Skip to Content

The Hidden Risks of Crawl Spaces: Are They Really Confined Spaces?

The Hidden Risks of Crawl Spaces: Are They Really Confined Spaces?

Share this post:

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission. Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Do you have a crawl space underneath your home? Some homes have crawl spaces, and they can be convenient for several reasons.

It helps to circulate air underneath your home, and it gives you easy access to your pipes and vents. You might have to go underneath your house to look at things from time to time.

If you’re not used to having a crawl space, you might not know a lot about this topic. Is a crawl space considered a confined space?

Read on to learn more about crawl spaces. This should help you to feel more informed about crawl spaces.

Crawl Spaces Are Considered Confined Spaces

Currently, crawl spaces are considered to be confined spaces. The basic definition of a confined space fits the description of a crawl space perfectly.

A confined space has limited entry and exit points. It isn’t meant for people to regularly inhabit these spaces.

The space is still large enough for someone to enter it, though. Many common home areas fit into this category.

A crawl space is certainly a confined space. So is an attic.

You’ll find that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has categorized crawl spaces, attics, and basements as confined spaces in their standards for confined spaces in construction.

You Don’t (Usually) Have to Worry About Permits

The big concern about whether crawl spaces are considered to be confined spaces has to do with permit requirements. If a confined space presents a danger to a worker, permits might be required to get certain work done in those spaces.

Crawl spaces will generally not cause permits to be required, though. The only common reason why a crawl space would present a hazard involves exposed electrical wires.

So long as there are no exposed electrical wires, you don’t have anything to worry about. Plumbers, construction workers, and other professionals should be able to access your crawl space without worrying.

What Is a Crawl Space Used For?

A crawl space is used as an access point to check out pipes, vents, and other such things. It’s part of the foundation of some homes.

Many homes have crawl space foundations. The home sits on top of concrete blocks and walls.

The crawl space will be one to three feet high most of the time. A crawl space can be as high as five feet, but it’s not typical for crawl spaces to offer that much space.

These small spaces are mostly just used when necessary. Workers might need to check your pipes or some other aspect of your home by entering the crawl space.

Do Crawl Spaces Need to Be Insulated?

Insulating a crawl space is a very good idea, but it isn’t required. If you don’t wish to insulate your crawl space at this time, no one is going to force you to do so.

However, it’s good to know that insulating your crawl space can save you money. When your crawl space isn’t insulated, it’ll be easy to lose heat through the floorboards.

This costs you a lot of extra cash over the years. Your energy bills will be much higher if you don’t insulate the crawl space.

Crawl spaces can be insulated using foam, foam boards, and vapor barriers. These protect your home while also saving you cash.

The initial investment will pay for itself by giving you energy savings. It’s well worth looking into if you’d like to lower your monthly expenses.

Do Pests Live in Crawl Spaces?

Sadly, pests do often inhabit crawl spaces. It’s not uncommon for pests such as spiders, snakes, mice, rats, and bats to live in crawl spaces.

Crawl spaces are dark, humid, and secluded. This makes them ideal places for many types of creatures and bugs to hide.

Some people even have cockroaches and termites living in their crawl spaces. You can take care of insect infestations by calling an exterminator.

They can also help you with snakes, rats, mice, and other unwanted animals. Note that you should repair holes, cracks, and other entrances to keep pests from being able to enter the crawl space so easily.

Do Crawl Spaces Need Dehumidifiers?

Some crawl spaces will need dehumidifiers. If you live in a very humid area, moisture can be a real problem.

If your crawl space has issues with mold, a crawl space dehumidifier can help to keep things in check. This will prevent moisture from becoming a big problem.

These dehumidifiers are a bit on the pricey side, though. They’re substantially more expensive than dehumidifiers that you’ll buy for your home’s interior.

This is because they’re made to be very durable, and they use more expensive parts. If you have moisture and mold issues in your crawl space, it can be useful to buy a crawl space dehumidifier.

Final Thoughts

Crawl spaces are confined spaces, but they generally don’t require permits for workers to access them. They would only trigger such requirements if there was an unusual hazard in the crawl space area.

Your crawl space needs to be maintained properly. Otherwise, you might have to deal with pests such as snakes and rats.

Make sure that moisture issues don’t become a problem. Consider using a dehumidifier in the crawl space, and install a vapor barrier if you must.


If you want more backyard tips including recipes, how-tos and more, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel

Share this post: