DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Cleaning > Help! What is this growing in my crawl space?




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Old 12-14-2011, 05:47 AM  
papakevin
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SnellExperts, if you have the name of the stuff you use to kill the mold, please feel free to share. I'd like to treat the entire space with with something guaranteed to kill the mold. Tried the borate solution mix, but my sprayer kept clogging up, so willing to pay a little more for a premixed solution.

I like the venting option for Spring. For winter, concerned encouraging air flow will freeze pipes and have a negative effect on the plumbing.



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Old 12-14-2011, 05:54 PM  
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Kevin
Most people we see fixing houses to sell, do more damage than good, and by your posts here it looks like you are trying your best to make it right for whoever buys the house and I just want to say "GOOD ON YOU"



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Old 12-15-2011, 05:35 AM  
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That boron has to be mixed with very hot water, add a small amount at a time and shake the poop out of the container as your adding it.
If you added automatic open vents they open when it warm and close when it's cold.
There about $17.00 each in Lowes, Home Depot, some hardware stores.
There's no power needed just cut the hole and stick them in.

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Old 12-15-2011, 10:28 AM  
papakevin
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Joe, I'll try it again. Used hot water, but will admit probably added too much at a time. Looked at the automatic vents, but will give them another look.

Neal, thanks for the kind words. Sometimes I'm my own worst enemy and I'm learning trying to get things right and flipping a house are at odds on occasion, but wouldn't feel right selling someone something that's not solid. I've purchased two previous houses and have sold them with success, so this house is my "learning experience". I'll likely have more money in it than I can get back out of it, but I'll write it off as paying for the education. Ha!

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Old 12-15-2011, 08:46 PM  
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Sorry for the delay in a response on that product. We have been pretty busy that past few weeks, and are now in the process of knocking down one of the walls to expand our office since it is getting crowded (home office). Anyhow, sorry to disappoint, but apparently I had the product I was thinking of confused with something else. Let me know what area you are in though because we may have some connections up there and can help you out with finding a company if you decide not to do this yourself.

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Old 08-10-2012, 11:11 AM  
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Sorry Papakevin. This looks like a mess. It does look like mold and everyone is right, you need to stop that water from coming into the home. You can try boric acid to help get rid of the mold, but first I would just try scrubbing the area with soap and water. It'll be much gentler on the wood.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:40 AM  
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The stuff does looks like fungus of some sort. The only way to know for sure what type of fungus is to have it DNA typed and even then there is not a lot of research into mold. The easy thing to remember is ANY fungus growth can be dangerous and you don't want it there. From the look of the foundation blocks there is a lot of mineral build up. The water could be coming from the top and through the bottom of the dirt floor under the house. It depends on the water line. You can do everything possible outside around the house and the water might just be coming from underground. Forget chemicals for now the water needs to get out of their. A sump pump with a drain tile system inside it the first place to start and maybe also on the outside on the foundation. Obviously the cost of digging down to the base of the foundation for a drain system will be much greater than the inside. But inside is the first place to start. You might have to build a more extensive drain system too than just around the perimeter of the wall inside. All that moisture is going to attack that wood and your floors will start sagging. I just got into my first house with a crawl space and am having the exact same issues....except not as bad. Also if you have neighbors close by make sure their gutters and water is being drained properly. The house next to me has NO gutters and one side of their house drains right on the ground and flows downhill to my house. The wall with the worse water intrusion in my crawl space just happens to be the one facing my neighbor's house. I am about ready to pay to have gutters put on their house.
Once you stop the water then work on the vapor barrier. Even if it is just some 6 mil plastic from Home Depot for a temp measure. You may also want to put a couple of remote temperature and humidity sensors in your crawl to keep an eye on the water in the air. Anything over 50% is a problem. 40% would be ideal.

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:18 PM  
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Ok, here's the latest. I hope all of my issues are over and I'm still not sure what was going on, but here's what I did:

1) Noticed a low spot between this house and the neighbor's house, which collected a lot of water next to the foundation. Put in a drain pipe to drain this water away from both houses. Unfortunately water continues to back up next to my neighbor's house, pouring into their crawl space when it rains. Hopefully my pipe will help their property as well.
2) Pumped out the water from the crawl space. Used a small shovel and heavy plastic bags to remove the surface black stuff from the crawl space. When it was cleaned out, spread quite a bit of 20 Mule Team Borax all over the crawl space., because I hear it kills or inhibits growth of any bad stuff.
3) Put down a high quality vapor barrier wall to wall.
4) Hired someone to dig around the foundation in the crawl space, installing drain pipe and a sump pump to remove water. Here's the kicker: While digging the drain pipe around inside of the crawl space, my hired help noticed the PVC drain waste pipe going into the cast iron sewer line was not secured properly, so he fixed it.

So, as of now, the problem seems to be fixed. I'm wondering if the black substance that appeared in the crawl space was actually oil which came from the sanitary sewer system, which backed up into the crawl space due to the jacked up plumbing pipe when we had heavy rains in the area. Wishful thinking? Thoughts?

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:22 PM  
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Here's how it looks today. I did reinforce the floor joists using some advice from another link here because the floors had some bounce in them.

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Old 02-23-2013, 05:58 AM  
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That looks great! Just remember to check down there once and a while just to see how it stands up to the moisture. My advice is also not to store anything cellulose based down there, like cardboard boxes, rugs, wood, you get the idea.
That borax is good stuff, good luck with the crawlspace!



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