Tired of that funky, unidentifiable smell wafting from your floors? The scratching sounds of uninvited four-legged guests from below? The sense that no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to heat or cool your home to your preferred temperature?
Before diving into your crawl space and covering everything with plastic as a means of encapsulation, it is important to begin with a thorough audit. An initial assessment of your crawl space should identify any possible hazardous elements, as well as give you an opportunity to check how local codes suggest certain situations are handled. This will in turn speed up the whole project.
ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) E1745 is the Standard Specification for Plastic Water Vapor Retarders Used in Contact with Soil or Granular Fill under Concrete Slabs. This standard requires products undergo conditioning testing designed to simulate in-service (under-slab and installation) conditions, and it classifies vapor retarders based on their tensile strength, puncture resistance, and water vapor permeance ratings.
I heard an unfortunate story recently about a pair of new homeowners who hadn’t properly inspected their basement before they moved in. While the home was mostly in good shape, with a sound roof, a recently remodeled kitchen, and new floors throughout, it only took three months of living there to realize they may have overlooked some troubling signs in their walk-in basement and in the crawl space under the breezeway.