I want to inspect the crawlspace once in a while but don't really enjoy
crawling in it.
Can you use the trakr (RC video camera tank) to inspect the crawlspace or is
there something more appropriate? The camera would need to see in the dark
or have built-in light.
Things I want to checks are : water on the vapor barrier, rodents, detached
If it is fairly smooth it could work, that looks very easy to high
center. Were that to happen, you would have to crawl to retrieve it.
Built in light? you could attach a small led flashlight to it.
Here is another thought: http://ardrone.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/usa /
Tie a string to it so if it flips, you can haul it out. After watching a TV
show where they were hauling dead and maggot-ridden possums and skunks out
from under the crawl space, I am now thoroughly convinced NEVER to buy a
house without a basement. Repairing *anything* serious in a crawl space
turns a fairly routine job into a near-lunar expedition, complete with
bio-hazards from the parasites and other creatures that inhabit living and
dead possums, skunks, raccoons, etc. You have my sympathy. Gives me a good
idea, though. Start a plumbing and electrical company staffed by midgets
specializing in crawlspace work. (-:
I've never been able to figure out why some areas of the countries don't
have basements. It was probably a good building strategy when there was no
plumbing, CATV or electric in houses, but now? Uh uh.
A properly built and drained basement makes those occurrences extremely
rare. I know the soil conditions and water tables in some areas make
basements problematical, but unless I absolutely had to live someplace
they were totally impractical, I would find a basement, or go with a
well built slab house. I hate crawls with a passion. Or if cost was no
object, I'd find a lot that was big enough to make a hill that was above
the water table.
(That last tactic is pretty common with McMansions in bayou country.
Looks nicer than the houses on stilts.)
I've never been under one, never want to be, either. You just can't do your
best repair work choking on rotting raccoon dust squished in like a sardine.
We've nearly rewired the house to be all grounded circuit outlets (it was
two wire). If I had to do it from a crawlspace and not the basement, it
wouldn't have gotten done.
One thing I noticed in the crawlspace they showed on DJ's was all the loops
of unsecured wiring under the house. Probably not professional work but
I'll bet neatness suffers when the repairman is unhappy. Those loops make
it doubly hard to move without snagging and breaking something. I think
I'll go have a party for my basement in my basment tonight. I didn't know
how good I had it until I saw the raccoon ridden crawl space exploration on
hill that was above
At least you could take a workboat under a house with stilts. I'm assuming
that no basements are standard in areas like NOLA because they bury people
above ground which has to be a testament to how unstable the ground is.
I've only lived in the north and mid east, and real estate values probably
help dictate the desire for basements. The more it costs per square foot,
the more temptation there is to expand that real estate upward and downward.
The area we're looking in has a lot of basementless houses. Since I can't
crawl around under them anyway anymore, I shouldn't care. It's a younger
man's worry now I suppose.
I'm having enough trouble deposing of the stuff that builds up in a basement
over time - stereos that need fixing, broken appliances, not quite dead yet
auto parts for cars I no longer own, old porch lamps, new porch lamps that
are waiting for new porch, plywood scraps, pipe scraps, useless plexiglas,
half dead batteries, dead battery tools awaiting rebuilds, old PCs, lots of
spools of wire, soda bottles filled with paint (so they don't rust in the
bucket), plumbing tools, wiring tools, old shoplites, new shoplites, so much
stuff to get rid of. Hmmm. That wouldn't happen with only a crawl space.
Maybe they do have a use.
It seems to me a slab is just as troublesome as a crawlspace, just in
different ways. At least you won't have rotting skunks in a slab. My wife
freaked when she learned that critters especially like to nest in the area
up and around the bath tub in houses with crawlspaces.
errrrr..... depends :-)
Done both - in the south. No creepies in the attic and it's dry. At least
you can go up in the morning or later evening when it's cool or plan it
on a rainy/cloudy day. Lot easier to bring stuff in as well as move
Then again, you can't always plan when you do it.
Went up in the attic once with the AC guy, in the south, 96 (temp &
humidity) and sunny. I thought it couldn't get worse. Then he fired up
the map torch.
On trick I learned right here in AHR is to aim a garden hose on the area
you're working it. It really does cool things down even though it makes
your neighbors think you've gone loony, watering the roof.
Well, if you want the Rolls-Royce of cooling technologies, those portable
airconditioners they use for the A-line stars on movie sets would make the
attic most workable. Directors can't afford to have a drop of sweat ruin a
makeup job that can easily cost 10's of thousands of dollars, especially the
However, neither a ducted fan or a portable AC unit is in my future. A
garden hose is. I mounted the hose on an old, heavy duty photographic
lightstand and clamp rammed into a hole in the ground. I should go to
google and look up who posted that suggestion because it's one of the most
useful things I have learned here. (Speak up if you remember, anyone!)
It's also a "D'oh" moment because I should have been able to think of it
It also works in an emergency when the condenser fan goes out on an AC
system. You tie a water hose and sprayer to a stepladder and water
the condenser coils with a medium shower, not too fine or too coarse.
The water will keep it running until the fan motor can be replaced.
It's a toss-up. They should build on-slab housed with "lunch box"
roofs in the south. Just pop the roof open when repairs are needed
Side benefit - if a huricane takes the roof, just clip a new one on
Clearly. Well, I've had leaking ones, but I'd rather deal with that than
crawl under the house on a hot day to fix a cracked pipe lying next to a
dead skunk, a cadre of spiders and loads of other things that seem to call
crawlspaces "home sweet home."
Is soil instability the only reason to omit basements (aside from cost)?
It's easy enough to keep the serious critters out of a crawl space. The
bugs and small things won't hurt you.
as for your question about no basements, well in someparts of the
country it is solid rock. Can't dig. Hard enough to put in a frost
footing. In other areas, no tornadoes, so no basement needed. Build on
a slab. It's cheap. Ever watch extreme home makeover on sunday
nights?? Those fancified mcmansions are ALL built on slabs. It's the
only way they can do it in a week. Crawl spaces are not the end of the
world, but i sure do wish the folks in the old days would have made the
house just 8 or 10 inches taller off the ground. LOL! I'm not as skinny
as i used to be. And the house i live in has the joists 8" off the
dirt. and NO access to the space anyway.
remove the "not" from my address to email
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.