Pier and Beam home with full crawl exposed - what to do to enclose and insulate?
I am in the process of purchasing a home where the front is a slab and the rear is a pier and beam.
The rear perimeter of the home has a clearance of about 8 feet from the ground (on average) with no walls or barriers from elements, critters, or line of sight (its not pretty). Currently there is fiberglass insulation in place between the joists with polyethylene nailed on top of it all. It appears there has been some moisture in there already and I fear there is mold lurking under there too. The dirt floor has a plastic vapor barrier of sorts.
What do folks recommend I do to take control of this situation. I am thinking I should build a wall to enclose the entire back of the house that prevents critters and makes it look good, but not worry about it being 100% air tight. I would then redo the vapor barrier, remove all insulation and then then look to apply spray foam to the underside of the floor along with some small gauge chicken wire across the joists to prevent animals from burrowing in there. I have also read folks recommend using fiberglass insulation and then applying soffit board to the entire underside to seal it.
This home is in North Carolina.
Any ideas are welcomed. It is my most feared part of the new house and I dont have a plan of attack yet.
Re: Pier and Beam home with full crawl exposed - what to do to enclose and insulate?
Hello my northern neighbor (upstate SC here). Sounds like you've got a good plan going. I don't think spray foam insulation needs covering- I'm unaware of critters chewing through it- and fiberglass would work nearly as well, but 1- it needs to be covered and 2- any vapor barrier used with it needs to be above it (though no vapor barrier is absolutely needed here). If you're in a humid area go with the spray foam, and either way be sure the walls are ventilated properly for a crawlspace- overdo that in humid areas as too much ventilation doesn't hurt but too little does. Cover exposed dirt with poly but leave a couple inches open around every pier and wall so that any moisture trapped under it doesn't soften the ground at the foundations. Now enjoy your new home and your handiwork in comfort!