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Old 01-28-2010, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Tricoastal
353 posts, read 697,423 times
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i am told that crawl spaces are a bad thing in florida. has anyone ever had a bad experience with their crawl space in terms of mold, mildew, water problems, wood rot, etc?
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:50 AM
 
15,184 posts, read 31,120,332 times
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Originally Posted by saltzman143 View Post
i am told that crawl spaces are a bad thing in florida. has anyone ever had a bad experience with their crawl space in terms of mold, mildew, water problems, wood rot, etc?
I don't agree with that - I have lived in quite a few older homes with a crawl space and find them quite useful. It's much easier to get under to fix plumbing, etc, than on a slab, where you have to cut the floor, like we just had to do in the home we are in now. Also, a crawl space tends to keep the house cooler, at least in my experience.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:21 PM
 
1,500 posts, read 2,791,014 times
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I've heard good and bad things about them. My home in south Florida has a crawl space and this house is wonderful on electric. So easy to cool in summer. Easy enough to heat in winter. My bills there average $100/month and I use the air without regard to cost. It is an old 1940s Florida house designed to be comfortable without central air (which I installed). I've been under the house a few times and never noticed a moisture problem. It is a wood house and the structure is solid.

I've a guest cottage on my new property in Tampa which has a crawl space. I'm not sure how that will function. The house did seem very cold during the cold snap, but hard for me to judge as I've yet to replace the windows, I don't have the finished floor in yet and I don't have central ac/heat installed there yet. But that crawl space sure made it wonderful to work under the house and as the cottage is small enough, I don't think it will be a problem concerning heating or cooling once I've completed the project.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:06 AM
 
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just bought a 60 year old home with a crawlspace. Far as I can tell it's fine. The thing is, if you have an old home with a crawlspace and it is still in good shape (no rotting, moisture damage, etc), then I think that is a testament to the advantages (not to mention access to plumbing, electrical, etc). Any major drawbacks would have been apparent by now. Concrete slab definitely has its problems. And new construction can be a bit of an unknown quantity.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:08 AM
 
Location: 1988 yugo
329 posts, read 655,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltzman143 View Post
i am told that crawl spaces are a bad thing in florida. has anyone ever had a bad experience with their crawl space in terms of mold, mildew, water problems, wood rot, etc?
make sure it has a vapor barrier,plastic covered with about 3in. of sand. at least that is what is commonly used in the northern states, couldnt be that much different? also some vents to let some air flow.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Lincoln County Road or Armageddon
4,229 posts, read 5,691,357 times
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Worse problem I've had with my crawl space was a possum decided it was a good place to pass away. Of course, he had to pick the furthest point away from where I could crawl into to do it.
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Tricoastal
353 posts, read 697,423 times
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well on the recommendation of a friend i called south tampa 3 home inspectors and a builder. they all said to stay away from crawl spaces. one guy said that they are breeding grounds for mold (and animals getting stuck in there, like the 'possum above). he said that the inside air of homes with crawl spaces have been shown to contain 20% more mold spores than non-crawl homes. another guy said crawls make the house less efficient b/c the A/C escapes through the floors/crawlspace. the builder guy point blank said "why do you think new construction does not use crawlspace"? the other home inspector said he knows of at least 3 homes currently on the market that have failed inspection and the deal has fallen through due to crawlspace problems (one house has expensive and loud fans installed to combat mold in the crawlspace).

this makes no sense. if crawlspaces are so bad, you'd think every house with one would be a tear-down. but homes with crawls sell every day in tampa!
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:58 AM
 
15,184 posts, read 31,120,332 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltzman143 View Post
well on the recommendation of a friend i called south tampa 3 home inspectors and a builder. they all said to stay away from crawl spaces. one guy said that they are breeding grounds for mold (and animals getting stuck in there, like the 'possum above). he said that the inside air of homes with crawl spaces have been shown to contain 20% more mold spores than non-crawl homes. another guy said crawls make the house less efficient b/c the A/C escapes through the floors/crawlspace. the builder guy point blank said "why do you think new construction does not use crawlspace"? the other home inspector said he knows of at least 3 homes currently on the market that have failed inspection and the deal has fallen through due to crawlspace problems (one house has expensive and loud fans installed to combat mold in the crawlspace).

this makes no sense. if crawlspaces are so bad, you'd think every house with one would be a tear-down. but homes with crawls sell every day in tampa!
I think you are getting bad or ignorant advice. I think the issue might be with any NEW poorly built homes that have a crawl space. I have never had a single one of those issues that you mention, and I have lived in at least five or six homes with crawl spaces, all of them older homes. NO mold, ever, NO water issues, yes you might get animals, but you are supposed to keep it enclosed with vents and access panels to prevent that. Any house that has mold down there has other issues, or they didn't vent it properly.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Tricoastal
353 posts, read 697,423 times
Reputation: 264
well, these people are local home inspectors and a local builder. this is what they do for a living. and they all agree that crawls are a nuisance. i have to trust what they are saying because they are the experts, not me. if anyone is "ignorant" it's me! that's why i am asking people what their experiences have been. one of the inspectors gave me the address of one of the houses currently for sale with the fans installed, and i asked the listing agent about it, and it's true. they had to install fans in the crawl because of the mold. also if you look around, new homes don''t have crawl spaces. i have to wonder why that is. now yes, i guess this has never happened to you. but it may happen to me. and i'd rather not have to worry about this, or worry about "venting my crawl space properly". so i think i will stick with a slab foundation.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:28 AM
 
15,184 posts, read 31,120,332 times
Reputation: 18345
Quote:
Originally Posted by saltzman143 View Post
well, these people are local home inspectors and a local builder. this is what they do for a living. and they all agree that crawls are a nuisance. i have to trust what they are saying because they are the experts, not me. if anyone is "ignorant" it's me! that's why i am asking people what their experiences have been. one of the inspectors gave me the address of one of the houses currently for sale with the fans installed, and i asked the listing agent about it, and it's true. they had to install fans in the crawl because of the mold. also if you look around, new homes don''t have crawl spaces. i have to wonder why that is. now yes, i guess this has never happened to you. but it may happen to me. and i'd rather not have to worry about this, or worry about "venting my crawl space properly". so i think i will stick with a slab foundation.
Well, I will also tell you my husband is an architect, I have been around construction and construction people for 25 years. Also bought and sold those homes with crawl spaces and had inspectors, not one person has ever mentioned those issues. I would just say you take it on a case by case basis. You should not rule out a home just because it has a crawl space - get a good inspection done on it and go from there. As you said, there are millions of homes here with crawl spaces, and most do NOT have issues.

Good luck on your home search.
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