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Old 10-03-2010, 02:52 PM  
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Default Crawlspace dilemma

We are just so frustrated with our home purchase and all the things we have had to fix. It has become the money-pit purchase of the century. The major problem is that it is an older one level cottage-style home, by a lake, with a crawlspace which is dirt and bedrock on the ground. With noticeable moisture on the windows when we moved in, it was recommended that we have Icynene Insulation blown over all crawlspace outside walls and plastic to cover all of the ground as a vapour barrier. The furnace is down there and heat vents blow heat into the crawlspace as well as into the house from the furnace, (oil). The water heater, first unit to the septic, furnace, well pump, all pipes, wires, water softener, and some of our few belongings are in the crawlspace in one area and the rest is empty. Some areas are about 6ft in height whereas others are 3 ft. We have no venting except the vent drawing in outside air to the furnace. The smell inside the house is unbearable to me at times, musty, almost gassy. The biggest problem of all with this, is my health. Since living here I have severe allergy like symptoms and now I am on a puffer and nasal spray daily. In-depth allergy tests showed I was allergic to absolutely nothing. I believe it's the crawlspace causing me to be sick. Can you please help us out. We have been told so many things by so many different people and are totally confused as to how to handle this crawlspace with minimum cost as we have sunk so much into the house already.

Thank you so much. Any advise at this point will be a huge help to us and I would be so grateful to you if you can assist me in getting off meds and leading me back to a healthy happy life.

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Old 10-04-2010, 05:33 AM  
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lesley, so sorry to hear about your health problems. i live in south alabama and our moisture problems down here may be totally opposite yours up there. if your problem is stale air then by all means i suggest some air movement in your crawl space. down here we have foundation vents with a little slide door on them so we can open them up in the spring, summer, and fall. then we close them for the winter months to not freeze pipes under the house. the problem is people close them and never reopen them. five years later they have all kinds of mold and mildew problems under their house. i have cut fans into the scuttle door if that was the only place to get some air. do you have foundation vents? someone in your area might know more than me about how to attack your problem. down here we spray the crawl space with clorox to kill mold. very dangerous to work with that stuff in an enclosed area. if your problem is what i think it is, don't think it will be fixed overnight. you'll have to stay with it to fix it. be thankful you have a house to work on. and on a lake probably augments the problem with so much moisture nearby but it is still a lakehouse. someone said an "obstacle" is simply an "opportunity" in disguise. take a room and get a little fresh air in it if it simply means opening a window for a few minutes. do you do better in the fresh air room now than the others? find your problem, zero in on it, and attack it. good luck, budro

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Old 10-04-2010, 12:14 PM  
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I too had a similar dilemma but, with proper ventilation or dehumanization and a barrier you will be able to resolve your problem. The following link will take you to a web site that will fulfill your needs. It was the best I found.

Here's What You'll Need : Crawlspace Encapsulation, Vapor Barriers -
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:18 PM  
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Our Codes here a little different:

This will give you a better idea of vent/not as we are not there: Energy Savers: Crawl Space Insulation

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Old 10-07-2010, 11:59 AM  
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I'm looking at a similar issue, but I also have to contend with rodents trying to get in for the winter. I did the Visqueen plastic on the ground (which cut down the moisture) and rats promptly chewed a hole to get in (neighbors have LOTS of fat lazy cats that can't be bothered to chase them, but they killed off all the songbirds)
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:29 AM  
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I have a cottage with a 4 ft crawlspace. I covered the gravel floor carefully with poly and framed the cement foundation walls, filled them with fiberglass insulation and covered them with poly. I heat the space with electric heat and keep it at about 5 degrees celcius. I have no vents down there.
Smells slightly stale down there but not disagreeably so. Absolutely no smell comes up into our living quarters.

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