Have you seen your crawlspace lately? ¬†In the Richmond, Va. area, we breathed a collective sign of relief when Hurricane Joachin went out to sea last week. ¬†We did have a nor’easter in it’s place however. ¬†Our friends in Columbia, SC¬†however aren’t so lucky and are flooded. You would think a Realtor / Interior Designer like me wouldn’t worry about anything except the cosmetics of a home. ¬† Well, not this one!
That’s been a topic of conversation with many of my clients over the years. ¬† If starting a¬†renovation project, it’s important we get into the crawlspace so we can make sure the home is behaving properly from a structural or a plumbing point of view. ¬†¬† When I sell a home, one of my questions to the homeowners is how long has it been since you’ve been underneath, since many homes in the Richmond area, from the older homes in the Fan or Northside, to newer ones in Hanover and Henrico are constructed with space between the floor and the ground. ¬† ¬†Lakeside has a high water table, and sometimes a sump pump is needed in the crawl to make sure the home does not collect moisture underneath. ¬† Without proper attention, it’s ripe in our climate for fungal growth. In the spring and fall, we have wide temperature swings and the masonry that is on the exterior of the foundation tends to condense on the interior of the crawl wall. ¬†Also if nothing has been done to prevent moisture from wicking up from the ground it will settle on the insulation and joists underneath. ¬† ¬†At minimum, a thick plastic vapor barrier is needed in our area to prevent the moisture from gathering on the surfaces – it’s a very inexpensive way to help your home be a healthy home. As an upgrade, after you make a purchase, some will go the extra mile and seal the crawlspace. ¬†It’s a job for a handy homeowner with some gumption, or also not a huge expense if a professional is brought in. ¬† This is one place I would recommend spending some money – it’s like a good pair of shoes. ¬†You know when shoes don’t fit and they hurt your feet or legs – if your crawl isn’t dry and attended to annually, it can hurt your home in many ways.