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Offline davehog

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crawl space question
« on: December 27, 2006, 08:55:00 AM »

Purchased a home with Pier and Beam construction, what is the best way to shore up my crawl space? 

Need to keep the moisture down and the bugs out... 


Offline Animal

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2006, 11:44:03 AM »
What do you mean by "shore up" are you talking structurally?



In terms of moisture a lot of people will put down sand and plastic or just the heavy black plastic. Some will create a sealed vapor barrier witch would save you money on energy costs. In the early 1950s crawlspace foundation vents were introduced to eliminate humidity in crawlspaces. Over time contractors and inspectors realized the vents that were installed to remove humidity in fact helped to increase the humidity level in most crawlspaces. They allow hot humid air in the summer months to enter the cool environment of a crawlspace. The humid air would condense and create higher humidity levels under your home. This would eventually lead to mold and fungus growth. Now building codes are changing to allow builders to construct conditioned crawlspaces without crawlspace foundation vents. Conditioning the crawlspace is the practice of removing all components that cause moisture. ie: leaking pipes, broken dryer vents, ground water entering through the foundation, etc. A proper vapor barrier needs to be installed to prevent moisture from evaporating from the soil into the home. After the clean space has been created the air in the crawlspace can be conditioned by one of several different ways depending on the crawlspaces individual situation. All components need to be in place or the desired results will not be achieved 


Offline davehog

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2006, 01:17:36 PM »

I basically have a blank canvas:

House built in 1975
Dirt floor
Small section subfloor had to be replaced because of rot
Open vents

There is a musty smell every once in a while after a hard rain.  Have read about "sealing the crawl space".  Is this something I can do on my own with the vapor barrier, sealing the vents and the access door or should I shell out the thousands of dollars to have this done.

I'm almost as cheap as Pharmhog so the more I can do myself the better. 


Offline Animal

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2006, 02:44:13 PM »
I basically have a blank canvas:

House built in 1975
Dirt floor
Small section subfloor had to be replaced because of rot
Open vents

There is a musty smell every once in a while after a hard rain.  Have read about "sealing the crawl space".  Is this something I can do on my own with the vapor barrier, sealing the vents and the access door or should I shell out the thousands of dollars to have this done.

I'm almost as cheap as Pharmhog so the more I can do myself the better. 

I don't know all the details to how it is done but I do know that you can google "sealed vapor barriers" and get a bunch of information. I understand the most popular way to do it is to spray foam insulation up into the floor joists and also on the outer blocks around the perimeter of the home with a tightly sealed & insulated access door with a thick plastic canvas or equivilant rolled out on the floor also taking into account each individual pier so to seal around each one. To start this process you must first acess if there are various water sources that would need to be corrected or you are basically wasting your time. Ground Source water is the tough one that might require a great deal of work, I would presume most people just deal with it and seal over top of it as if you were building a small pond the vapor barrier will do the rest.

No doubt the best time to have done this was back in 1975 when they were building the house but hardly anyone did that back then, hell hardly anyone does it today either. Pier and Beem construction isn't overly popular, especially in Arkansas. I do know that Kim Hanke's house has it, because I've crawed all over that bastard, and each wing of the house has been sealed in partitions underneith with one way in. Of course he probably paid somebody $50,000 for that bullshit too.


Offline DRod70

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2006, 08:36:46 PM »


I'm almost as cheap as Pharmhog so the more I can do myself the better. 

 ;D


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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2018, 07:54:40 PM »
I've recently gotten water in my crawl space, presumably from heavy rains.   There is no standing water, just moist soil.   However, it is only moist in part of the crawl space.   In the other part of the crawlspace the dirt is bone dry.

What is the best way to remove the moisture from the soil?

My first thought was renting a large humidifier from Home Depot.

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Offline razorwire

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2018, 08:57:59 AM »
I live bout three miles from the ocean on the east coast in Game-Chicken country.   Our house is on a +18 inch crawl space.  Had to replace my package unit HVAC after Mathew.  It had been sitting on a small fiberglass platform on the ground and water got in the unit.  It still worked.  However, I decide to replace it.  Built a masonry and treated wood platform approximately 14 inches above ground immediately in front of the old unit.  Old and new duct work were/are under the house.  The crawl space regularly gets water in it from heavy rains and seasonal high water table.  Have two Wayne sump pumps that turn on automatically when they have water to pump.

