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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My house has a narrow crawl space (mostly about 1 foot deep or so, and about 3 feet deep at the max). There is no easy access to the area---to really get at it would require taking up a lot of the subfloor, which would not be fun (I know, since I had to remove subfloor when remodeling my bathroom). There was a small narrow opening at one edge of crawl space, but I sealed that (with sheet metal) to keep the rodents out.

Winter is very humid in this area (1600' elevation, 12 miles from the ocean, most of the winter it's raining and/or were covered by a fog bank). I'm concerned that the moisture under the house is going to lead to dry rot, so I'd like to have a vapor barrier underneath. However, it would be virtually impossible to get a plastic sheet down. Is there any alternative, other than a dehumidifier? We've got the most expensive electricity in the country, so that option could get costly. Thanks.
 

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Other than the humidity and close to the ocean, please tell us where you are. Florida, Maine, Washington,? Ventilation seems the best remedy, but maybe not in northern climates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
so you want a vapor barrier but you dont want to pull up the sub floor or use any type of electric and theres only a foot of space?


Im gonna watch this thread.
Yes, that's basically it. If pulling up the subfloor is the only solution, then I might be willing to do it, but that would be a last resort.

In response to another poster: I'm located in Northern California. Here, the winter temps are commonly in the 40s, and occasionally in the 30s (we get light snow a couple times/year). In winter, it usually rains a lot---like every day for months on end---and is often foggy. The remainder of the year it never rains and there is seldom fog.

The crawl space could be ventilated, I suppose, but using outside air would be pointless, since it would be just as humid as the air in the (sealed) space, if not more so. Also, we heat entirely with a pellet stove, and our inside temp varies from the upper 40s (winter nights), to the 70s or higher, and during the rare summer heat wave, it can get into the 90s. So, ventilating the crawl space with inside air does not seem like a viable option either...
 

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If you seal the crawl completely then you will have your dry rot, the worry is if there is sitting water in the crawl, that will lead to mold or mildew. Dont seal the crawl completely, take your piece of metal off and pre cut some plastic bite the bullet and crawl in there. You can make several cuts in the plastic in order for it to fit in the crawl, just overlap the cut areas. Have a friend outside with cut pieces for you.
 

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The vapor barrier should go up the foundation walls and stapled to the rim joist. While in there, be sure to seal the rim joist with foam insulation and rigid foam on the walls. Tape any cuts on the plastic if you need to use smaller pieces. Overlap these seams by at least 6" I would do 24" overlap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you seal the crawl completely then you will have your dry rot, the worry is if there is sitting water in the crawl, that will lead to mold or mildew. Dont seal the crawl completely, take your piece of metal off and pre cut some plastic bite the bullet and crawl in there. You can make several cuts in the plastic in order for it to fit in the crawl, just overlap the cut areas. Have a friend outside with cut pieces for you.
It would be physically impossible to "crawl in there" for any sized human being. The space is just a few inches in a lot of places, maybe 1 foot on average, but a lot less at the entrance. So getting in there is simply not an option. The question is, given this limitation, what is the best way to go. Thanks.
 
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