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So you want to know about Crawl Spaces

Crawl spaces

crawl space
While it would be great if crawl spaces were spacious, well lit and dry, the fact is most
are dark, damp, shallow and not a place one wishes to enter on a frequent basis.
While some homes have crawl spaces they are in the minority in the St. Louis area. Some
houses were built over crawl spaces, however crawls under additions or just portions of
the home are more common. This moist dark area is also an excellent area for termites,
spiders and other not so desirable things.
Some crawl spaces are accessible from an exterior foundation hatch, some from a through-the-floor hatch, some from a basement window or opening and others have no access. For those with no access, it is best to assume the worst case and make an access so that the conditions can be fully evaluated.

Recommended soil clearance to untreated wood beams is 12” and to wood joists 18”. Many do not meet this criteria.
Crawl spaces for the most part receive little attention. You know the old saying “out of
sight out of mind.” It is imperative, however, that the crawl space be kept dry and
ventilated. Treat the grades and drainage around the foundation of a crawl space as you
would a basement. Water should run away from the crawl space foundation. That should
include gutters, downspouts and surface drainage. In some cases it may even be
necessary to install an interior perimeter drain in the crawl space to minimize moisture or
wore yet standing water. Wet crawl spaces can lead to issues with mold, insulation falling
down, termites, wood rot, etc. If this space is accessed or ventilated to the basement it can
also create health issues in the living environment.
We suggest that you install a vapor barrier over the soil in a crawl space. You can use 6
mil plastic or there are actually commercially available patented systems for control of
the moisture in the crawl space. The poly should be sealed at the lap joints and then
sealed on the foundation with the intent being, to keep all moisture below the barrier.
Once the wood has dried, you can then insulate between the floor joists and around
ductwork helping to conserve energy. If this is done properly the need for exterior
ventilation is greatly reduced or in some cases eliminated all together. If the soil is not
sealed to prevent moisture intrusion ventilation is required. Easy access also should be

Information Compliments of

Gerry Loesch, P.E., ASHIJerry L
37 Years experience
Home inspections and foundation consultations

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Welcome to OUR New Blog on Real Estate, Buying and Selling, in the City of Green Park, Missouri.

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Buying and Selling Real Estate in the City of Green Park