While installing the new unit and new sump pumps, the HVAC Contractor talked me into sealing off the crawl space.  Seemed like a good idea at the time so agreed to do it.  Since the space was sealed off, the house squeaks (not in a good way) due to the change in moisture in the sub-floor.  Carpet has more ridges.  Had a long time local structural contractor crawl under the house to check out some wood where the original air handler had been located.  He stated that he does not like or recommend sealing off crawl spaces in our area.  He suggested keeping the air vents open year round (unless there is going to be a severe freeze).  Apparently, the floor joist wood absorbs some moisture initially and then stops doing so over time.

Our house originally had fans mounted in two of the air vent holes when we bought it.  When they stopped working, I was going to replace them; but, I did not after the space was sealed.

Suggest you get more that one opinion from some long time builders in your area before sealing off the space.  Also, talk to your termite guy/gal and your HVAC Contractor.         
       


Offline goporkyourself

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2018, 09:04:09 AM »
this is a topic with a lot of different opinions.

also, yes, a dehumidifier will probably do what you need.

i have a large crawlspace with a sump pump and a corner that still gets wets in very hard rains.

i think the main issue is to have some plastic down covering the ground. i've also had a couple builders in there to look at it and basically say it looks fine with the plastic laid out.


Offline razorwire

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2018, 09:08:11 AM »
this is a topic with a lot of different opinions.

also, yes, a dehumidifier will probably do what you need.

i have a large crawlspace with a sump pump and a corner that still gets wets in very hard rains.

i think the main issue is to have some plastic down covering the ground. i've also had a couple builders in there to look at it and basically say it looks fine with the plastic laid out.
Oh, I forgot.  I had one of those installed also when I sealed off the space.  Can tell the whole house is drier. 


Offline Animal

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crawl space question
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2018, 10:10:51 AM »
The house drying out and warping is because the damage was already done. Prob could have slowly dried it out instead of more rapidly.

Sealing it off from the jump is good policy. For temporary measures a sump, dehumidifier, forced air cross ventilation will help.

We have had a rash of this shit in Arkansas. Crappy duct work, water under houses...no vapor barrier. Had one this summer where it was raining under the house...the condensation had soaked the floor joists. It needed new duct work, vapor barrier, and upon doing the ducts a sprinkler came on and water went everywhere so that was the main source of the problem.

Crawl Space Solutions of Arkansas supposedly does real good work.

EDIT: adding a couple more names. I thought there as a company in Cabot that does this but can’t find them now.

Superior Crawl Spaces (Little Rock)

Harris Insulation could be of help as well. 

« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 01:21:21 PM by Animal »

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2018, 12:59:44 PM »


Crawl Space Solutions of Arkansas supposedly does real good work.

Thanks!

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2018, 01:02:47 PM »
Also, their is a vapor barrier under the house, though it doesn't cover the entire floor.   The wet portion of the crawl space is under part of the vapor barrier.   I'm guessing I'll probably need to remove the existing barrier and replace it.

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Offline PigHair

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2018, 01:08:41 PM »
I can second crawl space solutions. They seal it all off and place a dehumidifier or a sump pump or both depending on what you need. It isn't cheap, but it cleans it up and dries it out.


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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2018, 12:04:34 PM »
Called crawl space solutions.   They won't be able to to make it out till the end of the month.

I asked him if there was anything I could do in the mean time(dehumidifier, fan with the dry, cool air coming in this weekend) he said neither were a good idea right now.   Seemed odd, but ok.

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Offline wvhawgfan

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2018, 11:12:55 PM »
The house drying out and warping is because the damage was already done. Prob could have slowly dried it out instead of more rapidly.

Sealing it off from the jump is good policy. For temporary measures a sump, dehumidifier, forced air cross ventilation will help.

We have had a rash of this shit in Arkansas. Crappy duct work, water under houses...no vapor barrier. Had one this summer where it was raining under the house...the condensation had soaked the floor joists. It needed new duct work, vapor barrier, and upon doing the ducts a sprinkler came on and water went everywhere so that was the main source of the problem.

