The foundation is the load-bearing portion of the home and is built below ground. Numerous factors dictate the base selected for a structure, including budget, design, location and soil, moisture and climate conditions.
A crawlspace foundation is one of the three most common foundations for American homes. It functions the same way as a basement but only smaller. Crawlspaces typically have 18 inches of clearance and are only large enough for someone to crawl through, hence the name. It consists of footings and walls that elevate the home from the ground, providing a solid base while still giving space to store the electrical panel, water plum and plumbing system.
Advantages of a Crawl Space Foundation
Knowing what is a crawl space foundation is the first step in learning the many benefits it offers. It is less expensive to build than a full basement and gives more space than a slab foundation. Specifically, crawlspaces can provide the following advantages:
- Durable: The primary benefit of crawl space foundations is it provides a stable and durable base during an earthquake. Structures with this base type have a higher chance of staying upright than those with a slab foundation, which is known to crack in response to moving ground.
- Ventilation: Crawl spaces allow air to circulate underneath the house, a feature that is very useful in areas with hot climates.
- Flexible: Slab foundations only perform well in certain types of soils. Crawl space foundations don’t have this issue, and survive in areas where the soil expands and contracts.
- Accessibility: One of the primary advantages of crawl space foundations is the ability to use the site to house your electrical wirings and plumbing systems. Not only do they free up space in your home, but they also allow professionals to easily access your utility whenever needed.
- Flooding: Crawl spaces enable your home to be elevated from ground level, giving you peace of mind if you live in a flood-prone area. The 18 inches of space might not be much, but it can be the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major catastrophe.
Signs of Crawl Space Foundation Problems
Crawl space foundations can give a lot of benefits without having to break the bank. Unfortunately, however, they are not immune to damage. They have unique complications, and you will likely run into some issues sooner or later. If you run into the following signs, it could be time to seek the help of professionals.
- Smells: Strange smells that don’t seem to have a source are one of the most evident signs that your crawl space is in disrepair. Condensation caused by moisture build-up under your home will lead to mold and mildew, causing a distinct musty smell from your floors.
- Sloping floors: Sloping, bowing and uneven floors are symptoms of crawl space foundation issues. Soil contracts over time which causes it to move away from its original position. When this happens, your foundations shift, causing your floors to become uneven.
- Higher energy bills: Unusually high energy bills can signal insulation decay in the crawlspace. When insulation isn’t working as well as it should, the home is subjected to high humidities making your air conditioning work harder to cool the air. The harder your HVAC has to work, the higher your energy costs.
- Cracks on walls: If you notice damages on the exterior of your house, then there are strong indicators that you may have a crawl space foundation problem. When there are already gaps between the posts and the ground, your home shifts causing the walls to crack.
HD Foundations Can Fix Any Crawl Space Issues
HD Foundations is a company that offers heavy-duty solutions to your foundation problems. We have serviced over 2,900 structures over the years and consistently maintained an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. Reach out to our team if you want to know what is a crawl space foundation and how we can help you solve its issues.