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Teresa 12-05-2007 08:12 AM

Crawl Space Moisture
Oops, I posted this in the introduction section, but this is probably the place for it, isn't it?

This is Teresa. I am new to this forum, and I'm hoping someone might have a solution for me...

I need help with a crawl space that was flooded about 5 years ago. We got all the water out and dried it up, and even installed drain tile and a sump pump in the basement next to the crawl space. This eliminated any water from coming into the basement, and there has been no flood since, but it smells moldy and the soil is damp. In the summer, I have a dehumidifier running 24/7 to suck up moisture, and that seems to take care of things...but in the winter this is not feasible, and the smell comes back in full force. I need a permanent solution that doesn't cost thousands of dollars and that I can do myself. Some of us always seem to be getting cold symptoms and I'm wondering if that crawl space is responsible.

We've been told that it might be a good idea to put a layer of lime over the crawl space dirt. Does that make any sense? I'm sure we can't afford to pour concrete. When we first moved in, there was plastic sheeting on top of what appeared to be tar paper, but it was in nasty shape so we threw it out.

Does anyone have a good idea for us? I'd appreciate any help you could offer.



travelover 12-05-2007 08:32 AM

Welcome Teresa. You've done a good job so far with fixing the drainage problem. Is the soil contaminated with sewer overflow, or is it just water? If sewage, go with the lime. Then cover all the exposed dirt with heavy plastic sheeting, overlapping and sealing seams and sealing at walls.

You may want to add ventilation as well, especially in the summer.

Teresa 12-05-2007 08:57 AM

Wow, that looks both easy AND cheap. Thank you! We will give that a try.

nealtw 02-18-2011 12:31 AM

A freind of mine has a house built with a completely sealed crawl space with concrete floor and to get rid of the smell we put in vents only helped a little so we added a bathroom fan and hooked it up with a timer so it would run for two hours daily. Problem solved. Experts are on both sides of the arguement for sealed crawl spaces.

joecaption 02-18-2011 06:52 AM

First is the ground under the house lower then the outside grade? If so it will always be wet under there.
The fix is to raise the grade by adding fill dirt then the vaper barrier.
Just adding 6 MIl. plastic over standing water in a crawl space is just going to make a pond liner.
With that much moisture under there I'd also bet you now have fungus growing on the floor joist and the underside of the subfloor. This is a very big deal. What it does is eat the cellulose holding the wood fibers together. Over time the floor joist become useless and need to be replaced. It can be treated by any exterminator with a product with Boric acid in it. (do not use Termix, or Okin there a rip off)

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