Episode 13 – Scary Basements

Donna: Hello and welcome to another episode of the rapid repair pro co podcast all things handyman OFallon. Sorry, that’s kind of a mouthful. My name is Donna Green and I am your host. Joining me is the rapid repair repair pro. Apparently I’m going to have trouble with that today at resident expert and my personal handyman OFallon repair pro Phil green. Hi everybody. How are you today Phil?
Phil: I’m doing wonderful. Struggle a little bit with a head cold, but I’ll make it through. Okay. I hope so. I that would be, we hope so. Yeah.
Donna: The alternative. So hang in there with us. I’m also joining us in studio a is Bauer and Lucy will be joining us. She’s just finishing her evening meal. So she’s, I’m checking for any dropped food so she will be joining us and the studio soon. And they are our two valuable dogs. So our, they’re our beloved pets. So anyway, today we’re gonna talk about scary basements and crawl space and he’s like, we need, this should be a Halloween topic. So we have some, yeah, some good Google music and stuff like that before it all learn how to add sound effects. Yeah, that’d be, that would be good. That would be fun too. So yeah. Nobody loves to have a scary basement or scary crawl space. I know that his crawl spaces are certainly a place I refuse to go.
Phil: Well it had been really, a lot of people have it’s scary basement crawl space and they don’t even know. This is what we find as handyman OFallon experts. It’s scary cause it doesn’t have to look scary to be scary. Oh really? Yeah. Oh, so it’s not the obvious of cobwebs hanging and dark corners and shadows and cobwebs are just a sign that you have air infiltration coming in because spiders love to build their webs where you have airflow because that brings food. Well, I didn’t know that. And you have a lot of cobwebs. That’s what you have. You have air infiltration. Well, I didn’t know that. Yeah, I just thought it was a sign. You had spiders while you do. I know, but I didn’t know that it had to do with air infiltration. Yes. Hmm. So. Okay. What about like, oftentimes when I do my deep cleaning, I find like a cobweb behind a door.
Phil: So like in our entryway in that corner there where the handyman OFallon door is that air infiltration or is that just because it’s a corner that doesn’t, it’s just because it’s a dark corner that you know, was used. But if you’re in a basement or crawl space, you see a lot of cobwebs, lost spiderwebs in a certain location. That’s an indication that you’ve got air infiltration in that area. I will tell you, and that space or I was talking about, and then one other doorway like that, I’ve never seen a spider in that area where it gets a cobweb. It’d be a totally different conversation. Yeah. Had I seen spiders in there. So, Oh, that’s good to know. I learned something. Hmm.
Donna: I can’t wait to see what else I learned. Yeah. Well, without further ado, now that we’ve got everybody’s super excited and probably wondering now what’s going on at their house because they have cobwebs. This handyman OFallon knowledge can be interesting. And so what does that air and mean? So let’s get on with this. So let’s talk about, you know, what, what is a scary basement and crawl space. So let’s talk about what your idea is and what you’re bringing to us today to be aware of.
Phil: Well, besides the obvious, you know, if you, you know, lot of people think our basement is scary. They’re considered scary when it’s kind of damp and dank and spiderwebs everywhere and smells and is dark. So, and those are based, those handyman OFallon basements have issues obviously, but any basement can have issues or, I mean, I’ve been in brand new houses that have lots of spiderwebs and as I said, that’s an indication of air infiltration. But we also have other things in basements that can be scary. Moisture is a big one and a moisture, water and moisture are, is the number one killer of a home as far as durability goes. High humidity levels are a huge problem in a house. They bring things like mold and they call it building materials to decay. All the way to levels of moisture just can just wreak havoc. So, you know, on a basement you have that and it comes from different sources, you know, moisture penetrates through the ground, through the concrete into the air. We also have you may have an open sump pit in the basement, which always blows my mind when I go into a basement and I see, and I see this all the time, I see an open sump pit with a plugged in dehumidifier running right next to it.
Donna: Oh. So they’re just sucking moisture right out of that something she trying to dry out the sump pit. Yeah.
Phil: And people just don’t think about cause and effect or the connection between the two and a simple sealed cover on your sump pit would eliminate you made it, maybe it’ll get away without even having to have a dehumidifier in your basement.
