You’ve heard of basements and all their fabulous advantages, but have you ever heard of crawl spaces? If an image of crawling through a tight space underneath your house comes to mind, we’d like to congratulate you. That’s precisely what a crawl space is. Once found in nearly every home 50 to 75 years ago, they’ve evolved and adopted new purposes for modern-day houses.
Most crawl spaces are between one and three feet high, and usually contain the “guts” of a house: ducting, ventilation, wiring, and anything else that keeps a house humming. However, there’s a lot more to these little nooks than people think. Read on to learn about crawl spaces, their unique benefits, and how you can care for your own.
They’re cheaper than basements
More houses than not have basements nowadays, and it’s easy to see why. Between a lot of extra storage space and ease of access to your house’s plumbing and wiring, basements also make a great play space for children. Crawl spaces achieve almost none of these things, but their most significant advantage of basements are their cost. While the average basement will run a homeowner an extra $75,000 to $150,000, crawl spaces will only cost you $8000 to $25,000. Suddenly, the backyard sounds like the perfect spot for the kids to play!
They’re better in more humid climates
Did you know that houses need to breathe just like us? What they lack in lungs they make up for in ventilation, which is the system in which air travels throughout the structure to cool it down and dry it out. This fact is what makes crawl spades ideal for wetter climates: ventilation between house walls means a better natural cooling system. It also ensures that the structures between your house’s walls stay dry. Keeping your home dry is crucial if you want to avoid mould, mildew, fungi, and any other unwelcome house guests. Also, a cooler, drier house is more likely to maintain its structural integrity over an extended period, so you may be preserving your home by installing a crawl space.
They need insulation, too
It’s funny how much houses can seem like living things. Like we mentioned above, not only do homes have guts, but they need to breathe to air themselves out, too. You may not be so surprised, then, to learn that they need to “wear” protective gear to keep doing its job. A functional crawl space can’t work without the proper insulation. This insulation is mainly to prevent moisture from building up in the cracks of the house and seeping into the wooden beams, which is one of the quickest ways to generate mould. But proper insulation will not only keep moisture out; it will also keep heat in during the cold winter months. Following this logic, you can slash your energy costs by ensuring your crawl space is adequately protected and sealed.
Manage house problems easier
It’s easy to fix problems if they’re all in the same place. We’d have to agree, and crawl spaces prove this point pretty nicely. Centrally locating your house’s plumbing, wiring, and ventilation to structures within the walls or between floors makes it easy for home repair pros to fix whatever problems might arise. Houses built on concrete slabs, in contrast, can be an absolute nightmare to maintain; getting to the house’s “guts” often involves expensive concrete destruction, and could end up costing twice as much as how it takes to fix the problem.
How can you prevent crawl space issues?
Caring for your crawl space might seem a bit daunting, but in reality, you can take regular measures to maintain it properly. To avoid moisture buildup or seepage, install a draining system in your crawl space. Dehumidifiers in the walls can help with moisture issues, but what about grading issues? Grading issues often arise when the house’s foundation is not perfectly level, and water may pool in some areas more than others as a result. Regular gutter cleaning and repair can reduce water buildup and prevent wood decay or mold growth.
Now that you’ve learned a little about what crawl spaces are and what they do, it might be wise to check where the crawl spaces in your house are. Chances are they’re right under your feet. However, regular maintenance of your crawl spaces can help prevent more significant issues in the long run. For this reason, we highly recommend insulating your crawl space so that your house can stay more beautiful for even longer. Check out this URL to get started: https://www.insulatekansascity.com/crawl-space-insulation/.