Contaminated insulation in a crawl space (C) Daniel Friedman Crawl Space Debris & Junk Removal: Why & How
     


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Crawl space debris removal:

Tebris in the crawl area makes inspection and repair work difficult, may be dangerous itself, or may invite infestation by rodents, wood destroying insects, or mold contamination. For these reasons an important step in crawl space dry-out or mold removal is debris removal.

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How & Why to Clean Out the crawl space: get rid of unsafe debris, junk, insulation

An iffy crawl space (C) Daniel FriedmanRemove other Hazardous Materials Such as Asbestos in Poor Condition

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Remove crawl space debris from the area.

Not only are nails, splinters, and possibly rodents that may be in the debris a hazard to workers entering the area, these materials also invite termites, carpenter ants, or rodents which in turn damage the building.

Old cardboard boxes and stored junk invite mold growth and rodents.

Do not bring mold-suspect boxes of stored items out of the crawl space (or basement) back into the living area of the building. Take them outside for inspection and if appropriate, cleaning and salvage.

Check for loose, wet, mo

Contaminated insulation in a crawl space (C) Daniel Friedman

Is there wet or falling or rodent-infested fiberglass insulation in the crawl area? If so there is a high risk of mold or rodent contaminants that could present a fungal, bacterial, or viral airborne hazard. We recommend completely removing all fiberglass insulation from crawl spaces.

Do not enter such an area without protective gear.

See Mold in Fiberglass Insulation.

Fiberglass is an effective and cost-effective building insulation product that performs very well in many applications. And from the factory you can expect fiberglass building insulation products to be nice and clean. But we do not recommend this material for use in crawl spaces or other tight, limited-access under-building areas nor for use against foundation walls.

If the floors above a crawl area or the rim joist or perimeter of the building need to be insulated we prefer to use spray foam or solid foam insulation in such areas because they resist moisture uptake. Here is a photo of a crawl space that was insulated with spray foam insulation.

Ten Steps To Dry Out a Crawl Space & Keep it Dry

CRAWL SPACE DRYOUT - home

  1. CRAWL SPACE ACCESS (also see CRAWL SPACE SAFETY ADVICE)
  2. CRAWL SPACE INSPECTION
  3. CRAWL SPACE WATER ENTRY STOP
  4. CRAWL SPACE DRY-OUT PROCEDURE
  5. CRAWL SPACE DEBRIS
  6. CRAWL SPACE CLEAN UP - read this next
  7. CRAWL SPACE SEAL & SANITIZE
  8. CRAWL SPACE MOISTURE BARRIERS
  9. CRAWL SPACE WATERPROOFING
  10. CRAWL SPACE DEHUMIDIFICATION

CRAWL SPACE REINSPECTION: Inspect the crawl space periodically to make sure your crawlspace dryout measures have been effective. How often do you need to inspect the area? It depends ... on site conditions and building history. At least once a year you should look for any new leaks such as a leaky plumbing drain or an outside water entry problem. If you have been having trouble keeping water out of the crawl area, you should check more often until your confidence is restored.

Watch out: for steps 1-7 above, in some conditions, dust containment, negative air, and more protective gear or help from professionals may be needed.

Also see our other crawl space dryout and safety discussions beginning at CRAWL SPACE GROUND COVERS where we describe crawl space venting, crawl space poly over dirt, and crawl space heat, to illustrate current best-practices in keeping a crawl space dry.

This article series describes the steps needed to get into, inspect, clean, and then dry out a building crawl space. We give a step by step crawl space entry, inspection, cleanout, dryout and keep dry guide explains how to get into or inspect a crawl space even if there is no ready access, how to assess crawl space conditions, how to stop water that is entering the crawl area, how to dry out the space, how to clean up and if necessary disinfect or sanitize the crawl space, and how to keep out crawl space water and moisture in the future.

 

Continue reading at CRAWL SPACE SAFETY ADVICE or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

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