Crawl spaces are found under some homes. As the name implies, the most common way to access a crawl space is by literally crawling inside. Built between the ground and the first floor of the house, crawl spaces are typically only a few feet high, prohibiting standing or walking around inside.
Most people don’t look forward to spending any amount of time in a crawl space, as the floor is packed earth and the area tends to be home to any number of insects and rodents. So, a crawl space isn’t really usable, why do homes have them? Great question! In this article, we’ll unpack the purpose of a crawl space as well as a few tips for keeping them in good repair.
The Purpose of a Crawl Space
Traditionally, crawl spaces were thought to be a practical and economical approach to building a home foundation. They functioned as alternatives to a more expensive basement or cement slab and offered easy access to plumbing, electrical work, and other infrastructure. Most importantly, crawl spaces were thought to be an excellent way to promote air circulation and keep water from seeping into the floor of the home.
Today, we know that rather than promote healthy air circulation, crawl spaces often trap moisture that seeps in from the ground and the surrounding landscape. If left untreated, this moisture can lead to expensive and unhealthy consequences. Untreated crawl spaces are frequently a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and destructive pests like termites and rodents. Homeowners who don’t address their crawl space are at high risk for costly foundation damage, warped floors, health issues due to mold and more.
There are still several positives to having a crawl space, however. They are a cost-effective alternative to basements and concrete slabs and do provide easy access to vital home infrastructure. With the right treatment, you can address all the risks of a crawl space while keeping all the benefits.
How to Have a Healthy Crawlspace
The most important aspect of having a healthy crawl space is moisture control. When you have an efficient system for dealing with unwanted moisture under your house, you’ll enjoy better air quality, less pests and improved energy efficiency. There are several ways to address unwanted moisture according to the needs of your space:
- Vapor barriers are a fantastic starting point for houses that don’t have severe issues with moisture. Industrial strength plastic is laid on the floor of your crawl space to keep ground moisture from seeping into your crawl space atmosphere.
- Crawl space encapsulation involves protecting your entire crawl space and surrounding walls by sealing off vents and installing vapor barrier plastic to prevent wetness from seeping into the space from the ground.
- Crawl space dehumidifiers are the next line of defense and can effectively remove excess moisture from the air before it damages your foundation.
Lastly, it’s important to work with a trusted partner who can provide you with excellent service and answer all your questions! Crawl Space Care is a family-owned and operated company faithfully serving the Roanoke and New River Valleys. Getting help with your crawl space is easy because we offer free inspections and a hassle-free estimate. Plus, our flexible payment structures enable you to find a solution that fits your needs and your budget! Give us a call to schedule your free inspection and enjoy all the benefits of a clean, healthy crawl space.