Crawl Space Solutions of Arkansas supposedly does real good work.

EDIT: adding a couple more names. I thought there as a company in Cabot that does this but can’t find them now.

Superior Crawl Spaces (Little Rock)

Harris Insulation could be of help as well.
You'd be more of an expert than me, but if you have a crawl space with natural ventilation (vents) and a proper moisture barrier, why not let it normalize naturally rather than sealing it off and trying to normalize it via mechanical means. Other than your an HVAC contractor? joking


Offline goporkyourself

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2018, 12:45:17 PM »
i read a bunch of different opinions about this topic and it seems pretty varied among the experts.

crawlspace solutions will most definitely sell you something better than what you have. kind of like anyone else that is selling a product. how much you "need" it is the real question.

update with what they propose as i may look to upgrade my crawlspace at some point but i don't want to go crazy with it.


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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2018, 05:11:51 PM »
i read a bunch of different opinions about this topic and it seems pretty varied among the experts.

crawlspace solutions will most definitely sell you something better than what you have. kind of like anyone else that is selling a product. how much you "need" it is the real question.

update with what they propose as i may look to upgrade my crawlspace at some point but i don't want to go crazy with it.

Yeah, we had no signs of mold when our house was inspected 4 years ago.

It seems to me I would just need to dry out the existing crawl space, add gutters and perhaps a French drain.

I'll report back when they make it out here on Oct 29.

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Offline PHARMHOG

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2018, 09:30:24 PM »
I hate crawl spaces and ground water.

1 - Moisture Barrier
2 - Vents for airflow
3 - French drains and rerouting subterranean water#
4 - Create an exit for standing water
5 - Seal subfloor
6 - down spout rerouters
7 - check sprinkler system
8 - reshim piers
9 - gutters

Here is where it gets expensive:
1 - if on a grade...digging down to sub grade and putting in French drains
2 - pier repair/replacement/new adds
3 - foundation wall stabilization (Check with RamJack $700 core drilled pier)

Pleeeeasse don't report me to the moderator.

Offline razorwire

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2018, 08:28:59 AM »
Sometimes a Trench Drain instead of a French Drain is all you need to drop the seasonal high water table.  Trench does not have a drain pipe connected to an off site ditch, etc.  Basically, a trench lined with filter fabric and filled with gravel. 


Offline 1st_down_streak

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2018, 11:15:19 AM »
We have slab here but I bought a rollout downspout extender from rainguard USA to keep water from running into the covered area of the patio. Basically a 24' tube of heavy plastic that you zip tie around the downspout. Simple yet effective. Just roll it back up when the rain stops.

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Offline iNOVAhog

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2018, 02:21:54 PM »
I happened to install a dehumidifier in my ancient cellar/crawlspace a month ago.  I connected the outlet to a condensate pump using a plastic tube.

One day, I hire a contractor to clean up down there and make it tight and dry with vapor barriers and fresh insulation.


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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2018, 08:30:02 PM »
Crawl Space solutions came out and said it is definitely water entering from the outside.   They recommend full encapsulationand a dehumidifier with drainage matting underneath.   They also said there shouldn't be fiber glass insulation in there and instead I could choose to use R board on the walls.   Additionally, he said a stone fireplace I had installed last year was sufficiently supported (it had footers but no header, I believe) and recommended a smart jack system.

All in, it's about $10,500.

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Offline PigHair

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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2018, 09:56:31 PM »
Crawl Space solutions came out and said it is definitely water entering from the outside.   They recommend full encapsulationand a dehumidifier with drainage matting underneath.   They also said there shouldn't be fiber glass insulation in there and instead I could choose to use R board on the walls.   Additionally, he said a stone fireplace I had installed last year was sufficiently supported (it had footers but no header, I believe) and recommended a smart jack system.

All in, it's about $10,500.

How many square feet are they encapsulating?  Sump pump too or just dehumidifier?


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Re: crawl space question
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2018, 10:10:44 PM »
In the line item break down it lists condensation pump, but I assumed that was for the dehumidifier and not a listing for a sum pump.   I could definitely be wrong.

It's a little less than 1600 sq ft of crawl space.

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