The foundation is one of the most critical structural parts that homeowners need to carefully take into consideration when building a new house. It serves as a strong and stable base that holds and keeps the entire structure above it upright. Not only that, but the foundation is also built to elevate the building off the ground and to lock out moisture and prevent it from seeping in and damaging the structure. It also helps resist any topsoil movement which can negatively affect the other parts of the structure.
One of the most popular types of foundation that is used by millions of homes around the world today is the crawl space foundation.
What Is A Crawl Space?
A crawl space is an inconspicuous space similar to a basement that is located directly beneath a building. It can be as low as 16 inches to as high as four feet in height. Some crawl spaces are as high as a basement while others are built large enough for anyone to crawl on the belly. This low ceiling space below the house serves as a stock room where you can run the pipes and lines used for air conditioning and heater, insulation, ductwork, electrical wiring, and plumbing, making maintenance and repairs more accessible and easier.
Unfortunately, exposed dirt crawl space can also become a source of structural and moisture-related problems like rotting wood floor joints, mildew, mold, deteriorating surface, and sagging floor, as well as health and comfort issues like an infestation of termites, pests, rodents, dust mites, and rats, radon gas, and mold infestation.
The best way to combat these problems, however, is either to encapsulating the dirt crawlspace or to pump a concrete floor into it.
Concrete Crawl Spaces Pro’s
An exposed dirt crawl space can be a musty and wet breeding ground for pests, molds, rodents, and rats. Whilst, a concrete crawl space offers a clean and nice finished look. It also makes it easier for anyone to access the area without getting messy especially when doing maintenance and repair works for air conditioning and heater, plumbing, insulation, and electrical wiring.
Having a firm and clean concrete crawl space also makes termite inspection easier. It also prevents small reptiles and rodents from burrowing under the structure. A concrete crawl space also serves as a solid barrier between the pests and the house. It also prevents sagging and uneven settling of the structure.
How Concrete Crawl Space Is Done?
Before laying the crawl space foundation, the area needs professional grading first. This allows you to know if your geographical location is ideal for such a type of foundation. Crawl spaces are mostly preferred for areas with a sloped lot, dryer climates, red clay soils, and earthquake-prone and flood-prone areas.
Concrete crawl spaces can be done in two ways- before the construction of the building or covering concrete on existing crawl space.
To cover concrete on an existing dirt crawl space, you simply need to pump in enough amount of concrete and spread it across the entire area. If the crawl space doesn’t have enough ventilation, you would need to use a fan to make the concrete dry faster and to eliminate the excess moisture, thus preventing moisture-related problems later on.
If you are yet to construct the house and you have decided to opt for a concrete crawl space, you would need a lot of preparation. Aside from professional grading, you also need to make sure that the concrete footers supporting the foundation are leveled and secured. You will also need to build proper crawl space ventilation. The landscaping and gutter system should also be directed away from the crawl space to avoid water and moisture accumulation in the area.