Have you ever taken a peek inside your crawlspace? It’s okay, lots of people haven’t. Maybe they’re the smart ones. At least, they’re the happy ones—ignorance is bliss, right? After all, if you never look in your crawl, you never have to think about:
-The Live Animals
That isn’t the name of the band that hangs out under your house between shows. More likely than not, some kind of creature has access to your crawlspace, and you’re none the wiser. From mice to raccoons, animals like to hole up in that dark, warm, protected little space. They build their nests, raise their babies, eat their meals, and defecate down there, where the big people never bother them.
-The Dead Animals
See “eat their meals,” above. Lots of animals that live in your crawlspace are carnivores, and they’d rather eat-in. They don’t bother cleaning up after themselves, either. Or, maybe those critters didn’t get to take one last stroll before going to the big crawlspace in the sky.
-The Standing Water
If your crawl sits below the water table, guess where all that water is going to go. Go on, guess. Does your crawlspace have any low points in it? Now they’re ponds. Sump pump not working properly? Those critters down there get to take a dip whenever they want. And what happens when the beams and joists in your crawl are exposed to all that water vapor?
-The Plumbing Leaks
A copper water line has developed a steady drip down there over the years. Or maybe it’s one of the drain lines (another, potentially disgusting, contributor to standing “water”). If you never look down there, then you never have to deal with it. But then…you never deal with it.
-The Inefficiency of it All!
Holes around pipes and wires leading directly from the crawlspace into your house! Bare water lines, exposed to the elements! An uninsulated floor! Ducts disconnected and laying on the ground! No vapor barrier covering all that water and dirt! Shield your eyes!
Who is really living in bliss: the ignorant homeowner, or the homeowner who knows that the floor is air sealed and insulated, that the water lines are protected from freezing temperatures, that the duct system is buttoned up, that the crawlspace is dry and critter-free?