I was exploring my crawl space and see that the soil level dips down as it reaches the final 12 inches before hitting the foundation walls. In some areas I can even see the bottom of the foundation wall. Does it make sense to build up these low areas with soil to better support the foundation wall?

This is part of a larger moisture issue/job I'm dealing with which is ending with crawl space encapsulation, but I wanted to be sure they weren't encapsulating the crawl space with areas of my foundation walls exposed.


  • 1
    Foundation walls tend to go down to a wider strip footing. By "bottom of the foundation wall," do you mean that you can see the top of a strip footing? Or are you looking at void space undercutting the foundation somehow?
    – popham
    Commented Feb 7 at 7:16
  • Foundation walls are often exposed, both on the inside & outside, depending of the grade of the soil. As long as the footers are below the frost line on the outside, there's little to no issue with the top of them being exposed in the crawlspace.
    – brhans
    Commented Feb 7 at 12:34
  • A couple of clear, focused, well lit pictures, edited into your question from both inside & outside would definitely help us help you.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 7 at 12:52

1 Answer 1



  • Foundation walls generally don't depend on soil for stability.

  • The trench you see is simply the result of targeted excavation for the footings under the walls. This is common and saves cost.

  • The trench may be useful as a water containment mechanism should you ever see wet conditions.

  • If you do want to fill the trenches for whatever reason, consider laying in a loop of drain tile (perforated pipe) encased in washed rock first, as future-proofing against water issues.

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