Sometimes, there simply isn’t room for anything else under your home, which means a crawl space is the only solution. As a new homeowner having your first crawl space to clean out, you may not know which tools to use, and you will want as much information as possible.
To dig a crawl space, you can use a plain old shovel or rent a jackhammer from your local hardware store. You’ll also need a wheelbarrow to remove excess dirt, I-beams to support the project and minimize floor sag, and hydraulic jacks if you need to raise your house.
You’ll want to use the best tools when digging your crawl space. If you’re looking for tips regarding the type of tools you’ll need, look no further. This article will let you know the essential tools to tackle this task.
1. Hydraulic House Jack
When the time comes to do some severe excavation on a project, you might be tempted just to get out the shovel and start digging.
But if you want your project to go as smoothly as possible, it pays to spend some time planning.
A hydraulic house jack can be an excellent tool for raising your house!
It’s a handy gadget that can help boost your home from any angle, including from underneath it, and you can use it in tandem with various other tools like sledgehammers and pickaxes for faster results.
As you may imagine, these jacks aren’t cheap, especially if you’re trying to buy one strong enough for all that digging.
But this method may work well for you if you already have one lying around or if you’re renting one while creating your home’s crawl space.
Not only will a house jack provide you with more space while you dig, but because you’ll be digging around the foundations of your home, they’ll provide much-needed support and safety for you and your home.
When you’re trying to dig up a crawl space, one of the first things you’ll need is a shovel—it’s one of the essential tools you’ll have.
You’ll mainly use your shovel to dig away at the dirt beneath your feet and throw it into something else (a wheelbarrow or dumpster, for instance).
But, you’ll have to be careful—you don’t want to accidentally scrape up the insulation on your floor or walls, and you don’t want to disrupt your foundation.
There are different kinds of shovels on the market with different purposes.
A standard garden shovel has a pointed tip that can break through hard soil better than others.
It’s also pretty versatile and suitable for general digging tasks.
The D Handle Shovel from Amazon is perfect for lifting and moving dirt efficiently. Its sharp edges and non-slip grip are excellent features for tackling a task such as this and making your job easier.
3. Power Tools
Digging a crawl space can be daunting and requires a lot of effort.
If you’re not a fan of manual labor and not keen on using a shovel to remove dirt, you can buy or rent some power tools.
Fortunately, there are several power tools that you can use to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
The correct one will depend on your budget, how much time you have to devote to the project, and what kind of space you have chosen for your crawl space.
If you have a large amount of hard earth to move, an electric drill with a spade bit is probably the best way to go—they’re practical and powerful enough to remove hard soil such as clay.
The Bosch HS1922 Clay Spade Bit from Amazon is the perfect tool for digging clay. It comes in different bit sizes and is compatible with most drills.
Try an electric jackhammer if you want to use a power tool with some finesse.
This device is precise enough that you can use it on smaller projects like concrete patios and sidewalks but tough enough that it’ll get even the most challenging of soils removed.
Regardless of which one you choose, wear protective gear like safety goggles and earplugs—you’ll be amazed at how much dust can come out of that space once the first layer gets broken up.
When digging out a crawl space, wheelbarrows are the way to go.
They’re the cheapest and most practical option when you’ve got a lot of dirt to move.
Once you’ve dug up a lot of dirt, the first thing you’ll want to do is haul any loose dirt out of the house and out of the yard.
There are a couple of ways to do this, but one of the easiest is with a wheelbarrow.
You might not think that seems like it would work, but chances are you’ve got at least one wheelbarrow lying around somewhere or something you can use as a make-shift wheelbarrow—even if it’s just an old trash can with two wheels attached to it, that will work for getting the dirt outside.
Once you’ve got all the dirt out of your house and yard, you’ll have much more room to work with and less worrying about making a mess.
Ultimately, you’ll be hauling a lot of dirt and other debris out of the crawl space, so it’s helpful to have something that makes transport easy, like a wheelbarrow.
I-beams are pieces of steel used in engineering and construction that can be very useful when digging a crawl space.
Like house jacks, if you are unsure how structurally sound your house is or how much dirt will need to be displaced when digging out your crawl space, using I-beams is the safest way to ensure that your home will not collapse on you during the process.
READ: Can You Screw Into A Steel Beam?
Unlike house jacks, I-beams are considered permanent additions to a crawl space and stop your house floors from sagging.
If you do not use I-beams, your dirt will shift and slide, causing your foundation to change with it.
Using I-beams guarantees that your foundation will remain stable while you dig out underneath it and after you’ve dug too.
Below you’ll find a video to help you understand the installation of I-beams:
Cheers, tools owners!