Crawl Space Openings

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Old 09-21-08, 04:58 AM
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Crawl Space Openings

I have 2 questions related to crawl spaces (both block construction). I'm getting them insulated with foam on the walls.

1. There's a window in the crawl space I want to remove (it's old, wood and requires exterior maintenance). I would like to close in the opening with something that won't require maintenance.

I've thought about removing the framing and putting in bricks, block, or just trying to build a form and pour it shut. I've also thought about just screwing some foam insulation board to it and covering it with PVC boards. Or can I do something where I parge it with cement and it somewhat matches the rest of the house? I'm not sure what the best way to close this in is.

2. I have an existing access point to a crawl space that is just 2 2X10's screwed to an old window frame, with some mesh buring in the ground to discourage critters from crawling in.
I would like to replace this with something that allows easy access (no tools), looks nice, is insulated (maybe just foam boards glued to it?) and once again doesn't require maintenance. I'm not sure what to do about that either.

I thought about pouring a curb and just making some sort or door with foam board glued to it on the inside. I'm just not sure if there's a better way. I read that the hardi-plank requres paint so I didn't want to use that. I figured the gray would match the block very well.

I have a few weeks to do this, but I would like to do this next weekend if at all possible.
 
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Old 09-21-08, 11:45 AM
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I would opt to pull the unused window and install block if the measurements are in 16" increments. Make a bed of mortar, lay in your first block, do the same for the second block, and point in the joints with a pointing tool. As far as your access to the crawl space making a wooden framed door with insulation on it would be fine. I wouldn't use hardie plank on the door as handling the door may tend to break the edges of the plank.
Sorry to hear you are foaming up the crawlspace. How do you plan on reducing humidity? I am assuming you have or will block off the foundation vents.
 
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Old 09-21-08, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Sorry to hear you are foaming up the crawlspace. How do you plan on reducing humidity? I am assuming you have or will block off the foundation vents.
Why are you sorry to hear I'm foaming up the crawlspace? As far as reducing humidity, plastic is getting put down as part of the project, and the crawl spaces will have openings to the basement with the dehumidifier. I do not have foundation vents other than the occasional draft
 
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Old 09-21-08, 05:56 PM
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I just have a different school of thought to keep moisture from crawlspaces. Cross ventilation with foundation vents (in our area at least) is the best solution since the air movement keeps the stagnant moist air in the crawl space from sitting still and causing mold problems. It may be different where you live. I was just expressing an opinion, and meant nothing as far as what you are doing was wrong or anything. I think overbuilding crawl spaces is a little expensive with small return for the money invested.
 
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Old 09-22-08, 05:22 AM
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Chandler,

I thought about laying block, but how do I get the top course in between the sill plate and the previous course of block and still keep mortar in the joint? I've never laid block, so I'm sure I missing part of the technique here.

I don't know the width of the opening, but I'm hoping it's 32" wide

As for the door, that's good to know about the hardi board. I'll have to do some thinking on that.
 
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Old 09-24-08, 04:49 AM
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Anyone have any ideas for me?
 
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Old 09-24-08, 04:03 PM
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Oops, sorry, had to go to work. Silly habit. After you set the top block(and you should be able to lift it over the bottom mortar bed), take a pointed trowel and, holding a little mortar in your hand, poke it in the joint. You will have to do it several times in order to get a good packing. After is it packed to your liking, let it set a little and strike the joint for a finished look.
 
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Old 09-25-08, 09:51 AM
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Any ideas for a low / maintenance free product for the other door? I know that treated wood would last a long time, but I don't like painting

Also, should I put a curb in to give the door something solid to shut against to keep the critters out?
 
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Old 09-28-08, 11:58 AM
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Why not use PT lumber and not paint it? It's a door, not a part of the siding, so it may not look all that bad. Curbs are bad on the knees and won't keep critters out. Maybe a door sweep.
 
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Old 09-28-08, 04:39 PM
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Yea, that sounds like a plan. I guess it's similar to how it is now, so it won't change the look any.

Hopefully I get that done in 2 weeks. I'm sure I'll post back if I have issues.
 
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