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Professor85

07:32PM | 04/19/00
Member Since: 04/18/00
1 lifetime posts
Bvbasement
We are having some crawl space problems... Our house was built in the late 1800's and has a crawl space under the main portion of the house and a "cellar" under an addition that was made at a later date... we are having some problems with wetness, mold, mildew, fungus, etc. A family member became very ill after working in the crawl space trying to jack the house up -- it is so wet down there that we have to try to fix the wetness problem before we can continue to jack the house up ---

Does anybody have any ideas? Is it best to run a footer tile? Any ideas where we can located crawl space vents that are electric and open automatically depending on the outside temp. (they have been recommended to us)?

Thanks

Mark

rpxlpx

07:43AM | 07/12/00
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
This reply is long after the post, but maybe will help. First of all, you can get temperature-sensitive vents that don't require electricity. (I don't know how reliable they are.) But I suggest your first step is to put down a layer of plastic sheet in the floor of the crawl space. It's cheap and will make a HUGE difference in the humidity level. At Lowes they sell a 6-mil box of plastic sheet that will do most houses for around $20.
As to how to get rid of the mold & mildew, I don't know how professionals do it, but after you have reduced the humidity level, try a couple of sun lamps. The UV light should help a lot. Be careful the bulbs aren't too close to anything flammable.

The Insulator

08:09AM | 07/13/00
Member Since: 01/25/00
14 lifetime posts
To prevent mold, mildew, etc. you needto prevent moisture from getting into your crawlspace.
The first area to address is ground moisture. Be sure that there is not water leaking in through the foundation. verify that the foundation is relatively water tight & rain water is directed away from the building. Also put a vapor barrier (Like poly sheeting) over as much of the ground as you can.
The second area to manage is airborn moisture. The common solution has been to vent a crawlspace to the outside air, reasoning that the outside air will dry the crawlspace. The fact is, however, that under most circumstances the reverse is true. This is because the crawlspace is cool, it's temperature being governed by ground temperature & the outside air is warmer & more humid. The result then being that once the hot humid air enters the cooler crawlspace, rather than picking up moisture, it cools, causing condensation, incrasing the dampness. The best solution is always to prevent the moisture from entering the crawlspace. Don't add vents & whatever vents are there, seal shut. Depending on your climate, you may also consider insulating the perimeter foundation walls, perhaps with styrofoam. If it's not a straight foundation wall, you may also consider something like spray-on foam.
Once you have isolated the crawlspace from the outside enviroments, you may need to include the crawlspace in your house's air management system (Heat & AC). In your case be careful. Because of the health problems already experienced, be sure that you are completely seperated from the damp ground.

The Insulator

crawlspace

01:31PM | 07/26/00
Member Since: 07/25/00
3 lifetime posts
Your mention of someone getting sick after working in the crawlspace is something that people have to start becoming aware of.
My company deals with these problems. You should look in the yellowpages under concrete pumping contractors or waterproofing contractors. Your house sounds like a drain-tile system covered in clean stone, with a 6 mil vapor barrier, and a 3" thick concrete floor would take care of the problem and give you usable storage space.
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