The crawlspace – it’s an area of the home not typically favored and quite often, is avoided as much as possible. Certainly this area was not initially designed to be the most exquisite part of the home, but there are things that you should be aware of when it comes to this oft-forgotten space. Here are five, interesting and helpful facts many people are unaware of regarding the crawlspace.
1 The Home’s Status Reporter
As tempting as it can be to avoid this area, there are actually more reasons to spend some time here than you were aware of. The crawlspace is actually like a big, highly reliable home status reporter. If there is hidden air or water leakage in the home, chances are that you will see it in the crawl. Settling , other utility issues, air quality , ground issues, foundation soundness, mold and mildew , and many other, pertinent issues can all be revealed by paying attention here.
2 Can Change Size
Did you know that your crawlspace can actually change in size? This can happen naturally as settling, soil erosion, and other natural processes either expand or shrink the crawl area. Outside of natural forces, homeowners sometimes elect to alter the original parameters of their crawl.
3 Can Be Sealed/Lined
Another alteration some choose to administer to the crawl is that of sealing or lining. With sealing, the perimeter walls, foundation, and other structural elements can all be sealed so as to prevent air, water, or insect intrusion. Lining is the process of installing a vapor barrier, typically plastic sheeting on the crawl floor so as to provide an even more weatherless area.
4 Can Transform Into Basement
This is not an extremely common task, but it is facilitated in some cases. Should you ever want to expand this area under your home into a livable, more usable space, it is a completely possible aspiration. This involves digging out the crawl, adding supports, and eventually finishing off the space.
5 A Long History
No one really knows the definitive history of crawlspaces. However, they are thought to be the evolved relatives of ancient root cellars. Having existed for many centuries, these structural elements provide the homeowner with a little, additional, usable space while also performing the important task of maintaining structure-to-ground separation.
If you own a home with an attached crawlspace, this can be an outstanding benefit to the structure itself as well as your own ability to fully utilize and maintain it. Hopefully, being aware of these five, often unknown facts about this area can help you greatly in knowing how to view, use, and approach it. As in all home projects though, if you do plan to get busy in your crawl, always remember – safety first.