I have a 1923 bungalow with an elevated front porch, and the front half of
the house has only wooden lattice panels (set into concrete framing) between
the outside and the crawlspace. I was told that to keep "critters" out to
and to protect an exposed water pipe that is just inches below the floor
near the front of the house from the cold, I should attach plywood behind
the lattice panels. Of course, I would also need to put vents in the panels
as well so that they can "breathe".
Does this seem logical? I seem to see lots of houses with only wooden
lattice work covering the crawlspace, and wouldn't there be another way to
protect the exposed water pipe like insulating it and using that "electric
tape" I've heard about that can keep the water from freezing...?
Thanks for any advice/ideas you may have...
Nothing you've described in the way of changes would do much for
the cold exposure for the pipes. Have you ever had problems with
those pipes freezing? If not, the old saying applies: "if it
Critters are likely already being kept out by the lattice, as long
as it has no major holes or doesn't stop way too short of reaching
the ground. If it -looks- like it's providing a good fence, then
it likely is.
Adding plywood, venting it, and (uggg) maintaining it, would be a
whole lot of bother for no substantial gain, IMHO.
Might be worth asking the vendor, if you can, if they did/do anything special.
Opening it and adding some insulation might be a good plan, as might
the heat tape.
Inspecting the crawlspace isn't a bad idea either.
http://inquisitor.i.am/ | mailto: email@example.com | Ian Stirling.
A pier house, huh? (at least the original part). You down south, by any
chance? What you describe is quite common down there, since it almost never
freezes hard enough to overcome the heat leakage from the occupied space
above. When a freeze is predicted, they crack the faucets a little. I
wouldn't lose much sleep over it all, unless you see evidence of prior leaks
and repairs. Maybe a themostat-controlled heat tape on the feed lines? Drain
lines are seldom a problem, since they are seldom full. You could box in the
plumbing lines with plywood lined with foil-face styrofoam, and add a
lightbulb for heat, or tie them into the heated space.
But as others have said, yes, you do need to put on a jumpsuit, goggles,
and gloves, and get under there with a good droplight, and see what is going
on, and who is living there. I used to get that duty as a kid, and sometimes
there are AMAZING things tucked away and forgotten down there. If there is
old or new water damage, it should be readily apparent. Take a long sharp
screwdriver with you to poke at any wood or metal that is a different color
from that around it. If anything is rotten, it will be pretty obvious.
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