Crawlspaces are a popular type of home foundation. They are exactly what they sound like – a small open space between the ground and the bottom of your home. They are always shallow and won’t permit anyone to stand upright while in them. In fact, most crawlspaces are so shallow that you have to crawl on your stomach to maneuver around in them!
Crawlspaces are typically constructed of poured cement or concrete block. They elevate the home a few feet off the ground and consist of foundation walls perched on periodically spaced footings. The space between the footings is often left open for easy access and airflow. There may be screens to keep animals out, but in essence it’s open space where air flows through.
They are quite a bit less expensive than basements and serve a very useful purpose by providing easy access for household repairs to plumbing, electrical, and other utilities. Another advantage of crawlspace foundations is that the ground floor of the home is often warmer than homes built on slabs.
But it’s not all rosy – there are some disadvantages to crawlspaces. They are notoriously prone to moisture and can become home to molds and fungus. And, if the crawlspace entryway is left open, critters will move right in and make themselves at home. Worse yet, sometimes critters will move into the crawlspace to die which results in extremely unpleasant odors. If you have a crawlspace, you’ll want to block the entrance(s) so that doesn’t happen to you!
Your home is a big investment. If it has a crawlspace foundation, have it inspected by a foundation specialist on a routine basis. They will be able to keep any mold or animal invasions at bay.
Next in our series is the most popular form of foundation – slabs.