What is the Purpose of a Home Crawl Space: Are There Any Real Benefits?
Building a home soon? If so, are you trying to decide whether to build it on a crawl space or a slab?
This decision baffles many people because it’s hard to really know the difference between these two options and the benefits of each, so let’s start by looking at some statistics.
Approximately 15% of homes built have crawl spaces. Yes, this number seems low but before you jump to conclusions you’ll need to understand several things about home construction and foundation options.
You will also need to understand why crawl spaces are almost always better than slabs, and you’ll need to understand that if you choose a crawl, you’ll need to make sure you take the right steps to protect this area.
If we have sparked your interest at all, keep reading as we explain to you why you should choose a crawl over a slab.
Why Some Homes Are Built on Slabs
A slab is one of several options you can choose for a home’s foundation and 54% of homes built have slabs. Do you want to know why? The price. The price of a slab is a lot cheaper than the price of other options.
A slab uses less concrete than other foundation options so it’s always going to be the cheapest option. A basement, on the other hand, is the costliest choice you have because it requires a lot more concrete than a slab or a crawl.
Now, slabs do have some benefits other than the price. One is that a slab eliminates the potential for bugs, mold, and water to infiltrate your home primarily because a slab foundation is directly under your home.
A basement gives you benefits too, and the main one is the extra usable living space it offers.
4 Huge Benefits of a Crawl Space
So, you can see that other foundation options have some benefits compared to slabs but there’s so much more to know before you choose a slab.
In fact, you should weigh out all the benefits of each type before making you decide which is right for you.
While I’m only listing four benefits of crawl spaces here, these aren’t the only ones. These just happen to be four of the most important ones to consider:
1. Boosts the Home’s Level
Building on a crawl will naturally boost the elevation of the house. The benefit of this is that the home will be less likely to end up experiencing water damage. A home that is higher off the ground will be further away from groundwater.
2. Offers a Place to Hide the Home’s Systems
One of the top reasons people choose crawl spaces is to have a place to hide the plumbing pipes and ductwork for the HVAC system. With a slab, these components are placed inside walls. The result is a loss of living space.
If you experience a plumbing leak or problem, or if you have an issue with your heating system or AC, the repair technician might have to cut holes in your drywall to access the parts that need repairs if you have a slab.
With a crawl, a repair tech can easily access pipes, air ducts, and many other components of your home’s systems whenever you need repairs. This means less mess for you in your house!
3. Better Climate Control
A crawl also offers better climate control. The floors in a slab home are directly over the concrete slab the home sits on. This tends to cause colder floors and can increase energy costs to heat the home.
When your home has a crawl, it has a barrier that is actually conditioned. This means you’ll have warmer floors and may spend less heating and cooling your house.
4. Gives You Tons of Extra Storage Space
While accessing a basement for storage is easier than accessing a crawl, a crawl space still offers a perfect area for storage. You’ll probably only want to store things in it that you don’t use often but that will still come in handy for you.
The Necessary Steps and Precautions to Take
If you’re leaning towards choosing a crawl for your new home, you should understand that you must take the right steps to protect it. These steps are often called encapsulating.
An encapsulated crawl space is the term used to describe a home crawl space that has gone through all the necessary steps to ensure that moisture does not get into this area and affect it negatively.
You see, because a crawl is located in the ground below your home, it tends to be an area that attracts moisture. If you do not take the right steps, this area could easily become an area full of moisture, mold, mildew, termites, and other pests.
Encapsulating a crawl involves several steps, including the following:
- Placing a foam board insulation over all the walls
- Sealing all walls and floors with a waterproof liner that blocks all moisture from coming through
- Installing a dehumidifier system which offers a way to remove moisture and humidity from this area
- Having a sump pump to pump groundwater away from the home
A company that specializes in this service will perform these steps and others to completely protect and block all moisture from entering into this part of the home.
How You Can Learn More About Your Options
Of all the options you can choose from, are you convinced that a crawl space is right for you?
Are you ready to learn more about other benefits or tips to help you choose the right company to perform the encapsulating process?
If so, our blog contains a lot of useful information that can help you make a wise, informed decision as you prepare to build a new house.