I am trying to properly seal a dirt floor in a crawl space. What is the best method to stop the smell and moisture issues created by a dirt floor crawl spec under a dwelling. One method I read about was to completely encapsulate the crawl space wall and floor, with something similar to a pool liner, including all vents/openings into the space.
Will you ever need to access the plumbing/wiring etc from the space? Moisture migrates thru the soil, and is impossible to elimate. Odors come from normal soil processes, as well as possible mold/mildew. I don't see ecapsulating the space as practical. Most crawl space issues are handled by ventilating them, possible using a heat recovery ventilator.
I surprised to hear you seem to be against encapsulation in a crawl space?
i have a customer with a real wet crawl space, other than trying to pour a thin slab with sump and drains, I can't ceom up with a better idea?
i see those crawl space vent as a poor solution. added: this is in northern michigan.
Up here in New Hampshire, we do have issues with radon. I've heard of people pouring a slab of concrete in the entire crawl space to eleminate radon. I don't know why it would'nt work for moisture. Put a thick layer of poly down first for the moisture break.
Basically, if you seal the dirt floor to the walls and piers, you bring that space into the thermal envelope of the home so it is conditioned. This minimizes indoor humidity problems while reducing growth of mold and other odiferous sources down there.
I will need to do work in the space from time to time and also see if plumbing leaks etc are present. Access to space is through 2' x 3' access door outside the house. No radon issue in my area. I'm trying not to use mechanical means to treat the space. I have ductwork that keeps the space somewhat conditioned. In the summer moisture condenses on the duct during bad days. Encapsulating the space would reduce the smell and moisture into the crawl space from the dirt floor. Ventilation air alone would increase the moist air introduced to the crawl space in the summer. Using a heat recovery ventilator will be expensive to run plus the unknown quantity of moisture that will migrate from the dirt floor.
Would a combination of a heat recovery ventilator (or space conditioning from the house system) and encapsulating be prudent?