TO CRAWL SPACE OR NOT TO CRAWL SPACE, that is the question.  As a Realtor in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania I have seen numerous homes whose owners have never been in their crawlspace, except maybe once in the ten years that they have owned the home.  Now comes the sad fact that they are ready to sell their home and have found out that their floor joists and their main beam are rotted out and need to be repaired.

TO CRAWL SPACE OR NOT TO CRAWL SPACE. Homeowners need to be taught right from the start that their crawl space needs to be maintained as much as the rest of their home. If you do not have a sump pump in your crawl space you need to get one right away, keep that water out of that crawl space, and put an alarm on the sump pump so you know when it stops working (they only last so long). Next, depending on the moisture level of your crawl space you may need a dehumidifier running in the crawl space during the summer months.  Next, install some type of heat in your crawl space, this area needs to be kept warm in the winter time also.

TO CRAWL SPACE OR NOT TO CRAWL SPACE. How is it that it is not a mandatory part of the building code in our HIGH WATER TABLE AREA, that all homes with a crawl space must have a sump pump? I have seen many new homes without a sump pump.

TO CRAWL SPACE OR NOT TO CRAWL SPACE.  Let's build more of our homes on a slab. The continual expense and maintenance of the crawl space are a royal pain. Full basements can be just as much trouble as crawl spaces.


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Bobbie Smith, CRS

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All pictures, text, etc. stated within is the exclusive property of Bobbie Smith and cannot be copied or duplicated without written consent from Bobbie Smith.  All statistics and data contained herein are obtained from reliable sources and are deemed reliable however each individual should always do their own research on each topic and derive their own conclusions. Any statements of opinion are just that, the opinions of Bobbie Smith. *Realtor is a registered trademark of NAR*

Comment balloon 4 commentsBobbie Smith • September 10 2009 08:48PM


Bobbie, as a local home inspector in the Pocono's my vote would be to not crawlspace. After all that would make my job and yours so much easier and cleaner too.

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) over 9 years ago

Thanks for the comments Suesan. I'm glad to know that I am not alone on this issue. Bobbie

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 9 years ago


I agree, crawl spaces can be a hassle. Crawl space problems are so common accross america, some authors call it a true "housing epidemic".

However, when it comes to accessing wiring, plumbing and ducts, they are better than concrete slabs.

What not a lot of people know is that crawl spaces don't need to be filthy, moldy and high maintenance places. They can be turned into clean and healthy spaces, suitable for storage and really easy to maintain, through a relatively new process called crawl space encapsulation.

Crawl Space Encapsulation consists in completely isolating the crawl space from the main sources of moisture and ooblems: ground and outside air, and making it part of the internal envelope of the building.  That is accomplished by simply completelly lining the flor and walls with a very sturdy, multi-layered vapor barrier, (as thick as a pool liner) and then sealing and caulking the joints and seams, making it air tight.

A crawl space dehumidifier or a crawl space conditioning system is added to keep the space dry and clean.

A few years ago, a groundbreaking study, conducted by Advanced Energy and Habitat for Humanity, demonstrated that crawl space encapsulation is not only effective in controling moisture and its related problems (mold, rot and pests). It makes the home at least 18% more energy effcient and considerably improves indoor air quality.

This study, along with several others on the topic, which all led to similar conclusions on the benefits of encapsulation, can be found at their website - - along with some very interesting videos I'd suggest you take a look.

Another website with information on the subject:

Crawl Space Encapsulation is recommended as Best Practice by the US Department of Energy - EERE - Building America Initiative.

There is a company in your area called Century Waterproofing that provides service and education on this matter. If you are interested, contact them for mor information.

Posted by Cynthia Freeney (Basement Systems Inc) over 9 years ago

Hi Cynthia,

I've seen the encapsulation and I agree. It can make an incredible difference in your crawl space. I just wish more homeowners would do it and were aware of it. Thanks for all the info. Greatly appreciate it. Bobbie

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 9 years ago