Need assistance with moisture under house


O.k., don't shoot me, I realize this is a wood working area and if I don't correct this, I'll probably be doing allot of woodworking. You all helped me once before, so I know there's allot of knowledge here. We bought a house in Virginia Beach about a year ago & have had issues with moisture under the house in our crawl space; the clearance is about 30" under the house. As near as I can tell, there's nothing leaking and it's a poor ventilation issue. The crawl space has 7 vents to the outside, however due to poor design and how the house is laid out, there's no real cross ventilation. We do have plastic laid down (because Virginia Beach is built on a swamp and it has the potential to be damp under there). Anyway, my question is what type of fan should I get? Or, should I even get a fan? If so, it'll have to be one that fits in one of the 7 the vents that's already there... Thanks in advance for the advice or assistance (and not shooting me). Randy
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Randy and Ann wrote:

Have a look a Jon Eakes web site -- I searched on Moisture -- West Coast BC has same problem...
http://www.joneakes.com/ca/hs/cgi-bin/searchdbcahs.cgi?type=keyword&keywords=Moisture
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
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Randy and Ann wrote:

I'm gonna reply again because my PC's date was set to 3 years ago.
If you have WATER in the soil under your house (not just MOISTURE), consider getting a sump pump installed as well as ventilation to help remove the moist air.
Dave
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Is ALL of Canada 3 years behind? Sorry, just kidding, David! I saw no indication of your date problem. But seriously, if it's a high water table causing this, a sump pump would probably just run and run and... Tom
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tom wrote:

but if it's seasonal, such as under my folks home (they live on a slightly terraced lot) the pump will run once in a while to reduce near-surface water. their pump probably doesn't run even 1/10 of 1 percent of the time, but when it needs to, it runs automatically, periodically, for days at a time.
Dave
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Google using Foundation vents. It will show vents with and without fans. here is one example http://www.ddchem.com/Foundationfan.html .
Good Luck
MikeG
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I appreciate all the assistance and have done some more research via the internet, hard ware stores, etc. A couple facts: It's always wet in Virginia Beach with the water table being at only a few feet below surface level. It's not wet enough for a sump pump. The plastic vapor barrier needs fixed a little & some of the insulation is wet which will need replaced. I've also talked to a number of folks about the fan in one of the vents to the outside & have determined it's a bad idea. With the high humidity factor in Va Beach, it'll do more harm than good. I ran into another person at HD with the exact same problem. An under house fan of some type to circulate the air under there seems to be a good idea. It's only wet in places and half the crawl space is completely dry. No pipes are broken. I've also run into a couple of neighbors who have the same problem. It's starting to create a little mold and will wash it with a bleach solution. Any further suggestions are welcome and I greatly appreciate the info to date. Thanks a million. Randy

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I had this problem on a conventional raised foundation. Having lived mostly on slab foundations, I began researching the problem and after interviewing 2 contractors with different solutions, I decided to have a crawlspace encapsulation system called CleanSpace installed in my crawlspace. Before doing so, in January, my humidity would stay around 98% all the time, with standing water. I know this because I placed a digital hygrometer down there for a while before having any repairs done. After having the system installed, it now stays about 70% humidity most the time, but I am hoping that will drop even more after having a few places sealed up that have pulled away from the block wall. I do not open/close vents anymore, and it stays pretty constant. I have a sump pump that was also installed by the company under the liner and it runs when it rains, but that's about it. It was not a cheap solution, but the right on in my opinion. It is warranted for 25 years I believe. Here is a link with more information on the CleanSpace system. I have no affiliation with them whatsoever, other than having their system installed early this year.
http://www.basementsystems.com/crawlspace.html
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Lance, Thanks for the info. We want to do it right, however we're a military family and move fairly often. Unfortuanetly we don't know when we'll move again and don't really want to dump allot of money into it. On the other hand, when we sell the house we don't want a solution that the next homeowners will have issues either. Kind-of looking for a middle of the road solution. As I said before, allot of the houses here have this exact same issue. If it wouldn't be such a pain in the butt under there it would be a good buisness to be in. Thanks, Randy

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Lance:
Curious as to several things:
1) What part of the country are you from?
2) What was (if you like to share) the cost of doing the wrap?
Reason, considering this for my house. There is exactly ONE person in my county who is doing this and they are running the same pictures on their website that your link is. Got to think they are all part of a general distribution system.
We live near the Calif. coast (about 10 miles away) and get a fair amount of fog every day for about 7 mos a year. I just put in a dehumidfier in the finished storage space under the house, but I have to empty the thing every day and it runs pretty much full time. It made a difference in the smell (musty) and it's much drier in the room as well.But I think I need to tackle the problem - the crawlspace is located on the same level and it's just like all spaces are - dirt.
I was going to do the 6mil plastic over the crawlspace as most people do, but curious to the system that you've installed.
Thanks much.
MJ Wallace
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MJ,
I'm in Tennessee. I am no expert on the system, so all I can share is my experience. We bought the home about 1 year ago and before buying it we had it professionally inspected. The inspector told us there was some standing water under there and some mold starting to grow and that we should look into doing something about it. As I said, I began researching solutions and interviewed 2 contractors, one being the one that eventually installed the CleanSpace system. From my research, I believe it to be the best solution, although not the cheapest solution. In all, they put in the CleanSpace system, a SuperSump system under the liner, and also a couple of other things like sistering a couple of joists that had been cut too much for running pipe when the house was built. All of it came to around sixty-five hundred. As I said, it was not a cheap solution, but most of the other houses around here have this problem as well, and I feel we have gone above and beyond others by the fix now in place. Just having the CleanSpace installed would likely be less than the price we paid...maybe 4-5 grand...just a guess. Anyway, so far, it seems to have been a good solution, and with the 25 year transferrable warranty, it should be a good solution. If anyone would like some pictures, I think I could go snap a few in the next couple of days and email them. I think I might have a few taken before the installation too.
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Oh, and yes, all the companies installing this are selling the same product. I believe it is made and put out by BasementSystems (www.basementsystems.com). They probably do share pictures, so that is why you aren't seeing different ones. When they were installing it (it took about 4 days) I was talking with the guys and asked them if they were doing many of these installs in the area, and he said not really where I live because we are somewhat rural, but that people in Nashville were having it put in, but mostly in higher end houses because of the cost. Hope my information helps you, and I understand you not wanting to sink a ton of money into a house you'll likely sell relatively soon. Good luck.
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Lance:
Thanks much for the info. Yeah, $6500 is a bit high. But we just built this house last year and I'm thinking it just one thing we need to add. Will contact the local guys and see what they charge.
Hope you stay dry in Tennesse! I've been once, seems like a nice place. But being a "blue-state" guy I might not be as welcomed to stay much more then a visit!
Michael
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