How to Cover a Crawl Space Floor With Plastic Sheeting

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A crawl space floor covered with plastic sheeting prevents moisture infiltration. Sheeting sizes vary and nearly every size will require sizing and trimming. Covering a crawl space floor involves more than calculating the dimensions of the area. You need to have the physical ability to crawl into and around the actual space to complete the job. Make your job easier and follow tips that contractors use when they cover a crawl space.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Work light
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Sealant caulk
  • Polyethylene tape
  • Enter the crawl space on your hands and knees. Have a work light with you to provide illumination.

  • Measure the length and width of the floor area. Add 12 inches to both the length and width, to allow for attaching the sheeting material to foundation walls. Double check your measurements to ensure you have adequate sheeting.

  • Cut a sheet to cover the farthest section of the floor, away from the entrance to the crawl space. Roll it up and take it along with you into the space.

  • Apply a 1/2-inch thick line of sealant caulk along the foundation walls. Unroll the plastic sheet and press the edges firmly against the caulk.

  • Follow the same process for the second sheet. Allow for a 4-inch overlap for the sheet edges. Seal the overlapping sheet edges with polyethylene tape to prevent moisture infiltration.

  • Secure the remaining sheets in the same fashion. Trim and seal the sheets to fit around any obstructions. Make sure the sheet ends adhere to the sealant caulk on the foundation walls and that each sheet is overlapped and sealed with tape.

Tips & Warnings

  • Close crawl space vents in cold weather and provide a small heat source to prevent freezing and to keep the space dry.
  • Check for discarded construction materials and broken glass before entering a crawl space.

References

  • "Housebuilding A Do-it-Yourself Guide"; R. J. DeCristoforo; 2007
  • "Renovation"; Michael W. Litchfield; 2005
  • "Moisture Control Handbook Principles and Practices for Residential and Small Commercial Buildings"; Joseph Lstiburek, John Carmody; 1996
  • "Serious Straw Bale A Home Construction Guide for All Climates"; Front Cover Paul Lacinski, Michel Bergeron; 2000
  • Photo Credit Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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