Revising the Crawlspace Vents

Since we first built the cabin, I have made it a biannual tradition to suit up, crawl under the floor and either open or close the vents in each corner.

I curse, struggle, swear (quietly) and then return to the land of humans spent and crusty.  Finally this year I decided to try to change that, even if only slightly.

Originally I hadn’t thought much of it – I had the screens mounted flush with the outside of the cinder blocks, and would crawl up to each one under the cabin and push foam into the space behind them.  Or pull it out, depending on the season.

The original setup – screen flush with the outside of the blocks.

Finally last year I realized that if I had had the foresight to mount the screen flush with the INSIDE of the blocks, I could be pushing the foam in from the outside, where I only need to crawl under six feet of deck in the great outdoors, rather than six feet of dusty rock in the pitch black.

Assembling my tools.
Looks about right for going down below.

Once again I went under inside this year and caulked in new screens as flush as possible to the inside of the blocks.  This was frustrating enough but hopefully it’s the last time I need to do it in this manner.

A few days later, I lay down a tarp in the corner of the cabin under the porch, and crawled up to the screen.  It took a bit of work with a hammer and elbow grease, but I managed to break the outer screens off the blocks and clean them up.  Then I measured some cedar board to line the entire cavity, and spray foamed around them to try to ensure a good seal.

Tearing out the old screen.
The new screen was too tight, I had to flex it into position.  Hopefully unintended consequences of this don’t return to bite me.
Boxed in nicely, ready for the outside foam plugs.

In the next week or so, I’ll stuff the openings full of additional foam to seal up the crawlspace for this freezing season.  Hopefully this process will be much less frustrating than having to go under the cabin itself.

If only I could figure out a way to drain the water lines without having to go under the cabin either.  If only…

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