The hole, normally in your laundry room or bedroom closet, that leads to the dark space under your house. 

A crawl space is a great thing in my opinion as it allows you to access plumbing, keeps your flooring warmer rather than a slab floor (concrete), and a good place for your furnace and some storage.  

Let's start with a slab floor compared to a crawl space under your feet.  Standing on concrete as you know is much cooler than standing with shoes on.  Your crawlspace gives an air gap between your feet and the ground.  

Accessing the electrical and plumbing from the crawl is a really good thing.  You will be able to see if there is a leak or move anything if you want or need to.  If you have a slab floor you are breaking the concrete up and digging the plumbing out. 

The crawl space is called a crawlspace for a reason.  I have seen a crawl with as little as a foot and a half to 6 feet.  Normally a craw is 3.5-4 feet and has a concrete or skim layer on the flooring of it.  The furnace can be in it on its side, mounted to the floor joists out of the way.

You will see the foundation wall and then normally a footing or center wall in the middle if needed. 

On the floor between the footings, you will often find a skim layer of concrete.  Normally there is a layer of poly and then a thin layer of concrete approximately 2 inches.  Don’t worry if there are cracks in it as it is just to keep poly down which keeps the dirt and moisture away from getting into your house.  If your house has a crawlspace without a concrete skim coat you want to ensure it has a poly/vapor barrier covering the dirt.  If you have a dirt crawl, the moisture that will come up in the dirt can enter your house and cause it to have an odor also.  You will want the poly to completely cover every inch of the dirt.  Normally there is a mastic putty or glue/tape to the foundation walls and then tape for the joints in the floor.  Any hole will release the moisture through so tape them all up with a red tuck tape is best.  

Sometimes you will find gravel covering the poly just to keep it down as well.  

Efflorescence will show as a white powder or white staining on your foundation walls or the floor of your craw.  That is the calcium deposit left after the water has evaporated showing you have a water intrusion.  It is very common so don’t worry too much unless it is a large area or very thick but it may mean there is an issue somewhere else you want to deal with so it doesn’t get worse.  It could be a problem with your perimeter drain which I will discuss further in another blog.

Storing items in your crawlspace is possible but I feel it is best to keep things in totes just in case there is a sneaky water issue you won't see till you go to get something in it once a year or to change your furnace filter.

Give me a crawlspace to climb into over an attic any day.  I don’t feel like I am going to fall through the ceiling in a crawl and it tells us all kinds of things about the house.  It is like a peek under the hood or looking inside the walls so the more we know the better it is to make an informed decision and protect our investment.


*This blog made available by The Jim Grieve Group is for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of real estate, not to provide specific real estate advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no Realtor-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent real estate advice from a licensed professional Realtor.