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A Definitive Guide to Crawl Spaces

A crawl space is like a basement; however, it has vents to allow outside air to enter. Some crawl spaces can be as high as a basement, whereas others can be as low as two feet tall, so you need to crawl on your stomach to access.

There are three major types of house foundations in the USA. Most of the foundations are concrete slabs, around 30% are full or partial basements, and roughly 15% have crawl spaces.

Why do homes have crawl spaces?

The most concise answer is a crawl space creates a barrier between the floor of your house and the ground below. It’s an alternative to a more typical basement. Nonetheless, the two main reasons residences have crawl spaces are – cost-effectiveness and convenience.

Crawl spaces are more economical to build than basements because it negates the need to move the dirt to level the slope for a concrete pad. You can conveniently mount water and sewer lines, gas hook-ups, HVAC units, and piping on the convenience factor. This setup enables easier maintenance of utility units and pipes.

Two Types of Crawl Spaces

  • Ventilated – have several air vents typically located at the top of the foundation wall. The air streams freely throughout the area, yet it does more harm than good since the air is uncontrolled and unconditioned. Because whether the air is warm or cool, it may be filled with moisture. With all the wires and pipes, and other blockages, insulating a ventilated crawl space is possible but very challenging.
  • Conditioned – has insulated walls and a tight vapor barrier on the floor. The barrier is usually connected to the HVAC device, and it does not need insulation between the floor joists. The vapor barrier keeps the temperature regulated the whole year and eliminates moisture from entering the crawl spaces.

The Drawbacks

  • Humidity – excessive moisture threatens the stability of wooden structures and components. Too much moisture may cause the wood to rot and increase termite activity.
  • Fungus, mildew, and mold – if there’s a water problem combined with air circulating, it makes the place perfect for harmful microbes to propagate. Residents of the house, including pets, will be vulnerable to health hazards such as allergens and respiratory issues brought about by mold and mildew. You can resolve any water issues by getting the service of credible restoration companies for water removal.
  • Pest infestations – insects, rodents, snakes, and some small animals are drawn to the warmth and moisture of crawl spaces. Pest intrusion may detrimentally affect the air quality of your home due to their dander, fur, or droppings.
  • Floods – if you live in a flood zone, there’s a great chance that you’ll have to take care of water troubles in the crawl space eventually. Flood damage can compromise the structural integrity of your residence, and polluted water is a potential source of many water-borne diseases. Floods should not be disregarded; you may visit this website for reputable restoration companies for water mitigation and repairs right away.


As long as your crawl space has been appropriately constructed and preserved well, all the downsides shouldn’t be your worry. Making sure no holes in the ground can be an access point for rodents and other small animals. Any vents must have a screen to prevent insects from entering.

A crawl space makes access more accessible to various systems in your house should something need to be fixed. Although a crawl space is not a livable area, some property owners might utilize it to store small items. A well-kept crawl space can serve plenty of purposes in your house.

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