Crawlspace Series #1: What are the Crawlspace Foundation Types

There are 3 different types of crawlspace walls, and each one has its pros and cons.  By understanding what type of crawlspace wall you have, and the issues you need to watch for, you’ll be more prepared to spot a crawlspace or foundation issue before it becomes a big problem.

Type #1: Concrete Block Wall

Concrete block walls are some of the most common crawlspace and basement walls.  They are generally the most easily-recognizable from the inside and the outside of the building structure.  While concrete block walls are easiest to install and less expensive than other building materials, they also have their weaknesses.  By constructing a wall from multiple blocks, the wall itself has hundreds of joints– each one with the potential to allow water to seep into the space beneath your home.  Moreover, they are also hollow, which creates a lattice-like structure that allows humid air to circulate throughout the walls.

Watch for:  Dampness, standing water, cracks, water leaking through cracks, limestone scaling that builds up over time on areas with excessive moisture.

Type #2: Poured Concrete Walls


Poured concrete walls are formed from solid concrete. They generally do not leak water nor air, unless there is a crack, hole or other disturbance to the wall’s structure.

Watch for: Cracks, gaps, standing water, bowed walls, walls that do not meet the floor joists squarely.

Type #3: Stone Walls

Stone walls are the most common in older homes; often giving the home a rustic, old fashioned feel.  While the appearance of the stone walls is certainly attractive to most homeowners, (especially those with an eye for historic architecture), they are difficult to seal and often leak water & air.

Watch for: Cracks, gaps, standing water, bowed walls, walls that do not meet the floor joists squarely.

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References: Crawlspace Science, by Larry Janesky. Contact our office to request your free edition of this book, or of “Foundation Repair Science,” or “Dry Basement Science.”

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