Step 4: Doing It

My crawlspace is only accessible from inside the house so it helped to unfold the tarps on the lawn and then refold them to make it easier unrolling them in the crawlspace. Do this to best suit your needs. We folded the 14' side in half and then rolled the tarp up from the 48' end. We then folded this bundle in half making a 7' bundle to carry into the crawlspace. Once inside it was easy to unfold it and roll it out.

If you're up for doing a lot of cutting and going back and forth you can carefully measure your crawlspace, work out a little diagram, and cut it piece by piece.

* Use the drill to make holes in the concrete. Hold up the furring strips and use them as a template for your drilling.

* Apply a bead of silicone along the top of your concrete blocks, this will be a watertight gasket that will keep the humidity rising out of the Earth down under the barrier.

* Arrange the tarps so that once they are screwed in place behind the furring strips they will drape down the wall and onto the ground.

* Spread everything out evenly and cut away excess in as big of pieces as possible. These pieces we ended up using in patching holes where needed.

* You'll want to overlap any cuts by at least 1 foot. In many instances I ended up with 2 feet. You can use HH-66 to seal the joints, but I chose not to. I know that the water line running into the house has been in the ground since the early '60's and that the huge old cast iron drain will need to be replaced so I didn't want to have to cut and patch later. You can use housewrap tape if you wish, but my overlaps were so big that I didn't bother with either.
<p>I've been told not to take the plastic all the way up to the top of the concrete so that their cones will be visible for any inspection. Was that something you had heard, has your termite inspector said anything about it?</p>
<p>Great in theory but there's an oversight. The tarps are made from PVC which is quite toxic. I got a tarp from billboardtarps.com, but the smell/gas coming off it was nauseating. I ended up Googling PVC and Vinyl toxicity and a new world of plastic to avoid opened up. Too bad, I was stoked about reusing these tarps for my crawlspace.</p>
<p>I just wanted to point out to you that almost all modern plumbing utilizes PVC pipes and there have not been any reports of VC toxicity epidemics thus far. The vinyl chloride by itself is harmful, but I do not think you would be at risk by having pvc lining in your crawlspace, especially considering it has a low half-life and the amount of VC that vents off of PVC is not of any consequence because most harmful concentrations would be long gone by the time it was under your house.</p>
<p>Living in New England, I have no experience with crawlspaces nor any need for this Instructable, yet I found it interesting and entertaining enough to read the whole thing. Thanks for such a well documented and well written piece! Now I want an excuse to vapor seal some space with reused vinyl tarps...</p>
Thanks! It's a good time . . . as long as you have a deep enough crawlspace. Tight ones might not be fun to work in.
Lady Gaga and a Shetland pony. You just got 5/5 stars for that comment alone! Great Instructable by the way.
Thanks for this instructable. I'm thinking of doing the same in my house. Can you give us an update? (i.e. did you seal the vents, did you eventually seal the seams, etc.)<br><br>Also, I've heard different things about how to encapsulate the wall. Some say do it your way, putting the plastic up the entire length of the wall and screw with the firring strips. Others say to screw directly to the sill plate, with others saying, &quot;DON'T YOU DARE!!&quot; saying you could get wicking into the sill plate. Aaaannnndddd others still, saying to only bring the plastic to grade level and then put hard foam board on the walls. What is your take on these methods?
I haven't opened the vents since I did this and this has been done for several years now (I'd had the pictures for the instructable for a long time and finally got around to putting them online). The temperature in the crawlspace only gets to about the mid-seventies in summer and mid-fifties in winter. Humidity can get as high as 50% or 60%. I think some encapsulation services recommend something in the mid forties, but it really isn't an issue down there. Since cleaning off the minor surface mold prior to doing the encapsulation I've not seen any hint of it returning. No condensation anywhere. It's a good thing to do to your crawlspace.<br><br>I never did seal the seams and it's perfectly fine. Just leave a lot of overlap. At least a foot, two if your budget permits. That way you could easily pull it up and mess with incoming water lines or drains or sumps if the need arises.<br><br>I wouldn't screw to the sill plate. I actually couldn't because there's about a 3 inch piece of galvanized metal sticking out all along the perimeter. I wouldn't be worried about the moisture getting to the sill, but termites. Moisture + Wood = Good Termite Time. Do the furring strip a few inches below your sill. Or glue it up with silicone. I did that in a few small areas and it's still hanging in there perfectly fine.<br><br>If I'd not been such a cheapskate at the time I'd have put the 2&quot; thick foam board all around and then covered it over as well. But the foam should be as good as keeping out moisture as the vinyl. It's your choice.
Thanks for the reply. I'm about 95% sure that encapsulating is what I want to do. I'll probably bring the tarp up the wall 6&quot;-12&quot;, seal it there and put the foam board around the sides and seal my overlaps. Thanks, also, for pointing towards the billboard tarps, I'll definitely be getting those. It might take a bit to actually get the project going, but I'll try to remember to put something here on how it went.

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