There probably isn’t any part of the house where the old phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is more applicable than the crawlspace.
But crawlspaces are the unsung heroes of home construction. While homeowners are caught up in designing the perfect bathroom or matching their new appliances to the kitchen’s color palette, the crawlspace is beneath their feet, literally holding the whole place up, while helping occupants stay healthy — that is when the crawlspace is in good condition.
Crawlspaces are critical to a house’s structural integrity. Aside from creating a solid ground level for the house to be built on, a well-constructed crawlspace is crucial to helping a home be energy efficient, free of moisture issues and properly ventilated.
“People never think about the crawlspace until problems down there creep up through the floors and begin to affect the rest of the home,” Energy Services Supervisor DuWayne Dunham said. “When it gets to that point, they’ve got a real problem on their hands — which could have been much more manageable if it was caught early.”
Crawlspaces are common in Southwest Washington because they’re less expensive to build than basements or house-sized concrete slabs, they make plumbing and heating infrastructure easy to access, and because they allow critical airflow beneath the home.