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Old 11-08-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
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Flooring cold over crawl space

Bought a fixer upper in April and did a lot of work to it. Now that it's cold I notice that my hardwood floors are cold over the crawl space. I had to pull up the hardwood floor in this area because it was not installed properly so I saw how it was insulated when I had the floor pulled up and found a small piece of plywood to pull up. It's cinder wall block wall with a dirt floor, pieces of wood lathe across the bottom of the joists holding the batt insulation up in between the joists and there is vapor barrier I believe on top of the insulation. Then plywood and the hardwood floors for most the area and tile for the entry way. I used a hand held temperature gun and noticed there is a roughly 5 degree temperature swing in a matter of 18 inches on the floor.

The flooring above the crawl space is on average 5 degrees cooler than the floor in the original part of the house. The area that is affected is my kitchen which is above the original house and then they added on about 10 feet which is my dining room and entry way with the crawl space below it. The whole area of my kitchen and dining room feels much colder than the rest of the house and I tracked it down to my floors.

In order to warm the kitchen/dining room area of my house I feel that I need to address the crawl space because that is causing my floor to be cold. I have checked the vents in this area and they are blowing at maximum opening. There is a roughly 10 inch by 10 inch opening in the original cinder block wall in the basement going into the crawl space where a heat vent line is run. I don't want to pull up the floors being the hardwoods were just relaid and refinished and I also installed the tile in my entry way. This leaves me with knocking a hole in the cinder block wall either from the outside or from the inside in my basement. My idea is to enlarge the opening from the basement into the crawl space to gain access. I will then create framing for the small portion of cinder block wall that I remove being I will have removed a little bit of the structure of the wall.

Once I have access into the crawl space what does everyone think is the best line of attack to solve the poorly insulated floor over the crawl space? I was thinking remove the insulation being it's probably not in the greatest shape after being over a dirt floor for atleast 15 years. I know that I need to put plastic down on the dirt floor but the more I think about it I almost think that I should take and poor a slab over the dirt floor, insulate the outside cinder block wall and that would give me a conditioned crawl space.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:42 PM   #2
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Poly the ground, gain crawl access, ventilate the crawl per minimum code or go unvented using house supply air and your choice of exhaust; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ance-and-codes

OR; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...n-crawlspaces/

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Old 11-14-2013, 11:38 PM   #3
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I would do what Gary mentioned, choosing the non-vented option. My crawl space, with a concrete floor, had two vents to the outside. During the winter the crawl space would get close to freezing and make the floors above (kitchen, living and dining room) really cold and uncomfortable. I closed the vents off and sealed them with 2" rigid foam and also installed it on the rim joist. The HVAC ducts go through the crawl space and since I did this the crawl space stays an average of 63 degrees all year round.
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