Should you allow air flow through a crawl space with a dirt floor?

Amber Murray Aug. 17, 2020Updated: Sept. 25, 2020


We own an 800square foot cabin in Northern Saskatchewan that is not winterized. The foundation was originally on concrete blocks so we had it lifted and put on screw piles. When it was lifted the new crawl space was sheeted with plywood and poly was layed on the dirt floor. The contractor's then placed pink insulation on top of the poly. We have a lot of moisture down there as the temperatures reach -40 in the winter and then the ground thaws in the summer.  We do not have constant power, so a dehumidifier is not an option. Our cabin's floor is shifting and possibly heaving in sections. To make matters more difficult the contractors dropped the cabin when lifting it. My question is could the plywood sheeting covering in the crawl space be removed so that air can circulate underneath the cabin? If it is best to remove the sheeting what would your suggestion be for insulating the floor from below? We are thinking spray foam? Then would you put plywood to cover that for extra protection from critters?  Thank you


Responses (3)

Amber Murray 2 years ago

Hello Mike,

Thank you so much for your response.  Yes it is now flat ground underneath the cabin and has about 2 feet between the ground and the floor joists. It was insulated plywood walls however over time the critters have gotten into the insulation as well as moisture and most of it has disintegrated or disappeared.  We were all thinking exactly as you said "it doesn't need to be a crawl space". We close the cabin in the winter and it stays empty for the cold winter months.  Thank you so much for your response and guidance. I believe we will take down the plywood walls, insulate the floor and cover it with plywood. We will then put lattice as you have suggested.  Thank you


Mike Reynolds 2 years ago

Hi Amber, you're very welcome, glad the input it helped!