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Crawl Spaces vs. Attics (What’s the Difference?)

Crawl Spaces vs. Attics (What’s the Difference?)

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When building or purchasing a house, the last thing we usually check out is the crawl space or the attic. These areas are often forgotten because they’re difficult to access or even put to good use.

In fact, there are areas where crawl spaces and attics aren’t common. So, if you’re living in an apartment, you might not be aware of their uses or how they’re different.

In this article, we’ll compare the crawl space vs. the attic. Let’s get started!

What Is a Crawl Space?

A crawl space is a narrow barrier between the base of your house structure and the ground. As the name implies, it provides just enough space for one person to crawl through it.

Based on the Federal Housing Administration, the height of a crawl space can be anywhere between 18 to 36 inches. It usually consists of footings and walls and is designed to serve as part of the foundation of a house.

What Is the Purpose of a Crawl Space?

Some people think that a crawl space is a convenient storage space under the house. However, experts advise against storing things under your house.

Some crawl spaces have excessive moisture and humidity issues, which can result in mold growth.

Instead, the real reason for having a crawl space is that it provides access to pipes, electrical wiring, and heating and cooling systems in your house.

Having them in one convenient location means contractors can check on them quickly and efficiently.

How to Care for a Crawl Space

Crawl spaces are often neglected since they’re difficult to access and not frequently used. However, failure to care for and maintain this part of your home can lead to several problems, such as poor air quality and pests.

Here are some ways to care for and maintain your crawl space:

1 – Seal the Crawl Space

The most common problem in any crawl space is excessive moisture. Over time, moisture gets absorbed by the wood, causing it to rot. Therefore, it becomes the perfect breeding ground for mold to grow.

The best way to avoid that is to ensure that the entire crawl space is properly sealed off.

2 – Clean the Crawl Space

Do a quick inspection of the crawl space from time to time. Make sure it’s clean and free of insect or pest infestations.

If you notice any signs of mold growth, call a professional service to disinfect and eliminate them for good. Otherwise, mold growth can reduce the air quality in your home, which can be a health hazard for you and your family.

3 – Pest Control

Inspect the crawl space for any signs of pests. Seal off any possible points where pests, such as cockroaches and mice can enter.

However, remember that ventilation is needed to maintain a clean and safe crawl space. Luckily, you can keep pests out of the crawl space and, at the same time, provide adequate ventilation by installing laminated water vapor barriers.

4 – Invest in Quality Insulation

Spray foam insulation can be a bit expensive, but it does a great job of sealing your crawl space. Use the foam to fill in any gaps and avoid excess moisture and mold growth.

For the perimeter of the walls, we recommend using a foam insulation board because it works just like spray foam, but it’s easier to install. Plus, it doesn’t prevent contractors from gaining access to electrical wires, pipes, and other things that need repair.

5 – Install a Drainage Pump

Crawl spaces are vulnerable to floods because they’re low-lying areas. Rainstorms and even leaking water pipes can also contribute to this problem.

An effective way to keep the space dry is to install a drainage pump that collects the water and directs it to a sump pump system.

6 – Install a Dehumidifier Unit

If you’ve already cleaned and properly insulated the crawl space, install a dehumidifier unit inside. This will help regulate the air inside it, keep moisture levels down, and prevent mold growth in the area.


  • Serves as storage for pipes and wiring
  • Provides contractors with easy access
  • Prevents pests from entering the home if sealed tightly


  • Difficult to insulate well
  • Higher cost of heating and cooling a home
  • HVAC systems might need to be updated to boost air circulation

What Is an Attic?

An attic is a space or room found at the top of a house just below the roof.

The size of an average attic is around 70 square feet with a minimum height and width of seven feet. Yet, the exact measurements vary depending on the home.

What Is the Purpose of an Attic?

People usually use the attic as a storage area where you can pack away almost anything, as long as it can’t easily be damaged by heat. This could be unused furniture and cabinets, holiday decorations, boxes, and other things people have no use for anymore.

It’s also essential to keep the attic well-ventilated because it helps balance the temperature of the whole house. In addition, if the area has good ventilation, you’ll be able to conserve energy.

How to Care for an Attic

Attics are commonly overlooked since they’re just storage areas and usually inhabitable. However, just like the other rooms of your house, attics should be kept clean and well-maintained.

1 – Invest in an Attic Fan

The attic fan is an essential part of the top part of your house since it helps regulate household temperatures. The fan brings in cool, fresh air from the outside while pushing the hot air out.

Make sure to oil the attic fan and clean its blades and shutters once a year.

2 – Immediately Fix Cracks and Leaks

Regularly inspect your attics for any cracks and leaks. If left unfixed, these damages can cause mold growth and other structural problems in your house.

3 – Get Rid of Pests

Pests can do major damage to your attic. They don’t only destroy your belongings but also may compromise the structural integrity of your house.

Thus, if you notice any insects or rodents living in your attic, call pest control immediately to nip the problem in the bud.

4 – Ensure Proper Insulation

Your attic must be properly insulated to help conserve energy. In addition, it can also extend your roof’s lifespan.

Always check if your insulation is damaged or old and replace it if needed.

Also, make sure that the insulation is flushed with floorboards. This design feature helps regulate heat flow, keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.


  • Provides an extra storage area
  • Retain heat to help save on energy bills
  • Can be converted into an extra room


  • Have complex designs because they’re designed to match the shape of the roof
  • Vulnerable to falling debris
  • Electrical installations can be complicated

Final Thoughts

Even though these two areas are often neglected, the crawl space and attic are two important parts of any house. The crawl space serves as access to all your pipes and electrical wiring.

On the other hand, the attic provides extra space to store the things you don’t usually use. It also keeps your house temperature balanced and helps conserve energy.

These two parts play a vital role in protecting your house and family. So, remember to perform routine check-ups on each one to avoid damage and ensure they remain in good condition for years to come.

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