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johnalee

12:08PM | 05/28/06
Member Since: 05/27/06
1 lifetime posts
Bvbasement
I have a house built in the mid 1800's that my wife and I renovated about ten years ago. Below the house we have about four feet of crawl space. We noticed mold growing on the bottom of the floor last year. At that time we vented the foundation on all four sides. The groung is dry and has plastic on top of the dirt(changed that out when we vented it). The mold got better when we put the foundation vents in but is there again. We are also having problems with the duct work under the house; a few of the ducts have fallen off of the vents and the guy that put the last one up said that they were wet event though the ground is not.

My questions are:

(1) What should one do to get rid of the mold?

(2) Could the problems with the shotty duct be causing the mold and cooling problems that we are discovering this spring?

thank you,

John

Billhart

02:48PM | 05/28/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1916 lifetime posts
You did not give you location (climate).

But most likely you are getting moist warm outside air in and it is condensing on the cool ducts.

Moiture can also be coming in through the foundation walls.

And even "dry" soil can release a lot of moisture.

The vapor barrier needs to be SEALED.

And block up the vents.

Do a google for Conditioned Crawlspace or Sealed Crawlspace you will find lots of info.

Here are a couple of links.

http://www.buildingscience.com/designsthatwork/mixedhumid/profiles/charlotte.htm

http://www.buildingscience.com/resources/foundations/default.htm


Glenn Good

01:08PM | 09/29/06
Member Since: 09/10/03
314 lifetime posts
Beware of closed or sealed crawl spaces. While they can and do work very well in some instances there is the potential for serious problems if the work is not done properly. You must also beware if your HVAC unit is under the house or if a water heater using combustible fuel is located under the house. A closed or sealed crawl space can be very dangerous if either of these conditions are encountered.

Another less expensive and easier solution could be to insure your ducts are well insulated and sealed under the house. This will keep the condensation out of the ductwork.

Sealed and closed crawlspaces are still relatively new and only expert installation is recommended by companies specializing in there installation. There are a great many variables that can affect their effectiveness and safety.

Glenn

Moderator: Construction Systems, Foundations, and Masonry & Stone

For more information about me, my qualifications, and/or home inspections please visit my website at:

www.consultationdirect.com
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