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A damp crawlspace
A thick vapor barrier and radon vent pipe keep soil gases out of the home.
Any holes through the vapor barrier installed over the basement floor slab are thoroughly sealed as part of the foundation water barrier system.
Basement slab w/ capillary break
Between the ICF foundation walls, the builder sprayed closed-cell spray foam directly onto the gravel base to provide a vapor barrier and continuous layer of insulation under the slab.
Capillary break at all crawlspace floors using ≥ 6 mil polyethylene sheeting, lapped 6-12 in., and placed beneath a concrete slab
Capillary break beneath all slabs (e.g., slab on grade, basement slab) except crawlspace slabs using either: ≥ 6 mil polyethylene sheeting lapped 6-12 in., or ≥ 1 in. extruded polystyrene insulation with taped joints
Comprehensive water management features include a capillary break (≥ 6-mil polyethylene sheeting) at all crawlspace floors
Concrete slab over polyethylene sheeting as capillary break
Easy access
For slabs on grade in CZ 4 and higher, 100% of slab edge insulated to ≥ R-5 at the depth specified by the 2009 IECC and aligned with thermal boundary of the walls
Four inches of rigid foam separate the concrete slab from the ground and the foundation walls.
Hot water recirculation loop runs through an insulated pipe under the home’s concrete slab.
ICF foundation walls wrap the floor slab in R-22 of insulation while the entire space under the slab is covered with 4.3 inches of closed-cell spray foam.
 Impervious surfaces like patio slabs, sidewalks, and driveways that are within 10 feet of the home should slope away from the house.
Lapped and taped polyethylene sheeting
Monolithic slab with a grade beam
Patio slabs, porch slabs, walks, and driveways sloped ≥ 0.25 in. per ft. away from home to edge of surface, or 10 ft., whichever is less
Polyethylene sheeting or rigid insulation over aggregate
Polyethylene sheeting or rigid insulation over geotextile matting
Pouring the slab
Properly installed rigid insulation
Properly installed vapor barrier
Right – Driveway is installed to slope water away from the house
Right – Slab insulation does not extend to the top of the slab
Right – Slab insulation extends to the top of the slab
Right – Slab insulation extends to the top of the slab
Right – The drain slopes away from the foundation and terminates at the proper distance
Right – The final grade slopes away from the house
Rigid foam extends under the full slab and lines the inside edges of the foundation walls.
Rigid foam wraps the exterior of the foundation slab.
Slab independent of foundation wall
Standing water around the home
Taping polyethylene sheeting at interior pier footings
The basement is constructed with pre-cast concrete walls lined with R-21.3 foil-faced rigid foam while an R-10 layer of XPS rigid foam covers the ground under the slab.
The basement slab is wrapped in a blanket of insulation including R-27 of closed-cell spray foam under the slab and R-22 ICF blocks wrapping the slab edges.
The builder laid down a 4-inch base of aggregate rock, then covered that with a plastic vapor barrier that is taped at all seams and around all penetrations before installing the rigid foam under-slab insulation.
The builder’s crews spray foam directly onto the ground to provide a vapor barrier and insulation layer under the slab.
The final grade around the house slopes away to prevent water from accumulating at the foundation.
The floor slab is completely insulated with ICF foundation walls and R-20 (3 inches) of closed-cell foam that is sprayed directly onto the ground before pouring the slab.
The foundation walls are ICF block providing two continuous layers (R-23) of insulation around the slab, which will sit on an additional 4 inches (R-20) of low-VOC EPS foam.
The Habitat affiliate makes its own “ICF” foundation walls with rigid foam held in place with wood spacers.
The home’s slab-on-grade foundation is wrapped in a blanket of rigid foam extending completely under the slab and along the edges.
The seams of the rigid insulation are not taped and it will not provide a complete capillary break
There is 6 mil. polyethylene sheeting installed and sealed in the crawlspace
There is no polyethylene sheeting installed between the ground and the slab
There is no polyethylene sheeting installed in the crawlspace
There is polyethylene sheeting installed to provide a capillary break between the ground and slab
To help keep the monolithic slab-on-grade foundation dry, the site’s surfaces is graded away from the structure, the slab is poured on a bed of gravel, and using a vapor barrier will separate the foundation from the sill plates.
Trapezoid swale design
Two inches (R-10) of rigid foam line the interior of the perimeter footing walls before the post-tensioned slab is poured.
Water intrusion
Well insulated slab
When adding an addition to an existing home, the new construction must meet current code.
Wrong – Drain pipe has been cut and foundation penetration has not been properly sealed
Wrong – Driveway is not sloped away from the house
Wrong – No polyethylene sheeting vapor barrier is installed on the crawlspace floor
Wrong – Slab insulation does not extend to the top of the slab
Wrong – The final grade does not slope away from the house
Wrong – The footing drain pipe should end at least 10 feet from the foundation if above ground or should drain into a drywell or storm sewer.