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Are Crawl Spaces Bad? (4 Pros and 3 Cons)

Are Crawl Spaces Bad? (4 Pros and 3 Cons)

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Have you been thinking about getting a house with a crawl space, but keep hearing negative things about it?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many homeowners have been in your shoes, and like you, they also had second thoughts about having a crawl space underneath their house.

So, are crawl spaces bad? Yes and no.

Sure, they come with a few disadvantages. However, crawl spaces also offer several terrific benefits.

This post lets you take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of a crawl space. This way, you can decide whether it’s suitable for you.

So, without further ado, let’s get crawling!

Benefits of Having a Crawl Space

Below are some of the benefits of having a crawl space.

1 – Allows Access for Repairs

Thanks to their elevated design, crawl spaces allow for easy maintenance and repair of the electrical wiring, ventilation systems, and plumbing.

Unlike slab foundations, where pipes are usually embedded or installed beneath them, crawl spaces give you easy access to utilities without the need for excavation.

2 – Helps Reduce Harmful Gasses

Many of us don’t know that soil produces gas that could put our health at risk.

According to the World Health Organization, this radioactive gas, known as radon, comes from the ground and is one of the leading causes of lung cancer.

Crawl spaces help reduce radon levels by housing a radon mitigation system. It works by sucking air from the soil and releasing it through a roof pipe.

Thus, harmful gasses are kept away from windows and doors.

3 – Provides Extra Storage

Using a crawl space as storage is one of its best perks. You can use it to keep the stuff you don’t use daily, like beach essentials, camping gear, and holiday decorations.

Some folks also use crawl spaces to store personal possessions, such as old photographs and books. However, you need to seal off the crawl space to prevent moisture from damaging your stuff.

Call in a professional to help seal the walls, floor, and ceiling with polyethylene. Apart from its ability to ward off external moisture, it’ll also serve as a barrier against vapor coming from the ground.

4 – Additional Benefits

If you live in an area where the weather can get exceedingly hot at times, a crawl space foundation can help cool air circulate freely inside the house. At the same time, it can flush hot air out, thus allowing the floor of the house to remain cool most of the time.

Plus, its elevated construction makes it less susceptible to damage. In addition, it’s sturdier than slab foundations when it comes to earthquakes.

Lastly, a crawl space is a practical choice if you’re building your house on an uneven surface. This foundation allows you to level the base by simply adjusting its piers.

Disadvantages of a Crawl Space

Now that you’ve seen the benefits, let’s look at some disadvantages.

1 – May Attract Pests

Known for being moist and dark, a crawl space is a haven for various pests. Its condition makes it attractive to insects like cockroaches, centipedes, silverfish, and moths.

Apart from being a nuisance, these pests carry diseases and cause allergic reactions in some people.

Other than bugs, crawl space also attracts rodents like rats and mice. The warmth and darkness that a crawl space provides make it easy for these rodents to stay comfortable and hidden.

2 – Causes Mold Infestation

Another disadvantage of crawl spaces is they’re prone to mold infestations. The amount of moisture they have makes them a perfect environment for fungal growth.

Like bugs and rodents, mold growth also put our health at risk. For people with allergies, mold can easily trigger asthma and other allergic reactions.

even if you’re not allergic to mold, it can still irritate your skin, throat, nose, eyes, and lungs.

The good news is that by sealing off the crawl space, moisture levels drop and so does the risk of mold growth.

3 – Reselling the House Can Be Challenging

Reselling a house with a crawl space requires time and patience.

That’s especially true if the crawl space was poorly set up and maintained. In other words, careless construction and lack of maintenance make it more of a liability than a strong selling point.

As a result, having a crawl space could drive away even the most eager buyers. They know the damage a wet crawl space can bring to the house.

Crawl Space Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your crawl space often prevents many future problems.

That said, make sure you keep it dry as much as possible. Apart from having them sealed to reduce moisture, you can also add a gutter to redirect the water away from the crawl space.

You can always do it yourself. However, I suggest you consult an expert to make sure the construction is done up to standard.

Secondly, you should consider using a crawl space dehumidifier to regulate the temperature. It can also keep moisture at low levels, which can help prevent mold buildup.

Lastly, remember that pests can slide through even the tiniest openings. So, it’s important to keep the crawl space free from bugs and rodents by blocking possible access points.

Also, look for wall cracks and other small openings and have them repaired.

Final Thoughts

So, are crawl spaces bad?

Crawl spaces are a disadvantage if they were carelessly built or not properly maintained.

However, it’s undeniable that a crawl space has several benefits. Hence, a well-constructed and well-maintained one makes you enjoy the perks and helps you save time, money, and space.

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