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Crawlspaces: Considering the Options

May/June 2004
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2004 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 01, 2004
For crawlspaces, as for the entire house, there are house-specific, local, and regional conditions to consider.
        A surefire way to start an argument in a group of building specialists is to bring up religion, politics—or crawlspaces. Politics and crawlspaces do have a lot in common. You can make up your own jokes. But why crawlspaces? Because many are prone to failure, there is a wide variety of ideas on avoiding or correcting the problems, and there’s even disagreement as to whether “crawlspace” is one word or two. Misinformation,myths, and outof- date codes have contributed to some of the confusion, but many of the approaches do work under certain circumstances. We find that a one-sizefits- all approach can lead to problems. We have only to look at the older HUD housing for Native Americans to see disastrous examples. From Maine to South Dakota to Arizona, most of that housing (including heating systems and wall, roof, and floor assemblies) was identical, with the result that it really only worked well … nowhere.         For crawlspaces, as for the entire house, there are house-specific, local, and regional conditions to consider. Solutions also depend on one’s objectives. In the case ...

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