Some commercial buildings have crawl spaces because they suck water vapor efficiently and allow air to circulate underneath the building. Usually, they install a crawl space fan with a humidistat to further help with the circulation or flood flaps to let water escape. In some cases, the crawl spaces may need maintenance or repairs, and the only way they can gain access is when the contractors install an interior crawl space access door.
Even if you don't have a crawl space yet, you can hire a contractor to install one. Unfortunately, it can get expensive hiring one, but no need to fret because you can do the installation by yourself. You don't need to have too much experience installing them-- you only need to read this article, and you will be good to go!
Why You Need a Crawl Space Access Door
As mentioned a while ago, buildings that have crawl spaces will need a crawl space access door so that you can enter areas below ground level. This part of the building is small and tight, so you have no other choice but to crawl to get to the components, including plumbing pipes, electrical wires, or even eliminate pests. During heavy rain, the crawl space can flood, so building owners will need engineered flood vents to eliminate excess water.
There are many reasons to get a crawl space access door (aside from providing easy access to your crawl space). Some building owners turn their crawl spaces into storage areas. If you want to follow their lead, you can store hazardous supplies in the crawl space since the access door can ensure that no unauthorized person can come into contact with them. If there are children present in the building, expect not to have fatal accidents from happening.
Now that you know the importance of a crawl space access door, it's time for you to learn how to install crawl space access doors.
1. Choosing the Area to Install the Access Door
Before anything else, you have to be sure where to install the exterior crawl space access door. Most of the time, contractors will create an opening to the crawl space so that you don't have to make one anymore. But if you don't find any opening, you have to create one.
When looking for an area where to create an opening, a good tip is to choose an inconspicuous area, such as the building's rear. You should also ensure that the location does not have any shrubbery or weeds growing so that there's no obstruction when you enter the crawl space. When you're creating an opening on a concrete foundation, you should use a masonry blade on a circular saw to quickly cut the lined area. Don't forget to take precise measurements of the access space before you cut anything.
2. Choosing the Crawl Space Access Door
When talking about crawl space doors, Lowes will probably be the first stop to come to mind. However, there are plenty of other reliable suppliers like Best Access Doors. Regardless of where you can buy the access door, you should first keep in mind at least a few things so that you get the right one.
- Interior or Exterior Access Doors?
Once you decide on your budget, it is time to determine if you need an exterior or interior crawl space door cover. If you plan on choosing an exterior door, you should choose one that can hold out against harsh weather elements. Failing to select the right one can cause problems with the door quickly. Whereas if you choose interior access doors, you can select all-purpose materials to get the job done. You can find the plastic, coated aluminum, or even the metal crawl space door.
- Know the Costs of Crawl Space Access Doors
The most significant difference between the two doors is that the interior access door is relatively cheaper than the exterior one. When you decide on buying a more affordable access door, you should still consider whether it will last long or not.
- Do You Need Locks?
You may have important things stored in the crawl space, and installing an access door without a lock is dangerous. Adding a lock might add more to your expenses, but it can provide security.
3. Setting Up the Frame
When you purchase the crawlspace door, it should include the latch, frame, hinges, and a key lock.
You should use the frame provided with the door. And if not, you can set up your frame using a treated 2 x 4 framing.
During the frame assembly, you need to build the bottom first. You need to cut and measure the frame to ensure it fits tightly between the wall openings. It would be best to have the top frame fit the two jambs tightly between them.
Finally, use a masonry drill to secure the frame on the foundation using the masonry screws.
4. Install the Latch and Hinges
Ensure you place the hinges on each end of the door and that they are facing outwards. It will let the door swing in the proper direction. Next is to attach and center the latch to the other side of the door.
5. Install the Door Lock
If you want a secure crawl space cover, Lowes, Best Access Doors, and other suppliers often offer padlock or a standard screwdriver lock. But if it doesn't come with a lock, you should install a latch to ensure you secure your crawl space.
6. Install the Door to the Frame
Lastly, fit the door to the frame precisely by marking the frame with a pencil where the latch and hinges will go. When fitting the door, use a screwdriver to drill the guide holes. Slowly place the door with the guide holes and screw them in place. Once you finish it, you finally have a crawl space access door.
After reading the entire article, you won't have any problems with the installation any more. If you need foundation vent covers, you can purchase them from Best Access Doors. We guarantee you our products are high-quality!
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