stops air leaks, never loses R-value, and can’t absorb or be damaged by moisture.
Crawl Space Winterization
Your crawl space might not make up much of your home’s square footage, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need its own kind of TLC. During the warmer months of the year, hydrostatic pressure serves as one of the most effective forces to work against your crawl space’s structural integrity. Unfortunately, as the weather cools down, the moisture that causes so many problems for you in the spring and summer can worsen with the winter.
Come the coldest months of the year, any moisture that’s been absorbed in your walls or structural supports can expand to be over nine percent larger than it normally is. This means that the damage your crawl space may end up contending with will be much worse and will get out of control much faster. Some of the most common forms of damage to see in a crawl space without winterization protections include:
- Icy walls
- Sagging floors
- Bowing walls
- Rusting floor and rim joists
- Standing water or frozen puddles
- Warping door and window frames
- Fogged windows
Winter Water Damage and Your Home’s Market Value
As mentioned, a damp crawl space in the winter can cause serious problems for your home’s overall structural integrity. There’s more to your problems, however, than a damp, cracking, or otherwise damaged crawl space. The longer you take to fix up a damaged crawl space or to protect your home from winter weather, the more likely it is that the stack effect will direct moisture up into the rest of your home, where it can cause comparable damage.
This is a problem in terms of comfort and your home’s future value. If you want to put your home on the market at some point in the near future, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve done as much as you can to keep that unwanted moisture out of your crawl space. If you let water damage spread over an extended period of time, then you risk losing up to 30 percent of your home’s market value—especially if you don’t choose to invest in repairs.
Water Damage and Your Family’s Health
Your family’s immune systems are already weaker than they normally are during the coldest months of the year. The last thing you want to do is make yourself more vulnerable to sickness by exposing yourself to unsafe living conditions. Unfortunately, the same stack effect that can devalue your home can also put your family’s health at risk. Unwanted moisture can aggravate some parties’ pre-existing conditions, eliciting allergic reactions, or respiratory issues. Even folks without pre-existing conditions can start to develop allergies or related conditions if exposed to crawl space moisture for an extended period of time.
While it is more difficult for mold to take root in your crawl space during the coldest months of the year, it is still possible for new sprouts to grow. While moisture can exacerbate your family’s current health conditions, mold can bring new ones about in even the healthiest members of your family. If you’re not careful about removing mold from your home, you and your family members may find yourselves contending with conditions ranging from persistent coughs to long-term respiratory problems for years to come, even after you’ve invested in any necessary home repairs.
The process of winterizing your crawl space allows you to get ahead of the damage that can come with winter snow and spring run-off. The sooner you’re able to prevent that type of moisture from getting into your home, the better off you’re going to be when the worst of winter sets in.
Protecting Your Crawl Space from Damage
As mentioned, an unprotected crawl space can take on a considerable amount of damage in the coldest months of the year. That said, these problems are often just the beginning, when it comes to the effects cold weather can have on your crawl space. The longer you let damage sit in this space, the more likely it is that you’ll end up seeing comparable effects throughout your foundation. Your crawl space on its own may require repairs if it spends the winter unprotected. However, if it turns out that both your crawl space and your foundation are in need of repairs, you may end up paying not only for those restorative services but for a full foundation excavation as well. It’s often better, in light of the measures local contractors may have to go to, to invest in home winterization methods before the worst of the potential water damage can set in.
The Winterization Process
Your crawl space winterization process can be entirely personalized. More often than not, however, area contractors can recommend:
- Sealing your rim joist. Your crawl space connects to your home’s foundation courtesy of your rim joist. That joist needs to be well-sealed throughout the year if you want to avoid unexpected leaks or damage. Come winter, an ill-fitting rim joist can not only allow moisture into your home, but it can also force warm air outdoors. At the same time, cooler air can more readily fill up your crawl space and make your home less pleasant to stay in. While winterizing your crawl space, professionals can help you determine whether or not your rim joist still connects with the rest of your foundation. If there are any problems, they can reseal any gaps that have emerged over the course of the year with foam insulation.
