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front porch wooden planks - open to crawl space


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I have found several new homes lately that have wooden front porches that are open to the crawl space. I know this was common on older homes but is making a comeback here. Space between the planks gives a nice path for water to enter the crawl space. Personally, I would not want a situation like this on a house I own.

However, what do you tell folks when you see this? The fist one I inspected had a drain running from the front porch area to somewhere and water was on top of the vapor barrier. That was easy to mention. But what do you say when you don't see an obvious issue other than the general setup? I'm inclined to just mention that a potential moisture source exists but I am sure that people will then ask what to do. Thanks for any input

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I think "porch" usually indicates that it is covered. Uncovered it would be either deck or patio. I guess you could have a coverd deck though. Porch means planks tight together with no gaps and a roof over it.

Do the floor planks have spacing between them or are they tight together?

It may not be a porch. It might actually be classified as a deck.

I am having a hard time visualizing the setup as explained. Got any pics?

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Open gaps just provides more room for wood rot. The builder could have used tongue in groove planks and then constructed it with a nice slope to allow rainwater to run off properly to a better area. Other issues are also involved such as adding extra mositure to the crawlspace where it can create many more problems such as ponding, insects and increased soil instability. It is probably another effort of a builder to cut costs and thus increase profit.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Originally posted by Al Austin

Open gaps just provides more room for wood rot. The builder could have used tongue in groove planks and then constructed it with a nice slope to allow rainwater to run off properly to a better area. Other issues are also involved such as adding extra mositure to the crawlspace where it can create many more problems such as ponding, insects and increased soil instability. It is probably another effort of a builder to cut costs and thus increase profit.

Gaps are present. Yes, it has a roof. However, when I see these, there are grooves in the soil due to water dripping from the slats. We have front doors that are 4 or 6' back under a covered porch and they get wet from blowing rain.

One of the houses I inspected lately had this set up with a vapor barrier and the soil slanted toward the rear of the house. There were nice puddles on the plastic from the front to about the middle where a drain was located. Diverting water into the c space is not a bright idea (that is another issue though).

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