In some homes there is one area that most of my clients have no desire to spend time in. That area is the crawl space in a pier and beam constructed structure. Here in East Texas most of my clients homes are on concrete slabs. I have a few that have true basements, and some that to inspect I have to crawl around under.
It is not the most accessible area to enter sometimes. Once inside some also lack what one would call “elbow room”. If you add plumbing and HVAC duct work, the available space shrinks even more. Oh yea, you sometimes have company under there!
Hi! My name is Seymour. What’s Yours? Got any Kibble?
Then there is always the issue of moisture. It rises from the soil, enters from the foundation edge, or my favorite; the wet spring that develops under the house. Nothing like having to break out scuba gear to inspect under a house. Some crawl spaces have plastic sheeting spread out to slow the moisture that evaporates from the soil. The vents on the foundation help to remove this moisture by the use of wind currents. Many of these don’t work very well. The main reason is because they are blocked or kept covered up. The lack of wind movement in a crawl space will lead to wood rot fungus, and decay of load bearing beams, and the possible appearance of wood damaging insects.
The latest improvements to crawl space environments is the adaptation of climate controls and encapsulation. Climate controlled crawl spaces are insulated,heated and cooled and most are cement floored. The inspection time for these is minimised by the use of mechanics dolly to transverse the areas.
These crawl spaces are sealed to prevent moisture intrusion and to keep humidity levels to a minimum. Also No Seymours!
The encapsulated crawl space is a retrofit solution for older pier and beam constructed structures. The use of dehumidifiers to maintain humidity levels, and 12 to 20 ml liners to seal the crawl space to moisture intrusion lowers the chance of wood damaging organisms. Also makes my inspection process more convenient and faster.
These solutions also lowers the mold levels and allergens in my clients living environments above the crawl space level.