What’s There to Know About Crawl Spaces?
A crawl space is like a basement but has vents to let in outside air. 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 belly 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 approximately 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 standard basement. Nonetheless, the two main reasons homes have crawl spaces are – cost-effectiveness and convenience.
Crawl spaces are more cost-effective to construct than basements since it negates the need to move the dirt to level the slope for a concrete pad. You can conveniently set up water and sewer lines, gas hook-ups, HVAC units, and piping on the convenience factor. This configuration permits less complicated upkeep of utility systems and pipes.
Two Types of Crawl Spaces
- Ventilated – have several air vents generally situated at the top of the foundation wall. The air flows freely throughout the space, yet it does more harm than good, given that the air is uncontrolled and unconditioned. Because whether the air is warm or cold, it might be packed with moisture. With all the cables and pipes, and other obstructions, insulating a ventilated crawl space is possible but very tough.
- Conditioned – has insulated walls and a tight vapor barrier on the floor. The barrier is usually connected to the HVAC system, and it doesn’t need insulation between the floor joists. The vapor barrier keeps the temperature regulated the whole year and removes moisture from going into the crawl spaces.
- Humidity – excessive moisture threatens the integrity of wood structures and components. Too much humidity might 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 suitable for hazardous microorganisms to proliferate. Residents of the home, including pets, will be at risk of health hazards such as allergens and respiratory problems brought about by mold and mildew. Deal with any water damage repair by getting the service of trustworthy restoration companies.
- Pest infestations – insects, rodents, snakes, and some small animals are drawn to the warmth and moisture of crawl spaces. Pest intrusion may negatively affect the air quality of your home as a result of their dander, fur, or droppings.
- Floods – if you reside in a disaster area, there’s a likelihood that you’ll need to manage water problems in the crawl space at some time. Flood damage can compromise the structural integrity of your residence, and contaminated water is a prospective source of numerous water-borne diseases. Floods should not be overlooked; you have to call trusted restoration companies like PuroClean Oak Park for water mitigation and repairs right away.
As long as your crawl space has been properly built and preserved well, all the disadvantages should not be your concern. Ensure no holes in the ground can be an entry point for rodents and other small animals. Any vents need to have a screen to prevent pests from entering.
A crawl space makes easy accessibility to various systems in your house should something need to be fixed. Although a crawl space is not a liveable area, some property owners could store small items. An adequately maintained crawl space can serve many purposes in your house.