Covering Basement Crawl Space Floor With Plastic Vapor Barrier


Aug 1, 2020
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I kind of got ahead of myself with this project. I have been doing something, sitting and thinking about it, then doing something again, thinking and on and on. One thing leads to another and I find myself laying on my back looking up at the floor joists. Last night I did just that – wondering, “How did I get here?”


This post is part of a series about me fixing my wet basement crawl space. Read all the posts by clicking the links below. They're super exciting.

Installing a Sump Pump in a Crawl Space
Covering Basement Crawl Space Floor With Plastic Vapor Barrier
Filling In a Basement Crawl Space
I Finally Filled the Basement Crawlspace with Sand
Encapsulating a Crawl Space is the Only Way to Go


All right. I know I already showed you that small section of basement that leads to the dirt crawl space. The one that filled with water a few days ago. I’ve been thinking about that small section for a while now and wanted to do something to it that would allow me to be elevated enough as to not have to walk in the mud anymore. I initially was going to put gravel down there and cover the gravel with plastic. Then, I remembered that we have about a zillion pavers out back. I decided to use the pavers instead.


As you can see, the pavers keep me above the wet floor below. Eventually, I’ll cover the pavers with plastic to keep the moisture down.

Let me tell you something about these pavers. Holy cow they are heavy. It took about eight trips carrying two 5-gallon buckets each. Each bucket held ten pavers and weighed a hundred pounds. I swear. Carrying the buckets from the back yard, through the snow, into the basement was a workout I’d rather forget. But at least it’s done.

After I finished up laying the pavers on the floor, I thought I’d have a little fun digging a short trench from the side wall to the sump pump. By doing this, I let in a bunch more water that was just sitting there. Eventually, I’m going to have to dig a trench around the whole footer, but for now, what I did yesterday will suffice.


I think my plan was to get as much standing water out of the basement so I could lay the plastic vapor barrier. I knew the barrier wouldn’t be air tight – that wasn’t the plan. All I wanted to do was to cover as much dirt as I could, until I’m ready to do a more thorough job.





I believe I achieved my objective. I covered about 95% of moisture releasing earth. There’s already a big difference upstairs. Things seem to be more dry. What’s to do next?

1. Dig trench around entire crawl space.
2. Lay 2″ or 3″ perforated pipe in trench.
3. Cover pipe and trench with gravel.
4. Buy more plastic and adhere it to the cement block walls.
5. Tape all seams in plastic on floor.
6. Tape all seems from wall plastic to floor plastic.
7. Basically, encapsulate entire moisture releasing area.
8. Have a beer.

This all can be done next Summer. That is, of course, unless I become motivated before then. Remember, I wasn’t going to cover the floor until next Summer and I did that yesterday.
Covering Basement Crawl Space Floor With Plastic Vapor Barrier was posted on 08-19-2021 by CampFireJack in the Home Forum forum.

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