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Old 09-28-2010, 07:08 AM   #1
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Deepening Crawlspace

Hey folks,

I recently had an energy audit and inspection to see what could be done to better winterize my home (a tiny Cape Cod cottage, single floor, about 250 sqft on pilings), and the hardest of them to deal with is getting a moisture barrier under the cottage. The problem is that the 'crawlspace', if you really want to dignify it with the term, is about six inches deep, which obviously doesn't allow much in the way of crawling or anything else.

The obvious solution is to deepen it, which I'm going to do, but was hoping for some advice on how far away to stay from pilings, etc, since I would prefer to have a freezing floor and intermittently frozen pipes than a collapsed house! I'm not trying to get a basement or anything--I'd be happy with 24-36 inches and might be able to get away with 18, I think. We have very sandy soil, which probably makes a difference.

I've done some research on moisture barriers, crawlspaces, and so on, but haven't thus far found anything addressing this particular problem. All the ones about deepening it are for making a basement or at least significantly deeper crawlspace--far more elaborate than what I'm going for!

Any advice?

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Old 09-30-2010, 01:40 AM   #2
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Tough to answer w/out any info. How deep are the pilings? How big? Material? How many? Any cross bracing between them? Etc. All that would be helpful.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:24 AM   #3
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I have a similiar situation. Cottage on piers, not enough room to do anything underneath, I don't have an answer but I have some concerns about deeping the crawlspace. I've thought about doing this but the soil has been undisturbed for probably 50 years or more and although mine seems sandy I do not want to jeopardize the piers by touching anything.

Secondly, from what I've read, the mositure in the soil underneath the house is rather important from the stand point of freeze thaw cycles and how this effects shifting of the piers. Maybe by adding a vapor barrier you might change the moisture content of the soil and contribute to a problem where there wasn't one before.

These are concerns I have regarding my structure.

Also, it would seem to be a hiding spot under the vapor barrier for insects or critters. Frankly I don't know what to do but am always looking for ideas.
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