A crawl space is a type of foundation that is primarily characterized by its low height. It keeps the floor of the house closer to the ground compared to basements such that people who try to enter the space will typically have to crawl their way around it, hence the name. In certain areas, it is preferable to slab foundations and basements due to its numerous advantages, including the following:
Protection Against the Damp GroundHomes with a slab foundation sit very close to the ground. In places that get a lot of rain and snow, the soil's dampness underneath can cause a lot of problems. Wood may begin to rot away which will weaken the structure. Foul odors may begin to make their way to the living spaces above. If the water rises then the flooding may get inside quickly. On the other hand, homes with a crawl space are slightly elevated so damp ground will have little effect on the flooring. Floods, unless severe, are unlikely to reach the house.
Protection Against InsectsInsects and rodents can burrow underground and end up beneath the house where they can cause much damage. Termites, for instance, may eat the supporting wooden beams and cause them to buckle over time. This may result in a slight tilt of the floor due to imbalance. Hairline cracks may appear on the walls. An encapsulated crawl space makes these issues insignificant as the pests will not be able to make their way through to the inside. Homeowners can rest easy about their foundation knowing that these small yet dangerous creatures will be kept at bay.
More Economical Compared to a BasementBasements are bigger and can be used for various purposes depending on the need of the household. They could be converted into additional bedrooms for a growing family, a playroom for the kids, a mini bar for entertaining guests, or even a home theater for relaxation. However, basements also tend to be expensive to build as they require a lot more work. Crawl spaces are smaller, simpler and cheaper by comparison. Those do not see the need for future expansion or are just trying to bring down the cost of construction should opt for a crawl space instead.
Easier to Service Ductwork and PlumbingAnother great thing about crawl spaces is that they make it easy for technicians to access vital lines for servicing. The ductwork is usually exposed underneath the floor so it is just a matter of getting inside the space to reach the ducts for the HVAC system and the pipes for the plumbing. This makes regular maintenance and repair straightforward affairs. Service technicians could come in and finish their job in no time. Since they are generally paid by the hour, homeowners can keep the cost to a minimum.
Crawl Space as Storage SpaceSure, a crawl space offers less storage space than basements but it is certainly better than none in the case of a slab foundation. The area can accommodate all manner of items as long as it is kept clean and low in humidity. Instead of dumping everything into the garage, put some boxes inside the crawlspace and free up precious square feet for another car. There might even be enough room for a home office or a personal workshop. Crawl spaces are clearly beneficial but they do need to be maintained and improved in some cases. Adding a dehumidifier helps in preventing mold growth and improving the air quality inside. Complete encapsulation systems keep out the water and the rodents with an impenetrable barrier. Ask crawl space specialists about these options to enhance your foundation.
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