23 June 2010

[i'm in your] crawl space

In the greater scheme of architectural vocabulary, I don't think there is a feature(?) more aptly named than a crawl space.  If you look up the term online or in a dictionary (ah! the horror!), you'll find a fancy-schmancy grouping of terms for what is essentially "a place in your house where you don't wanna go, but when you get there, all you can do is crawl around." Usually just a dirt floor (ours was upgraded to rough concrete), there is very little down there except plumbing/electric, spider webs, dust/dirt and the "residue" your friendly neighborhood critters may have left behind from their winter sleepover.

I can still remember our home inspector going into the crawl space during our inspection to look at the structure of the house and to conduct a termite test. I thought to myself, "Man...I'm glad I'm not a home inspector."  And I will certainly never forget him coming out covered in dust and telling me the good and the bad -- no termites, but you need to go under there and clean up the wood scraps so as not to attract such.  Based on the picture above, and the good word from our home inspector, it was necessary to take the plunge.  So what is a guy to do but ask his future brother-in-law to join him in the fun?  I mean, a friend could say "no," but a future brother-in-law is pretty much obligated to say "yes."

And in we went, but not before dawning the proper protective gear...

This may seem like overkill, but really, when you're talking about the health of your own lungs, there is little to think about.   Plus, these respirators are way more comfortable and effective than those white paper dust masks. As you can see, there was a lot of insulation we had to clean up and replace, so the dust was just nasty. 

The pile of junk our efforts produced. Excluded from the junk category is this military foot locker circa 1949.

Its in great shape and will serve as a perfect tool box for the garage.  The locker belonged to an "Andrew N. Gerhart," which is painted on the locker along with some random numbers (serial number?).  I did a quick Google search on the name, but it didn't turn up anything. I'll have to ask the neighbors if he was the original owner of the house, or whether it was merely something left behind by a former owner.

Oh yeah...and the crawl space is now much cleaner and the insulation in tact and hopefully doing its silent (but important) job. Still not a place you wanna hang out or anything, but no longer a lure for termites and pests.  HUGE shout-out to Josh for all of his help -- you definitely earned my respect, bro!

As an aside, I never thought I'd write an entire post about our crawl space.  But the demands of my publisher (kidding, of course) have pushed me over the edge. 
Hopefully more kitchen and nursery-related posts in the future.


Eric said...

I had to insulate our crawl space this past winter. Luckily it was a little bigger than yours but the job still sucked. I think it took me about 3 days to do the job by myself.

Once the job was done it raised the temperature of the hardwood floors 5+ degrees. I know that doesn't sound like much but when you have a house with no insulation anywhere that little bit is actually a big help.

GT said...

Any chance you still have the footlocker?