Wet, Nasty Crawlspace? Why you should care, the quality of the air you breathe depends on it. We asked the experts.

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Protect your crawlspace this summer. Photo courtesy of AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists, A Bayless Company

Admit it. Your crawlspace is scary.

Spider webs, dirt, damp, dark and dungeon-like are what comes to mind.

Our hot, humid Birmingham weather makes your home’s crawlspace an even more unpleasant area. But have no fear, we asked our local and trusted friends at AFS, A Bayless Company how and why they should inspect your crawlspace for you this summer.

The air you breathe

According to AFS, as much as 50% of your indoor air comes from below in spaces like your crawlspace and even your basement.

The nation’s leading advocate for clean air, the American Lung Association (ALA), identifies moist and damp crawlspaces as potential breeding grounds for mold growth, a dangerous air pollution source for all of us, especially to people who are sensitive to bad air.

From ALA’s website on mold and dampness:

“The best way to control dampness and mold indoors is to control the sources of moisture. That means preventing the problem from developing as well as fixing new problems quickly. Common problem areas include air-conditioning units; basements, attics and crawl spaces…”

Photo courtesy of AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists, A Bayless Company

Furthermore, according to the association, exposure to mold can trigger allergic reactions and asthma symptoms in some people. Anyone—with or without allergies—may experience irritation of their eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs when exposed to airborne mold particles.

But even if you don’t have mold – dampness inside a home via places, such as your crawlspace, can cause asthma attacks and other upper and lower respiratory problems.

Dampness and mold have been linked to:

Worsening of asthma
Nasal congestion
Sore throat

Make your home more livable

So, how do you go about making the air in your home cleaner? Here are a few tips from our friends in Birmingham, AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists.

Be on the lookout for these signs of potential problems

Look around your home. Do you have cold floors and high energy bills in the winter? What about musty and offensive odors, sagging floors and walls? Do you see standing water, a soft muddy crawl space floor, any mold growth appearing on the joists, beams and sub floors in your crawlspace?

Prevention is the best solution

Photo courtesy of AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists, A Bayless Company

Crawlspace maintenance will help you avoid unnecessary repairs and could create a healthier living space. In fact, according to the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy it can also save you money. From their “Building America research” on unvented crawlspaces, repairs and preventative measures has demonstrated energy savings up to 15% to 18% for heating and cooling, and can reduce humidity up to 20%.

Not only can you save money on your electric bills, one additional bonus: if you encapsulate your crawlspace with a vapor barrier, you’ve gained valuable storage space in your home.

Get a free inspection from AFS- A Bayless Company

Photo courtesy of AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists, A Bayless Company

AFS-A Bayless Company has repaired and waterproofed tens of thousands of homes in the Birmingham area over the past 20 years they’ve served the Magic City. Visit their website or give them a call at 877-340-8479 to set up your free inspection.

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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