- Insulating your crawl space. If you haven’t replaced or installed insulation in your crawl space recently, it’s possible your walls may have started to weaken. When you install insulation, you can not only keep warmer air inside of your home throughout the coldest months of the year, but you can also create a physical and chemical waterproofing barrier between your crawl space and the outdoors.
To get ahead of the worst of your space’s potential damage, area professionals can install ExTremeBloc™ rigid foam insulation. This foam insulation will provide more comprehensive coverage for your crawl space than traditional fiberglass insulation. Typical fiberglass insulation can suffer almost immediate damage when exposed to unwanted moisture. Comparatively, ExTremeBloc™ does not lose its R-value over time, and it will not absorb the moisture that more readily damages fiberglass insulation.
- Attending to your vents. If your crawl space happens to have vents, it’s likely that you’ve already encountered a variety of problems with moisture. A crawl space with open vents allows moisture and standing water into your home even when your crawl space is undamaged. Come winter, vents that are open or unsealed can continue to let that unwanted moisture indoors, be it in the form of rain, snow, or ice melt. If you have open vents, you can team up with our contractors to close and seal them before the worst of winter’s precipitation settles in. If you’ve closed your vents but are still seeing lower temperatures and higher humidity levels in your home than you’d like, there are solutions available to you as well.
If you’re concerned about the cost of repairing your home, you may consider exploring alternative means of repairing or sealing your crawl space. While some DIY home repair solutions can serve you well, there’s no guarantee that they’ll do a service to your home.
DIY and Your Budget
Many homeowners express interest in DIY crawl space repair and winterization because they’re concerned about how much money professional services may cost. Unfortunately, if you don’t have any experience working with crawl space protective materials, then you may end up spending far more money than you initially anticipated.
Consider this: If you repair and waterproof your crawl space on your own, you’ll have to invest both in the materials that you need and any single-use tools that may better help you either repair your space or install new waterproofing measures. Comparatively, professional contractors already have the specialty tools and connections they need to seal your crawl space this winter. This means that as soon as you want to get started winterizing your crawl space, you can work with your team of professionals to establish a budget for your repairs and that it will be easier for you to stay within that budget knowing that you don’t have to make any surprise tool or material purchases.
DIY and Additional Crawl Space Damage
If you don’t have the experience to back up your DIY crawl space repair and winterization endeavor, it’s entirely possible that you may make conditions within that space worse during your repair process. It’s easier than you might think to exacerbate pre-existing damage or to improperly install those waterproofing measures that are supposed to keep you safe during the winter. You may end up covering up the signs of crawl space damage that indicate a future need for repairs.
These kinds of mistakes can cost you a fair amount of money in your tenure as a homeowner. When you work with professionals, comparatively, you can rest assured knowing that parties with years of experience are working with you to protect your home from the worst of the winter damage. You’ll also have a better chance of not only saving money on materials but installing those protective measures that will protect the whole of your home come winter snow and spring run-off.
Get A Free Winterization Quote from Professionals
As winter approaches, you’ll want to make sure you’ve protected your crawl space to the best of your ability. As long as you have the appropriate protective measures in place and the right repairs lined up, you should be able to make it through the winter without worrying about any leaks, cracks, or other forms of damage cropping up throughout your home. You may even be able to enjoy a lower heating bill.
If you’re not sure where to start, winterizing your crawl space can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, the professionals in your area can help you prepare your home for the coldest months of the year. After a home inspection, you can look over a free services quote to determine what repairs or waterproofing measures you might need.
Want to get ahead of this year’s bad weather? Reach out to discuss the best sealing measures for your crawl space with an experienced professional.
Dedicated to your home. Dedicated to you.
At Foundation Recovery Systems, we have been helping homeowners solve their home repair needs since 1992. We are dedicated to keeping your crawl space protected and energy-efficient. For your free crawl space winterization inspection, contact us today!
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