Crawl Space Door Options for Your Home

August 15, 2017 , In: Home Improvement, Indoors , With: No Comments
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Because you’re not a kid anymore, your current crawl space doorholds zero fantasy value for secretive club housing or creative little brother torment. It’s a significant area that can make or break the very integrity of your home and its value. Below, you’ll learn why effective crawl-space enclosure and maintenance is vital, as well as examine some of the most feasible how-to options for getting the job done.

Raise Up

The most important element of any crawl space enclosure is that it raises your home structure off the ground. Particularly in damp or termite-prone locations, it’s imperative that your crawl space remains impervious to such home-debilitating features.

House Pipes and Vents

Crawl space enclosures also house plumbing and ductwork. This requires easy and effective access for repair and cleaning.

Block Humidity

Humidity has a natural tendency to maintain the perfect environment for mold growth. Mold spreads quickly and has been linked to noted health concerns. Structural mold eats away supportive floors and walls, allowing for a possibility of wood-boring insect infestation. Insects draw rodents, and now you truly are back to images of little brother torment — except you are in the real world with your safety and bank account inexorably involved.

Encapsulate

Your crawl space must have a secure-fitting door — one with a firm latch and tight seal. Luckily, most crawl space entries have regular, predictable dimensions. Ready-made doors, including hinge and latch hardware, abound in home improvement shops. Varieties range from simple wooden to specialty metal.

Ready-Made Installation

With a few common tools, you can install your own crawl space door using the following steps:

Gather your tools. You will need:

  • Power drill with screw-tip attachment
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Steel putty knife
  • Sharpie marker
  • 1-inch galvanized screws
  • 3/16-inch carbide drill bit
  • 3/16-inch masonry anchors
  • Screwdriver
  1. Measure crawl-space opening. Measure inside faces only, including height and width.
  2. Purchase door and frame. Open packaging, remove hardware and read instructions carefully.
  3. Clean opening. Using metal putty knife, knock away any dirt or mud and smooth face edges.
  4. Separate frame from door. Place frame in opening and match manufacturer’s drill holes to marks on your face.
  5. Drill holes. Using your 3/16-inch drill bits, drill holes where marked.
  6. Install 3/16-inch anchors. Place one in each hole and tap with your hammer so the ends are flush with your opening.
  7. Install frame. Switch drill to screw-tip and drive 1-inch screws into each hold, securing the frame.
  8. Place door into frame. Secure tightly with the screwdriver, and check by hand for a tight seal.

Custom-Made Installation

If your crawl space access area is irregularly shaped or has dimensions not easily found in the ready-made door market, don’t worry! With approximately the same tools listed above plus a saw, plywood and stain or paint, you can build your own crawl space door.

  • Gather your tools. You will need:
  • Saw
  • Plywood
  • 1-inch galvanized screws
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Sharpie marker
  • Tape measure
  • Two hinges
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain or paint
  1. Measure crawl space opening. Measure inside faces only, height and width. In order to assure a tight fit, err on the side of slightly larger.
  2. Cut door. Trace your measurements on a sheet of plywood and use saw to cut along the lines.
  3. Sand opening and door edges. Sandpaper is key, and the reason you erred on the larger side when measuring. A little at a time, sand door to fit into your irregular-dimensioned opening snugly.
  4. Paint or stain. This adds a nice finishing touch, if desired.
  5. Attach hinges and latch. The door should always open toward you and close firmly. Consider buying an additional padlock for the latch if you have pet or safety concerns.

Now that your crawl space is encapsulated with a snug and secure door, remember that one of its main purposes is to maintain an all-important barrier of dryness.

The Finishing Touches

Crawl space door insulation has two components: weatherstripping and insulation. The first takes advantage of that tight seal you worked so hard to create. Protect and enhance it with weatherstripping around the edges of both sides.

Weatherstrip. This is a cost-effective and, compared to that door you’ve just installed, simple task. Sealing can be purchased as self-adhesive rubber or tape. Clean and wipe down door edges with rubbing alcohol before installation to assure long-lasting stick.

Insulate. Not only does this final step assure moisture control, but it also enhances the overall energy-efficiency of your home. You will need:  

  • 1-inch insulation board
  • Expanding foam
  • Screwdriver
  • Sharpie marker
  • Screws with washers
  • Putty or utility knife
  • Cut the insulation board. This will only be placed on the inside of your door. You already have the measurements — simply allow for hinge cut-ins.
  • Use expanding foam. This will glue the board onto the door.
  • Install several screws with washers. When placed along regular intervals, they help hold the board in place while the foam dries.

Now that you’ve independently and effectively tackled your crawl-space door issue, go ahead and claim bragging rights to that now-grown brother of yours. Perhaps you can torment him still!

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Crawl Space Door Options for Your Home
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Crawl Space Door Options for Your Home
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Crawl-space enclosure and maintenance is vital to the structural integrity of your home. Learn how a crawl space door can help, and what your options are.
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Your Wild Home
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Megan

Editor at Your Wild Home
Hey! I'm Megan. I am a dog-lover and enjoy exploring the outdoors. Your Wild Home covers a lot of topics, including (but not limited to) home improvement, home decor, construction, real estate, and sustainability. I enjoy writing in third-person and I am addicted to chocolate, coffee, and terrible puns. Learn more on my About Me page!
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