Donna: Right. Okay. Let’s back this up a second. So one of the reasons that we’re talking about the scurry basements and crawl spaces is because the quality of your basement and crawl phase space really affects the indoor air quality in your home, right? Absolutely. Okay. So briefly, just a couple of quick bullet points. You mentioned a mold and you mentioned the spiders. But just a couple of bullet points of how does the quality of our basement and crawlspace affect the indoor air quality of our home? Well, anything besides those, you, when you think about
Phil: How air moves, right? If you picture a hot air balloon, what is going on? You’re warming up the air inside his balloon and that air as it warms up becomes lighter and it wants to rise to the top right? That’s what causes the hot air balloon to, to, to lift off the ground. The same thing happens in your house. So as the air up in the upper level, your house warms, it escapes out the top of your house, which brings air from the basement and a crawl space into your living space. So everything it’s in your basement or crawlspace ends up in your home that you, that you breathe. So it’s, that’s, that’s the that’s where it affects the indoor air quality of your house. So if you have elevated leveled levels of moisture and your base and if you have mold in your basement or if you have a, heaven forbid you have a crawlspace with just plain dirt and, and wet dirt did that you know, all that is being pulled into your house. That’s why, you know, a house with a crawlspace, I can immediately, sometimes even before open the front door, I can smell the musty crawlspace smell in the house from being a handyman OFallon.
Donna: Okay. So that whole effect, that whole process on how the air moves in a house is called stack effect. Right. and I’m going to describe this in different terms in a hot air balloon because I’m not
Phil: Mr trained
Donna: Indoor air quality guy. I’m just Donna who wants a clean, healthy house with a handyman OFallon expert to help me. And so for listeners out there who kind of wonder about this basement crawl space and the air quality, how it affects the stack effect is as Phil just talked about, when the up, when the upper air warms and it leaves the house. But really what happens is it’s drawing there. Your home breeds from the lowest level up. And so it’s pulling air from your basement and crawl space all the way through your house and out through the attic. And that is the stack effect. Right? And so just think about that for a moment
Phil: And it’s called a stack effect because if you think of a chimney stack, that’s what a chimney stack does, right?
Donna: Okay. Okay. So for a homeowners out there, think about that for a moment. If you picture your basement or your crawl space, do you want that air in your kitchen, in your bedrooms while you’re sleeping all of the time? And that’s really what’s happening for handyman OFallon services if you don’t have that environment controlled.
Phil: Right. I mean, you wouldn’t have, you wouldn’t have live in a house with a dirt floor, right?
Donna: No, absolutely not. Right? Why would you have a crawl space with a gaps? Absolutely. Absolutely. And so the effects, the things that I can affect, it can affect the moisture in your home. We can talk about what the effect moisture will have then, but it can affect the number, the pests that you have, amount of spiders and other bugs. No rodents. Right, right, right. It can affect your, your health. And so you know, allergies more, more likely to suffer from allergies if you have a home that doesn’t have good air, indoor air quality viruses, all sorts of things. And here’s the interesting thing about moisture. We had an earlier podcast where we talked about controlling the moisture in your home by adding a humidifier to your furnace in the winter months and how that keeps you healthier if you can keep your nasal passages moist and the humidity just right, that reduces your risk of viruses, but also if your home has too much moisture let me back up. So in, in the winter times, if you don’t have enough moisture in your home, in your nasal passage, your dry out, that’s where you run the risk of catching more respiratory infections and viruses,
Phil: Right? Because the, the you have less mucus, which is what the, the vehicle you had. That’s the one of the roles that mucus serves is a lot of the impurities purities that you breathe in, get attached to the mucus and they find our way into your and your gut where they’re destroyed.
Donna: Right? Right. So here we had a podcast on controlling the moisture with the adding humidifier to your home. But if you’re living in a home that has too much moisture and that also is going could cause some health problems. Call a handyman OFallon expert. And so really it’s so important for people to realize the impact moisture makes on our homes. Yes. And so most of that stems from our basements and crawl spaces. Right. All right. So so how does moisture then affect the house? Not our health, but how does it affect the house?
Phil: Well, elevated levels of moisture can cause, you know, localized rotting you know, building materials don’t do well in a high moisture environment. It also invites, you know, past that feed on some of your building materials. We see this as handyman OFallon providers. So, you know, we talked about the air infiltration spiderwebs. In the summertime when it’s really humid outside, if you’ve got a hole in your house where it airs, moisture is constantly being drawn in. It can get, can cause rotting. You know, I’ll, I’ll leak a simple little drip that hasn’t caught for a long time could do an enormous amount of damage. Right? so, you know, moisture is, is very destructive on building materials, durability of house.
Donna: Okay. well, and our whole goal is to protect your number one investment in at your handyman OFallon home. So that’s why we come to you with this information. So there’s also a little not little, it’s huge problem that can, can develop in and really it’s basements, crawl space, even if you live on a slab and your home can be affected by radon gas. But it also is one of those things that with a basement or a crawl space that is kind of, you’re not necessarily fully aware of it. You were not aware of it anyway, but let’s talk about the just briefly cause we could do a whole show on radon and we need to do a whole show on, yeah. So let’s talk a little bit about radon and what, how just treating the cross space of can eliminate some of the risks of girl of radon.
