The Crawl Space Concept

Written by Matt Leech
President/CEO of CrawlSpace Concepts LLC
Wixom, Michigan

March 18, 2009

I get phone calls from homeowners that live all over the U.S. and Canada asking me about the closed or conditioned crawl space. No one seems to wonder if it will work but rather how it works. If we look back to the 30’s and 40’s there was no such thing as a conditioned crawl space. Yet today, as some crawl space companies put it, you can die if you don’t have it done their way and right away. So how did we live without it back then? Well, the answer is much more complicated than the question. Looking back to the early part of the last century there were many things that we had never heard of like plasma televisions or a laptop computer. But that did not stop the technology and research from making it possible. The conditioned crawl space concept is no different. In the 30’s and 40’s we had a different lifestyle, the windows were open in the summer and there was no air conditioning. The homes were built with different technology and guidelines so they were not as air tight as they are today. In fact many of the homes that were built in this era have added air conditioning and have been improved and updated to today’s standards for energy conservation. This is a good thing but it also means that these homes get less fresh air than they use to. By tightening up these homes they have confined the occupants to the environment created inside the homes envelope. As environmentalist study the causes of pollution in the air outside and make headway to improve and control the emissions given off by factories and vehicles, there is very little push to improve the air in a families home. Even the indoor air in public buildings is a strong focus today with banning cigarette smoking in cities and states across the country. Yet there are no guidelines for healthy air inside a private home. It is up to the families to identify and correct this problem. It is known, however, that the air inside an average home is seven times more polluted than the air outside and up to twenty times more polluted during the winter months. How can this be? It simply comes down to the lifestyle of the occupants and the environment in which the home was constructed. In this article I will be more focused on the latter of the two but more specifically homes that are built on a crawl space.