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Old 01-30-2011, 11:54 AM   #1
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Crawlspace Ventilation


Hello - I am new to the site so bear with me. I purchase an 80 year old home with a dirt crawlspace (about 2' high - very cramped to work in). The home has a cinder block foundation for the most part - some of it has brick, but is only a small area. The former owner installed real stone on the exterior of the block foundation (this is real stone that was fetched from the river bottoms and mortered onto the original foundation). I suppose you could say it it veneer, but it's not those panels you buy at the big box stores. Unfortunately there were never any vents installed. The crawlspace is not damp (very dusty working under there) and all of the original wood looks to be in good condition (no rot or mildew going on that I can see). Although there doesn't appear to be any moisture problems under there, I'm thinking some ventilation should be installed. I've seen some websites that have discussed ventilating a crawlspace versus not ventilating. As I understand it, if it is not ventilated a good vapor barrier should be installed to seal the "house" from the ground - it appears to be more complicated than I'm willing to undertake as I only have a 2' clearance to work in. There is a 2' x 2' crawlspace access point that is available right now - thinking of installing a fan at this access point (mounted into cover). I'm wondering how many other vents should be installed around the perimeter of the home? There's approximately 600 square feet of home above the crawlspace. If I do install vents around perimeter, I'm going have a challenge of demo'ing the stone work/cinder blocks and then trying to support the areas I've busted out. If anyone has suggestions I would truly appreciate your input.
Thanks.

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Old 01-30-2011, 09:24 PM   #2
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IMO, IF there's no evidence of a moisture problem, and IF there's no evidence of structural problems from rot or mildew, and IF this crawl space has survived these conditions for eighty years, then leave it alone!

Ya know what they say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" You just might end up breaking it and then have to fix it.

But if I felt compelled to do something, I'd suck it up and shed a few pounds and go for the vapor barrier. It's got to be a lot easier than cutting thru all that stone and block.

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Old 02-03-2011, 12:35 PM   #3
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Thanks MEM. I appreciate your thoughts - I was actually thinking the same, but wanted someone else's opinion. As much as I'm not liking it, I'll probably get under there and shovel some dirt out from under the house - as tight as it is a short army shovel and a five gallon pail with be my best bet to clear out some room under there! If I were in my 20's this would be a slam dunk!
If you have any suggestions or possibly a website with directions on the vapor barrier, I'd appreciate any information.
Thanks again,
Soon to be Mole Man.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:58 PM   #4
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A couple of those troughs used for mixing concrete might work better than a bucket in your case. Attach a rope somehow and you can pull them out from outside the crawl. Better yet, get a couple of neighbor kids to pull them out for you.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:15 PM   #5
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6 Mil poly , 4" up the walls sealed with a silicone caulk around the edges .
Vents should be put at both ends of the crawlspace . They should be 1.5 % of the square footage of the crawlspace.
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek1980 View Post
You mentioned that you are looking for a website that can answer your questions about your crawlspace.
No, he doesn't mention anything like that.
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:09 PM   #7
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:12 PM   #8
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He asked for suggestions on his crawlspace ventilation problem i just said that site is the most informative website that i have found on crawlspace issues. It was not spam sir. It is more a informative website than a selling website

Last edited by beenthere; 02-16-2011 at 06:27 PM. Reason: removed site name
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:32 PM   #9
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Lots of selling going on at that site. No need to repost its name. Its not like anyone from that site is coming here and giving free DIY advise.

And yes, I know your from MI too.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:11 AM   #10
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Sounds like you don't need to do anything. What is your primary concern with it not being vented? I'm looking for info on what to do with my own crawlspace, so I can't claim to be an expert, but being in the building industry and having done lots of interpreting all the conflicting "expert" opinions, the common denominator all seems to be the same... balance. You want the space to be in balance with the house. When constructing or modifying a crawlspace, you are trying to control temperature and moisture, not one or the other. In different climates, that is achieved in different ways, by insulating, venting, sometimes ducting and conditioning the space. Right now, you don't have a moisture issue and by sealing the crawlspace, it is at least somewhat insulated from outside temperature changes. Sounds like the space is balanced and you don't have moisture in the space through the subgrade or you'd see evidence of damage. And you probably don't have bugs/critters under there either.

Floor Doc, curious why you suggest poly up the walls, over the floor and seal it to the house, then to cut openings in the walls and allow moist air into the space? Warm moist air comes into the cool crawlspace and condenses on the poly. Most advice I am seeing is if you put poly on the floor and walls and seal it to the floor, you also insulate and then close the vents. How do you see that space "acting" in different temperatures and humidity levels?

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