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Decay and permeability tests of sheet materials used as soil covers in basementless houses

Madison, Wis. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
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DECAY AND PERMEAMILITY TESTS CU SHEET MATERIALS USED AS SOIL COVERS IN EASEMENTLIESS MUSES May 1955 CraILV No. 2007 UNITED STATESLDEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOREST SERVICE FOREST PRODUCTS LABORATORY Madison 5, Wisconsin In Cooperation with the University of Wisconsin DECAY AND PERMEABILITY TESTS OF SHEET MATERIALS USED AS SOIL COVERS IN BASEMENTLESS HOUSES By C.'S. MOSES, Pathologist 1 2Forest Products Laboratory,-,-- Forest Service U. S. Department of Agriculture Summary Eleven samples of sheet materials used or proposed for use as soil covers in basementless houses were tested for decay resistance. Only asbestos- fibered specimens were free from fungus attack,but on the basis of the test and experience, asphalt roll roofings of other fibers and in weights of 45 pounds and over were also judged adequate to serve as soil covers. The water vapor transmission of artificially and naturally infected sam- ples of roll roofing was tested by conventional and simplified tech- niques.' No important increases in permeance were found to result from fungus attack. Introduction The use of 55-pound roll roofing on the soil under basementless houses has been recommended as one means of keeping wood subfloor structures Maintained at Madison, Wis., in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin. 2 -Part of the research on this project was performed under the Housing Research Program of the Office of the Administrator, Housing and Home Finance Agency. • • Report No. 2007 -1- Agriculture-Madison too dry to decay.2 In this use, the roll roofing acts as a vapor bar- rier, preventing soil moisture in the form of water vapor from invading the crawl space where it can condense on and be absorbed by the wood. Wood with a moisture content of 20 percent or less will not decay. Other materials have also been proposed and used as soil covers, and records areavailable concerning their efficiency over a 5-year period.1 Roll roofing and other sheet materials used as soil c

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