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All-thumbs 01-11-2012 07:35 PM

crawl space/foundation opinions & suggestions.
First off, im sorry if i got this in the wrong second... this site has been really helpfull so far in answering alot of questions ive had and didnt need to start a thread for.. there is alot of good info on here! :thumbsup:

But now i thought it was time i started a thread to get some opinions and suggestions on my crawl space and foundation. a little background on what the situation is.

i purchased the house from my parents 4 months ago, and in the 18 years they have owned the place, there has never been a flood or standing water despite it being constantly damp/wet. they had attempted to create more airflow down there by adding some more foundation vents and i think they may have created more troubles in the process as you will probably notice from the pics.

I have been cleaning up the area of all the debris on the sand floor to prepare to encapsulate everything. i am planning to remove all the pink insulation thats around the foundation and under the floor of the kitchen. then re-insulate with something more suitable. however.... before i get installing new materials, i would like some opinions. im new to home ownership, and not sure if i could be missing anything obvious that should be repaired before closing everything off...

what i see for issues is :
wet/damp/cold foundation
wet/moldy floor joist on end wall. - there is a copper waterline that goes through it to the outside to connect to the main. im going to investigate further in daylight to see if there is a leak there.
joists resting on sill plate only overtop of foundation vents. - i was planning on picking up some floor jacks (if thats the technical to take the load.

as i said.. im not sure if im missing anything obvious and i welcome tips and ideas to remedy the issues i AM aware of. Heres some pics.

for the last 24hrs it has been sitting at 55-58% humidity and 7-10* celcius. the weather outside has been around the same for temps the last couple days. plans for the next couple days is to put some barrier down on the ground and over the foundation lip at the bottom and then run our dehumidifer with the vents blocked off to see how much i can dry things out.
Thank you in advance!

joecaption 01-11-2012 08:05 PM

90 % of trying to dry out a basement or crawl space is done outside not inside.
Working gutters with down spouts away from the foundation.
The outside grade has to to run away from the foundation.
Some will need a french drain if there some reason this can not be done.
You need to work on preventing the water from ever getting in there, not try to work on it once it has.

All-thumbs 01-11-2012 08:43 PM


Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 819946)
90 % of trying to dry out a basement or crawl space is done outside not inside.
Working gutters with down spouts away from the foundation.
The outside grade has to to run away from the foundation.
Some will need a french drain if there some reason this can not be done.
You need to work on preventing the water from ever getting in there, not try to work on it once it has.

we are definitely having a rain gutter issue that we are trying to address as soon as we can afford to. some are missing peices, and some are just plain

joecaption 01-11-2012 09:13 PM

Go with seamless gutters, do not cheap out and go with store bought ones.
There sure to leak and be under sized.

mae-ling 01-11-2012 09:18 PM

Do all the exterior stuff first. Eavestrough, downspouts, grading.
Also some have put in dehumidifiers that are plumbed right into a drain.

All-thumbs 01-11-2012 09:23 PM

i havent really priced eavestrough yet besides the pre made sections from home depot. dont even know where i would get seamless made to my measurements. guess im going to have to do some googling budget is pretty tight right now so hiring a company to come install new eaves for me is out of the question.

mae-ling 01-11-2012 09:31 PM

In my area it is actually cheaper or the same price for continuous eaves trough installed as it is to buy all the eaves trough, joiners, connectors, and such and do it yourself, and they do a much better job.

joecaption 01-11-2012 09:54 PM

Any contractor will know who to call for seamless gutters.

concretemasonry 01-11-2012 10:00 PM

Going with a seamless gutter system is better and cheaper than the big box and doing it yourself because they make the pieces in any length on site and the installation is better and faster without climbing ladders.

Go with larger gutters and downspouts. Our townhouse association (4 units per 1-1/2 story building) replaced all the old gutters and undersized down spouts AND eliminated the need for the screens and gutter guards that were discarded. - No ice dams in our very cold area and just flush out the gutters once a year if there is not a good fall shower to do the work.

Getting rid of the surface water is the most effective and fastest way to start improvements in a basement or crawl space.


EvilNCarnate 01-12-2012 08:49 AM

I will 3rd or 4th the seamless gutters. I priced DIY for both my houses last year and then had a couple bid for seamless. The seamless was actually less and they do all the work. Check with places that do siding, soffit, windows, etc. They typically also do gutters. Seamless gutters are less costly because they just use a roll of metal and a forming machine and its all made to length on site. Typically a guy with a trailer shows up, opens the back, double checks his boss's measurments, then gets to rolling gutters. Then he puts end caps in, marks, cuts and mounts flanges for down spouts, puts up hangars, hangs the trough, attaches down spouts, secures pieces and in no time he is done. My personal home was done in around 4 hours from the time the guy pulled up out front to the time he drove away. I will never hang another eave trough (gutter) again.

All-thumbs 01-12-2012 09:35 AM

thanks for all the suggestions on getting seamless. we are going to get a couple quotes and go from there. im really only in a position to get one section at a time done, which is why i was going to do it myself. figured the sting wouldnt be as bad and i got free time during my slow but we will see what kinda prices we get.

there is a couple sections that are short runs that are right at the corner where it seems (no punn to be the most wet on the foundation. i had thought about doing those short spots and then calling in the pros for the rest of the house and shop.

im basically stuck with a couple options and maybe you folks can lend another opinion..

-either put up with the wet/damp foundation till im back to working full time in a couple months, and then get the guys in and have them do it all..

-or fix the back corner with the short runs myself to reduce the moisture flow back. put down some vapor barrier on the ground in the crawl but not up the foundation.

once im back to working full time, its game on and i wont even have the time to think about the house, so by then i wont have any choice but to call the pros in. im just concerned about the moisture we are putting up with right now. even if i can reduce the moisture enough to get things semi dried out down below, then maybe i can start looking at what to do about all the black joists.

great advice so far! keep it comin!:thumbup:

joecaption 01-12-2012 12:41 PM

Black fungus on the floor joist is very very bad. The fungus eats the cellulose holding the wood fibers together.
Many many times we have had to go under the house and sister all the floor joint because you could easly snap one off by hand or stick a screwdriver through it.
It going to have to be treated with boric acid. Any real exterminator can do it and it's not that expencive to get done.

All-thumbs 01-12-2012 01:45 PM

i poked around last night when i was down there and its still pretty solid, so hopefully its not too late to get it treated.

its raining right now and thought i would have a look atside and see why that joist is getting wet to begin with and i found a few very obvious leaks from various cables for the hydro in, satellite, antenna, and phone passing through and not being sealed after installation. i could litterally see the water running down the satellite coax, into the 3/4" hole that was unsealed :no:. so hopefully now i got all that sealed up and continue on... lol.

we need a facepalm smiley

ddawg16 01-12-2012 07:47 PM

First....kudos to you for posting a decent question with decent pictures.....and then kudos to the responders for decent answers....

I will also ditto the seamless $800 I spent on my house. have to get the water away from the ground.

I know it's your wet time of year up there....but if you can get through might get better prices in the summer when the gutter guys are not as busy....

Regardless....don't waste your time with the DIY stuff....looks like crap....and does not last....

mae-ling 01-12-2012 08:28 PM

You could dig say 1' down and 4' out from the house, put in clay and slope it away from house, then dirt on top.
Sorry can not think of the proper slope at the moment. Anyone else know it?

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