If you have seen a home with old brick walls and no external walls, that’s Crawl Space. Crawl spaces are usually small, unused areas of a house that can be accessed via a crawl space door, but not used for any other purpose. This type of space may also be below grade and is often finished off with concrete or similar hard material. The reason for putting a home up for sale on the market may also include these Crawl Space Providers.
A crawl space is an unfinished, unoccupied area inside a building, generally between the first and second floors. The term ‘crawl space’ is so called because in order to fit a person in this space, it has to be almost straight – about waist high at most. The reason for this is because if your foundation walls have cracks, there’s a good chance your basement will have moisture problems. The typical crawl space is also so small that there’s usually not enough room to even stand up and walk around inside it; anything taller than about one to one.
A lot of houses have a few crawl spaces on the upper stories with the remainder on the lower levels. Moisture can get in through the concrete walls and into your home through the ventilation system and also from outside. The walls of a crawl space are porous and therefore contain a lot of potential issues. If they become wet due to condensation from the roof or from a leaking roof, then mold and mildew will grow; if this happens on a regular basis, then this is a sign your foundation may have issues as well. As the walls are porous, they’re also a source of moisture; bricks, concrete blocks, drywall and even paint and wallpaper are all difficult to clean once they start to drip.
If you look at a crawl space and see moist, damp areas on the walls, this is probably a good indication that there’s a problem. If there’s any sort of discoloration or stains on the walls, it’s likely your basement has been leaking. When condensation builds up in a concrete basement, the concrete will expand to make way for the expanding soil, and that expansion is very slow. As the soil spreads, the pressure will cause cracks; mold and mildew will form, which will then attract other issues, such as leaking electrical wires and pipes. Eventually, if the issue isn’t fixed, this can lead to a catastrophic building collapse.
Unfortunately, mold and mildew are attracted to basement walls because they’re a source of moisture; this makes them very hard to stop from growing once they’ve started. They don’t only lead to health concerns, but also to structural damage to your home, along with the cost of fixing a failing foundation. Any time you have poor-quality crawl space ventilation, you have a high probability for mold and mildew growth to thrive, even if you don’t have any issues currently with foundation problems. You also run the risk of damaging valuable storage area within the crawl space
Poorly-ventilated crawl spaces are not a good place to put storage equipment, tools, or furniture. Even if you’re working with a professional, you can be putting yourself and your tools at risk by allowing the moisture in the crawl space to build up. It’s not hard to realize why mold and mildew must be kept in check. By nature, they will seek out dark, warm, and wet areas, and this is usually your storage area. So, make sure your storage is properly vented, even if it’s just an addition to your main living area.