Anyone write up the lack of gravel in a new construction crawl space?

What say ye?

“R504.2.1 Base. A minimum 4-inch-thick (102 mm) granular
base of gravel having a maximum size of 3/4 inch (19.1
mm) or crushed stone having a maximum size of 1/2 inch
(12.7 mm) shall be placed over the compacted earth.”

Unless there are unusual circumstances, Joe, I simply describe what I can see…

Do you report that it’s absent but required?

I wouldn’t report it as “required” unless YOU are the AHJ. I would report it as missing, and that according to best building standards it should be there.

I see no benefit with the gravel. I don’t see any enforcement on this around here, seems to be a builder option and is usually done to mask a water intrusion issue. You have to check closely to see if water is pooling just under the gravel. I found this on a new 800k house and the buyer ended up getting a nice sealed crawlspace etc before closing since the floor system had very high moisture readings.

Well reading that specific section implies that it applies only if fill is added so the floor sleepers are given uniform support. May be a regional thing. Here in WA, they don’t add any fill to the area between the foundation walls, thus there is no compaction being performed. Crawlspaces for 90% of homes.

This is after all, a subsection of:

R504.2 Site preparation. The area within the foundation walls shall have all vegetation, topsoil and foreign material removed, and any fill material that is added shall be free ofvegetation and foreign material. The fill shall be compacted to assure uniform support of the pressure preservatively treated wood floor sleepers.

No, I describe what the floor of the crawlspace is made of; concrete, dirt, sand, etc. during my description of the other items and issues in the crawlsapce.

Wouldn’t be the first time the code was ambiguous or simply stupid…my knees are bad enough from surgeries.

I would say this deals with slabs more than anything. I use rock screed to make it smoother, not harder. If there is a foundation issue (with a crawlspace)then it should be caught during the footing inspection by the BI or engineer.

I’ve never heard of such a code. I’ve never seen stone in a Massachusetts crawl space.

When I do run into a dirt crawl space that is damp and musty, I simply recommend a conditioned crawlspace.

It improves drainage. I’ve never had high moisture problems in wood floor structures when a nice bed of gravel is present.

Not Required

Code you are referring to is for a Presure Treated wood floor on ground. Not a standard crawl space.

You can’t be serious Joe??? :shock:

All gravel filled crawls with moisture intrusion affecting the floor structure. :wink:

I was serious, but you convinced me gravel won’t solve the problem if its severe.

90 percent of the crawlspaces with gravel had moisture issues. The gravel did not cause it. It appears that some builders think it will either fix the water intrusion issue or at least mask it. Sometimes if the house is being built during lots of rain they need some screenings or gravel under there to prevent a big muddy mess during the plumbing and rough in stage.