LESLIE: Anna in Alaska is working on a flooring project. How can we help you with that?
ANNA: Well, my husband and I are building a house out-of-pocket. It will be our first home and so far we have a cement block or concrete wall that’s about 40 inches tall and we’re building the floor on top of that. But underneath, it’s going to be either gravel clay pad or cemented. And we’ve gotten a lot of advice from different people that are just really conflicting, so we’re not really quite sure what we should go with.
TOM: Alright, so you’re talking about the crawlspace floor itself?
TOM: OK. Well, do you want to use it for storage?
ANNA: Eventually, yes.
TOM: Well, I think that putting what’s called a dust cover in there, which is a very thin concrete slab, is a very nice, clean way to do that. Typically, you’re going to put down some plastic first and then you would pour the concrete on top of that.
Now, you know, depending on how you do it, if it’s a large space, you may want to break it up by using expansion joints so that it kind of moves independently. Because if you – it depends on how thick you make it. If you make it fairly thick and if you reinforce it like a regular slab, you don’t have to worry about cracking. But if you’re going to put a very thin dust cover about two inches thick on it, if you can break it up into sections, you’ll find that it’ll stay intact for a lot longer period of time.
ANNA: OK. And so that would probably help with permafrost then, huh?
TOM: Well, not necessarily. I mean the temperature is going to be the temperature but you do want to insulate the sides of it above grade. So you would insulate the sides above grade and you would insulate, of course, the box beam of the house, as well.
ANNA: OK. That’s very helpful. Thank you.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Glad we could help you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT and as you proceed with the house build, please do call back and let us know how it’s going.