Sealing crawlspaces and insulating them with polyurethane foam

Joe Lstburek and John Tooley are both sold on sealing crawlspaces.  I saw a short bit of "Holmes Inspections" on HGTV where they sprayed 2 lb polyurethane foam directly onto the dirt floor underneath a raised kitchen addition and sealed the crawlspace essentially turning it into (semi?) conditioned space. I think they sprayed it onto the dirt, I could be mistaken.

My question is: Does it make sense to spray the foam onto the dirt so as to avoid having to install a moisture/vapor barrier, seal it with tape and them add foam on top of that and seal it with tape.

Does anyone have a good supplier of the thick white material that the East Coast companies use on their sealed crawlspaces?

Can anyone direct me to the best practices for such a project? I'm also wondering if someone has a detail for sealing and waterproofing the 12x4 vents in the stucco.

Mr. Tooley stated that sealing/insulating a crawlspace can yield a 15% energy savings. Does anyone have experience with energy savings percentages in California's Central Valley?

It seems that sealing under houses has many benefits but where are the great examples of it done right?

Thanks,

George Matthews

Views: 9958

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Ground cover in the crawl space with have NO effect on foundation movement caused by soil MC. That is an exterior drainage issue.

George,

 

The sealed crawlspace concept is very popular here in North carolina and surrounding states.  The best place to go for answers to your questions is advancedenergy.org and look up in their foundation sealing section.  Some thoughts regarding your questions:

  - It does not make sense to spray foam onto the dirt.  The ground is a surprisingly good insulator.  You want to insulate the peripheral walls of the crawlspace using a code-compliant R-value foam that is approved for exposed use under the Foam Plastics section of the Califormia Residential Code.  In North Carolina, Dow Thermax Sheathing rigid insulation is by far the most popular option and was the one used by Advanced Energy when they built test residences to gauge the effectiveness of sealed crawlspaces.

  - Raven Industries is the most popular manufacturer of poly to cover the ground and flash to the piers and wall insulation.

  - Advanced Energy constructed twelve test houses and determined that a home with a sealed crawlspace should produce about 18% energy savings over a home with conventional foundation vents.  Of course, that data was generated in Eastern North Carolina and results will probably differ in the Sacramento Valley.  The good news for you is that the Advanced Energy Data suggested the bulk of the energy efficiency improvement came during the warm months so some reasonable level of savings should be expected in California.  Humidity levels may impact the amount of that savings.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact medirectly to discuss further

 

Scott Cummings

Sr. Technical Service Engineer

Dow Building Solutions

Charlotte, NC

slcummings@dow.com

I have a question about how to create a termite viewing area in a PU spray foamed foundation wall.

In crawlspace encapsulation one wants to bring the thick white plastic sheet up the foundation wall and make a nice connection with the foam (my insulation contractor does anyway). In doing that how would one create an area of 4" open clear concrete to look out for termite tunnels? Has any solved this problem?

My client who is teetering on the fence about encapsulating his unpleasant smelling crawlspace is thinking of just getting terminix out to inject termite poison into the ground around the perimeter before the project.

Anybody have a great detail for both energy efficiency and termite protection/observation? Thanks!

 

 

There's a good piece on encapsulated crawl spaces here, and it almost-but-not-quite answers your question.

 

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/building-unv...

RSS

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Charles Cormany added a discussion to the group Job Board
Thumbnail

Energy Efficiency Incentive Program Manager - Efficiency First California (Berkeley)

Position Title: Program Manager Terms: Full time, available immediatelyAbout Efficiency First…See More
1 hour ago
Charles Cormany joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Job Board

This group is for posting jobs related to all aspects of the home performance industry including…See More
2 hours ago
Linda Wigington liked Home Energy Magazine's blog post Art Rosenfeld's Legacy
3 hours ago
Ellen Phillips Soroka is now a member of Home Energy Pros
3 hours ago
terry nordbye added a discussion to the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
Thumbnail

Combustion anaylizer Testo 310

This little beauty only has a few hours on it. Almost brand new in box.Sell: $350.Terry 415 669…See More
7 hours ago
Barbara Smith's video was featured

Indiana HCA...On Location - Celebrating 40 Years of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) interviewed two clients of Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Both homes were weatheriz...
8 hours ago
Home Energy Magazine's blog post was featured
yesterday
Profile IconEfficiency First California and Kevin Daly joined Home Energy Pros
yesterday

Home Energy Pros

Welcome to Home Energy Pros – the unique digital community by and for those who work in the home energy performance arena.

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (supported by the U.S. Department of Energy) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network. Please honor our Guidelines

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service