Why Do Homes Have Crawl Spaces?


A whopping 56% of homes are built on concrete slabs, 30% have full or partial basements, and 15% have crawl spaces. With so few crawl spaces, it begs the question, why do homes have crawl spaces?

The answer isn’t as simple as you’d think. Keep reading to learn what crawl spaces are and why your home has one.

What Is a Crawl Space?

A crawl space is similar to a traditional basement but has vents leading outside. Despite the name, crawl spaces can be as tall as eight feet or as short as two, forcing you to crawl around.

The main reasons homes have a crawl space are cost or accessibility. Since a crawl space does have outdoor venting, it allows fresh air to circulate under the house. They’re less expensive to build than basements since less dirt needs to be used for the foundation.

It’s also convenient while building because you can install the HVAC unit and plumbing throughout the house, leaving easy access for future repairs. There are two types of crawl spaces your home might have.

Ventilated Crawl Spaces

As the name suggests, ventilated crawl spaces use several air vents throughout them so outside air can flow freely. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, though. Since the air isn’t controlled or conditioned, it could be full of moisture that will stick to the walls.

If you have a ventilated crawl space, be sure to look at insulating it to prevent moisture from wreaking havoc on your home.

Conditioned Crawl Spaces

These crawl spaces have insulated walls and a tight vapor barrier connected to the HVAC unit. Conditioned crawl spaces do not have vents outside, which helps to reduce the amount of moisture build-up.

Are Crawl Spaces Bad?

Crawl spaces inherently aren’t bad, but there are things you should be concerned about. One of the most important things you should check is sitting water in crawl space. However, this shouldn’t be your only concern.

How Can I Prevent Crawl Space Issues?

Putting a dehumidifier in your crawl space will help keep it dry and prevent moisture from causing mold. You should also inspect your crawl space every six months. By doing this, you greatly reduce the risk of:

  • Mold/mildew
  • Smelly odors
  • Floor failure
  • Wood rot or structural damage
  • Increased heating and cooling bills
  • Insects or dust mites
  • Poor air quality

Inspecting regularly is easy. All you need to do is go into the crawl space and look at the corners with a flashlight. If you notice any mold growth, contact a professional company to come in and remove the problem before it gets worse.

Why Do Homes Have Crawl Spaces? Now You Know!

So, why do homes have crawl spaces? Now you know it’s because of the convenience of building the house, as well as the easy access to piping for future repairs.

If you learned something new, don’t stop now! Check out some of the articles on our site for more great content just like this.