Billy Tesh, President, Crawlspace Depot
1. Crawlspace Depot has been at the leading edge of improving closed crawlspace technologies. What do you see as the most recent innovations that have helped PMPs close crawlspaces faster, more efficiently and more profitably?

One of the most important steps in transforming a vented crawlspace into a closed crawlspace is sealing the vents. This usually means taking a piece of insulation and cutting it to fit each and every vent. Needless to say, the process can be very time consuming. Crawlspace Depot has designed precut panels called VentBlock and VentBlock+ to solve this problem. Sized to be slightly larger than the standard vent opening, they friction-fit right into place and can be easily trimmed if needed. Going one step further, VentBlock+ has a premounted screen on one side to stop rodent entry. Technicians love the simplicity of it and it provides a cleaner, more professional look.

2. What innovations have just made the jobs easier? PMPs are always looking for new techniques and products that can improve efficiency and make each job easier.

Our most popular new innovation is our 7,500 Lumen LED String Lights. These can be permanently installed by simply hanging them from the floor joist and allow you to move about the crawlspace without having to drag lights and extension cords around with you. Each set is 50 feet long and can be linked together with additional sets to go even further. Furthermore, each set contains five heads, each putting out 1,500 lumens. You can increase your safety and efficiency by installing these on each job.

In most crawlspaces you are doing just that — crawling. We all use knee pads to keep our knees protected and to stay comfortable, but what happens when the knee pads themselves are uncomfortable? That’s why we searched to find the most comfortable and practical knee pads. Our hinged knee pads work with you, not against you, and go a long way in getting you through a tough day feeling good.

We all need to be safe on the job, so eye protection is very important, especially in dark crawlspaces with unexpected obstacles. Safety glasses may be critical, but if they fog up, employees tend to take them off, defeating their whole purpose. Many companies claim to have glasses that are fog-free, but they just don’t live up to the hype. Our Edge safety glasses with Vapor Shield are the real deal — they allow you to work in the worst conditions and PMPs are still able to see clearly while staying protected.

3. How do customers today perceive the idea of closing crawlspaces compared to when you started performing the services?

Many customers are more familiar with the concept and how it works compared to years ago. There is more information available online and most people probably know someone that already has a closed crawlspace at their home. All of this adds to the validity of closing crawlspaces and gives consumers more confidence that they are making the right decision.

4. What do you wish everyone who had a dirt crawlspace knew?

To many, out of sight can be out of mind. A crawlspace can certainly affect the inside of the home, and indoor air quality is a great example of this. Some basic knowledge of relative humidity, dew point, condensation and the “stack effect” helps a homeowner have a better understanding of how their home operates and why closing a crawlspace can help optimize those conditions. You can help homeowners make good decisions about their crawlspaces with a little useful education!

5. How big is the closed crawlspace market?

There are more than 74,000,000 homes already built on a crawlspace foundation, plus approximately 14% of new homes are built on crawlspace foundations, adding another 112,000 homes each year. Many builders are now closing their crawlspace homes during construction, which presents another great opportunity.