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Old 08-28-2007, 01:04 PM  
bootpdx
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Default Crawlspace questions

Hey everyone. I have searched and not found the exact answer, so I shall post. In my 1909 farmhouse, I have a musty basement. No obvious water intrusion, but the smell is certainly there. We have not cleaned it since we moved in 3 weeks ago, so I will try the bleach and water rub down, then dehumidify, but I also want to take care of the crawl spaces. I have researched the moisture barrier stuff and generally know how to tackle that problem, however my question is this:

Do I need to level the soil in the crawlspace before sealing with plastic? Most of the space is level, but around the drainpipe from the tub/shower/toilet all the dirt has been dug out. Should I worry about filling this in or just cover it and forget it. I am not sure if it is customary to leave space to access those pipes or not.

Also, is there a standard amount of vents one should have in a crawlspace? Right now I just have two, on opposite walls.

Thanks for the help. This new (and clueless) homeowner appreciates it.



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Old 09-04-2007, 01:54 PM  
travelover
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There is no need to level the soil, but if the plastic will hide a hole that someone may later fall into (through the plastic) you may want to put some plywood over it.

I'd Google "crawlspace vents" to get a recommended number for open area in vents per square footage of enclosed crawlspace. Basically you want the vents open in summer and closed in winter, unless the underside of the floor is insulated.



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Old 09-04-2007, 02:21 PM  
CraigFL
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At the very least, I would use PT Plywood....

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Old 09-06-2007, 12:26 PM  
bootpdx
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Default Thanks

Thanks both of you for your suggestions. My buddy came over the other day who I had asked about this, and his first words were "That's not a hole!" After reading your replies, I guess my description was off a bit. It is more of a trench from the access "window" into the crawlspace all the way to the pipe. Looks like someone dug it out to ensure access to the pipe if need be.

I will cover with plastic, but be sure to have the plastic follow the contour of the dirt rather than pulling it taught and creating a empty void under the plastic. I appreciate your help and this forum. Can't wait to get home and post a picture of a sketchy post support I found the other day...........

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:13 PM  
glennjanie
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Hello Bootpdx:

It looks like you have a good handle on your problem, I just want to mention one other thing. The crawl space and basement space should not have an opening where air can be exchanged. An access door is fine but no open holes. The crawl space will always have a funky odor that you don't need in the living space.

Glenn

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Old 09-08-2007, 08:07 AM  
inspectorD
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Default One other thing

Please buy a good respirator for when you go into the crawl space. To many nasty things are down there to risk your health for only a moment. The $50.00 you spend is nothing compared to the ilnesses you can get.
Coveralls made of tyvek or other disposable material is also a good option...or wash your cloths alone with hot water.

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Old 09-08-2007, 09:21 AM  
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Yea, when I insulated a friend's crawlspace I found a mummified opossum!

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Old 09-08-2007, 06:39 PM  
bootpdx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennjanie View Post
Hello Bootpdx:

It looks like you have a good handle on your problem, I just want to mention one other thing. The crawl space and basement space should not have an opening where air can be exchanged. An access door is fine but no open holes. The crawl space will always have a funky odor that you don't need in the living space.

Glenn

Glenn, funny u mention that. I do currently have to access points from the unfinished part of the basement (just cement and clean enough to house h2o heater and furnace) to two separate crawl spaces. From your post, it sounds like I need to install some sort of door or something? Is this mainly to keep ground moisture out of the finished basement?

Thanks again for all ur help. I just bought the cheap kind of respirator from lowes, not good?
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:44 AM  
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Hello Bootpdx:

Yes, a door in those places will keep the moisture and smell out of the living space (actually the moisture is the cause of the odor). Cut you a panel to fit the opening, cut or drill holes for the pipe or duct to go through, cut the panel in two following the holes like dot to dot, place the two pieces over and under and screw a 1 X 2 on each edge for stiffness, then caulk or foam around the pipes and ducts for a close fit. Its pretty detailed, but I have confidence in your ability.

Glenn



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