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Old 11-14-2010, 10:20 PM   #1
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Condo Conditioned Crawlspaces - Ventilation?


Our condo HOA has hired a contractor to condition the crawlspaces in our attached 2 story 20 year old buildings located in south central Indiana (Bloomington). We have four connected first floor units that will be most impacted by the upgrade. The crawlspace below each unit measures approx. 1000 sq ft., but I believe all are connected via (just guessing) approx. 10' opening in support walls between units. The space below my unit is very shallow, approx. 16-24" high. So, rounding things off- 2000 cu ft under each unit x 4 units = 8000 cu ft total crawlspace.

A new vapor barrier is being installed over the old and blueboard insulation placed on the cinder block walls. Some sort of sealing is being done to the floor joists and exterior vent blocked off with blueboard.

In the middle of each first-floor unit, a gas furnace is in a utility closet which opens into the great room. It has a 6x12" floor vent into the crawl space to draw combustion air for the furnace. I was told by a worker, if they don't have this vent, one will be installed so that "air will circulate to the crawlspace." I don't understand this.

If our living space is always warmer than the crawlspace, how will air move down?
And if it did move down, would this small passive opening, be enough to take care of possible humidity/mold issues?
Finally, with the crawlspace being sealed from the outside, will there be sufficient air for the furnaces?

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Old 11-15-2010, 05:54 PM   #2
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Condo Conditioned Crawlspaces - Ventilation?


I hope they are getting a permit for changing the mechanical to outside air supplied: http://www.mybuildingpermit.com/Insp...0checklist.pdf

The foam board must be covered for fire, and an exhaust fan is required to move the air in the crawlspace: http://www2.iccsafe.org/cs/committee...E_06_64_07.pdf

Anything less may lead to health problems.

Gary

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Old 11-15-2010, 06:13 PM   #3
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Condo Conditioned Crawlspaces - Ventilation?


Clarifications & News:
* Turns out our crawlspaces are connected in pairs (not all 4 together).
* Vents will not be cut in floor, but don't know if they intend to cover existing ones (when we got a new furnace & our vent was sealed and a pipe installed directly from combustion chamber to crawlspace).
* A duct will be installed on the plenum of each furnace to direct heated/cooled air into crawlspace. I don't know of any plan to replenish extra air required for this.
* OwensCorning FOAMULAR 150 2" rigid extruded polystyrene insulation is being installed.
* The ducts in the crawl are flex type (don't know about insulation).
* I am awaiting info on local regs re connected crawlspaces...

Needless to say, I have more questions about heating the crawlspace - especially since it connects to my neighbor. The mgmnt company rep sent me "conditioned crawlspace" info that extolls the advantages of (essentially) heating our floor. But since our floors are probably osb or plywood and covered with carpet, how much good is it going to do for the living space?

Thanks for the input - a great help.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:40 PM   #4
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Condo Conditioned Crawlspaces - Ventilation?


To give you a idea of what is involved:
http://www.advancedenergy.org/buildi...l%20Spaces.pdf

http://www.energysavers.gov/your_hom.../mytopic=11480

http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/information-sheets/5-thermal-control/crawlspace-insulation/?searchterm=foam%20board%20in%20walls


I'm sure it will work out but keep an eye on them....


Gary
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