While the primary role of the crawl space is to elevate the home off of the ground and allow access to electrical or plumbing systems, it’s amenable to other uses, especially after encapsulation. Sealing gives a new lease on life to your crawl space and creates useful space that can serve different purposes.
Before we look at what you can do with your crawl space, let’s look at how you stand to gain by sealing it up with a plastic vapor barrier.
Benefits of a Sealed Crawl Space
Once you clean and seal the crawl space of your Colorado Springs, CO, home, you will enjoy better indoor air quality, and that means fewer respiratory problems, coughs, or allergies. Sealing also locks out wood-boring insects such as termites and pests such as rats, which can be a menace. Since there’s no moisture, mold and fungi won’t grow, so you won’t have to worry about structural damage. Your underlying structures and support beams will remain intact. Encapsulation also makes your home more energy-efficient. As a result, you won’t have to run your HVAC unit for several hours to create hospitable conditions.
Creative Uses for an Encapsulated Crawl Space
Wondering what to do with this space beneath your home? Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Storage – By now your house could be quite full. You have some of the old personal belongings that you bought 20 or so years ago and your recent items. Don’t play “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” trying to choose what remains and what goes out. Hardware, craft supplies, tool bags, cooking utensils, and out-of-season items like your bike and kayak are all great candidates for the refurbished crawl space storage. Drag all your old or unused items down there, too.
- Pantry – You can turn your revamped crawl space into a pantry, where you can store a year’s supply of food, water, or even a 72-hour kit. As long as you keep humidity under control and manage the temperatures, your food items will remain fresh for several months, if not years. Because of the high risk of attractive rodents and other pests, only store canned food items in a sealed plastic gallon bucket or in barrels.
- Workspace – If you’ve really been yearning to have your own working area in a secluded space, the crawl space might just be what you need to actualize your dream. Bring down your supplies, create a working area, and get started with your essential projects. Make sure you have ample lighting so you can work with ease and minimize accidents.
- Play Area – Do you struggle to find room in your house for your kids or grandkids to play? Once you have a cleaner and more functional crawl space, you’ll not only be able to store toys in this area, but you’ll have a great area for the kids to play house or games like hide-and-seek. You’ll no longer have to worry about the youngsters being exposed to mold, pests, or musty air because you’ll have a clean, dry, and healthy crawl space.
What should I do to prepare the crawl space?
Turning your crawl space into a pantry, a workspace or storage isn’t as hard as some imagine. A bit of preparation is necessary, and this includes installing lighting and using storage containers and bins. We also encourage you to install a dehumidifier to control the air within this space. After all, this is an area that probably has the highest levels of humidity in your home. Dehumidification will stop condensation and mold growth on walls.
Transform Your Crawl Space with Expert Help
Have a dirty, debris-filled, or exposed crawl space? Complete Basement Systems can help you clean up this space so you can convert it into something useful. Schedule a free crawl space inspection and estimate and find out how we can help you create the perfect crawl space.