Spray foaming rim joists: Termite inspection gap?
Location: Atlanta, GA
Foundation Type: Crawl Space. Original brick (~1940's), Concrete block (recent additions).
Square footage: 1,800 square feet, single story.
Like many here, I am trying to put together a game plan for addressing crawl space moisture. It's a pretty dizzying list of things to consider and plan for when going at it DIY.
To date, we've undertaken a big project to improve drainage around the house and prevent bulk water from infiltrating. I'm now pretty confidant we are getting no water from outside into the crawlspace during heavy rains. Previously we would see quite a bit. Here in Atlanta we have already received more rain in 2013 than all of 2012.
While I have many, many other questions I'll try and restrict it to one at a time. Many of the guides for crawlspace encapsulation recommend leaving a ~6" termite inspection gap between the top of the vapor barrier and the sill plates. If I come in with a spray foam system on the rim joists and sill plates, haven't I covered up the means to visually assess for termites? should I worried about concealing any termite activity that might pop up in the future with the foam kits?
Sounds like you should visit your local building department. Inhibiting inspection procedures, especially structurally hazardous ones, could prove to be an issue for you should you ever sell. Insurance claims come to mind as a potential bottle neck, though I'm no expert on that. Best to ensure you're covered than wish you had...
You must leave a space open for the termite inspection. Spray foam in a crawlspace is a bad idea. Rats love the stuff. They make very interesting tunnels through it. Aside from that there are all kinds of other reasons not to use the stuff anywhere.
I've closed my crawlspace, and insulated my rim joist by using blocks of 2" XPS foam roughly cut to fit in the area, then used a Hilti foam gun to finish the job.
I did leave a termite inspection area as advised. You'll not have problems with rats or other vermin if there's no way for them to enter.
Much good info at
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