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Friday, June 28, 2013

What Is A Crawl Space Restoration And Do I Really Need One?

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A crawl space is a place of the home that most home owners have no interest in visiting.  It is dark, musty and just a little bit creepy.  It may not seem like the most inviting place to you, but to rodents, raccoon's and other wildlife, it is just perfect.  It provides these animals with warmth, shelter and safety.  You'd think that they would at least keep their new home tidy, but they totally trash the place!  In times like these, many pest control companies are going to recommend getting a crawl space restoration.

A crawl space restoration is just what it sounds like.  A contractor is going to have a crew pull everything out (insulation, vapor barrier, all the debris, etc).  Once all the contaminated parts have been removed, they will start the process of decontamination and then put fresh materials in to replace everything.  This maybe sounds simple because I summarized the whole process in just a couple sentences, but it is a grueling job that is extremely labor intensive, dirty and just plain gross!  A job like this can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to a couple thousands of dollars.

Since it is so expensive, it is amazing to me that many home owners do not get multiple bids.  Usually the need for a crawl space restoration arises when a pest control company comes out and does an inspection of the crawl space for rodents or any other pests.  They find the problem, give a quote and over half of those customers that go with the work never even get a second opinion!

Is it needed?
That is the problem.  There are some companies that say that EVERY home that has any trace of rodents or any other animal, needs a crawl space restoration.  Although this is very convenient for their business model, I do not agree that it is necessary and I think that deep down, they don't actually believe that either.  My opinion is that a crawl space needs to have prolonged contamination covering at least 25% of the area before considering doing a restoration.

Are there any alternatives?
If your crawl space has only partial contamination, only a partial restoration is needed.  This is where you can save big money from getting a second opinion.  If you call a reputable company, they may say that you don't even need a restoration at all or you may only need a few areas cleaned up.  For example, maybe you only have contamination on the vapor barrier or in some of the insulation.  Don't let companies swing for the fences and replace everything just to get more money out of you.

Who do I recommend?
In my bias opinion, I recommend calling New Leaf Pest Control in Portland, Oregon.  Now, full disclosure, I work for this company, but I also believe they are the best in the area by far.  I also recommend Healthy Homes Pest Control in Seattle, Washington.  If you have had a bid and need to get a second opinion, I would recommend calling either of these companies because they are straight shooters and will give you a fair, honest assessment.  If you have any questions or if you have been recently swindled by a company bidding a restoration, I would love to hear from you.  Please email me or comment below.

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