Phil: Sure. Well, you know, as we talked about, you know, with the stack effect in a house, all that all the soil gasses and everything gets in a crawl space gets drawn into your house. So if you have a crawl space with a dirt floor, there’s nothing stopping you know, right on gas from coming along with that. And right on, is it just an, it’s a natural naturally occurring gas that’s right on comes from radium, which is an element that is in the soil. It’s a, it’s a part of the decay chain of uranium, but but radon itself is a gas. So, and you know, gas has moved through soil and through different ways it can find its way into your house, but you know, right on is a known carcinogen. It’s a radioactive gas. When you breathe it in, it’s, it sticks to your lung tissue and when it goes through its half-life it radiates your lung tissue with alpha radiation can cause lung cancer.
Phil: Not everyone can get some gets lung cancer from, but it’s a serious thing. It’s a second leading cause of cancer deaths, smoking, smoking. So it’s a serious thing and you know, certain areas of the country have higher you know, you have higher probabilities. Having elevated levels of radon here where we’re at in the Midwest is a pretty high risk area for it. And especially since in this part of the country we build a lot of basements based on what’s in crawl space. Crawl spaces tend to have more risk for radon, although we do a number of systems and pauses with slabs also. Right? So it’s a serious problem and you don’t know you have it unless you test.
Donna: Right. So what are some of the solutions for, if you’ve got a basement or crawl space, what are some of the things that you would want to, would you, would recommend that people pay attention to or maybe have done for their home?
Phil: Well, for starters, you know, we’d want to get, we’d want to eliminate as much as possible the air infiltration. So you know, the area around the perimeter of your home in the basement, if you look up and you see the floor joists, that area, that’s where that all sits on the foundation. That’s called the rim joist. Ideally you want to air seal that, you know, with caulk or spray foam, make sure it’s insulated, but you’d want to make sure that you walk around your house and make sure that things are cocked property, like pipes going through the, the, the wall and things like that. You definitely want to have a sealed cover on your sump pit and you’d want to have your, make sure your, your, you know, you’re checking on your sump pump. If you don’t know anything about, some pumps, have Pavel professionally checked out some pumps, not a place to buy it dis to go cheap.
Phil: You want to have a really good one that you can rely on because it’s, you know, flooded basements are no fun and you know, things like, you know, if there’s any large cracks in the floor to keep them caulked Cocteau perimeter of the wall floor joint. This is when a handyman OFallon resident helps. If you’ve got a crawl space, you know, a good sealed liner in there is, is really essential to good air indoor air quality. And not just that, but I mean it would get rid of that musty smell in your house, right. Which makes a huge difference. And then the livability. So, you know, just those few simple things and make a huge difference in the in how your house feels and you know, its overall value durability.
Donna: Okay. So some of the benefits then we’re going to recap some of the benefits then to having your basement and crawl space maybe treated for some moisture and air infiltration, moisture problems. Maybe getting that crawl space lined are folks at Advanta clean can help with that. But so to recap, some of the benefits of that would be,
Phil: Well, it’s increased value. You know, if you have a crawl space, you know, your, and you line it, it’s going to help reduce a radon infant, you know, filtration. Although either way you need to have your house tested for radon because you, you know, a radon system is a very inexpensive and easy to do and well worth the money spent. You know, some of the other benefits you’re gonna maintain, be able to maintain your humidity levels in your house to good good level could for indoor air quality and it helps to, to control pests. So seal, crawl space, seal basement good indoor air quality. All those things help you know, pesto like to live in places that are clean and sanitary and nice. Right? So that’s, you know, that’s the, that’s the big thing. They’re great.
Donna: Okay. Awesome. Well, Phil, how would, if people to have more know more
Phil: About making their home safe and healthy, what do they do? Well, we can always find us online@wwwdotrapidrepairpro.com for a handyman OFallon provider and you can fill out a contact form and we’ll get back right, right back with you. Okay. Schedule an appointment or you can reach us at 807 four one six zero five, six. And you’ll get to speak to a friendly person on the phone who will get you set up. And we’ll come over and take a look at what you got going on and take a care of you. Awesome. And while you’re at it, you know, check us out online, check out our reviews. We have a lot of great reviews where the highest rated handyman OFallon service in this area. And that’s because we do good work and we take good care of our customers. Awesome. All right, great. Well another great topic. Thanks for filling us in on scary cross spaces and basements. Thank you everybody. Have a great day. Thanks. Bye.