Foundation Stabilization and Repair/Crawl Space

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Question
I blocked off the air vents to the crawl space like I have done for years because the winter temps hit 0 degrees here. I have 7 vents and I use plywood. I noticed the 3 vents on the south side of house have lots of moisture. I can tell because the bricks look wet 2 feet on each side of the vent and also a few bricks above. In the morning I can remove the plywood and there will be moisture in the vent opening. The other vents also have moisture but you don't see it around the brick like the ones on the south side. Could you please tell me what I need to do. I'm afraid to hire a Crawl Space Doctor because of the thousands of dollars they charge. Who else can do this type of work? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks....

Answer
Steve,

Controlling humidity and moisture infiltration in a crawl space takes more than one effort.
The worst offenders for moisture infiltration are concrete block and stone foundation walls.
If your walls are of one of these types of construction you may need to take several approaches.

The new way of thinking is to permanently seal off crawl space vents and control the humidity with a combination of crawl space dirt floor coverage as well as exposed foundation wall surfaces. There are a number of products on the market that function well.

To a further control step, the installation of de-humidifier system will aid substantially in
controlling and stabilizing differential temperature and moisture extremes in the crawl space
environment.

You should also ensure that the drainage around the perimeter of the exterior foundation is a positive condition that prevents any ponding along the walls.

If you are trying to minimize expense and are handy, you can perform these measures yourself.
If you are opposed to crawling through a crawl space to perform any or all of these efforts then you may need to seek out a qualified contractor who is knowledgeable and stands behind his work with a warranty.

If you or anyone of your family members suffer from allergies or respiratory issues the money spent could be cheap.

You could start by correcting any drainage issues that may exist around the perimeter and monitor for any improvement.
Next you could cover the crawl space floor to prevent permeation from the ground surface.
If you experience any standing water in the crawl space, a sump system may be needed.
Then of course lastly, permanently seal of the vents with a non-pervious material and ultimately install a de-humidifier.

All of these decisions depend upon the severity of the problem.

Good luck with your effort.

Randy  

Foundation Stabilization and Repair

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Randy Dikeman

Expertise

Any question regarding foundation repair, methods, new construction foundations,crawl space,soil retention walls,foundation maintenance, helical anchors and piers, push piers and resistance piers.

Experience

37 years of construction experience, 23 years specifically in the foundation repair industry. 13 years as a foundation repair contractor, 10 years as a national training manager for several major steel pier manufacturers

Organizations
Deep Foundations Institute

Education/Credentials
Nathan Hale High School, Tulsa, ok Oklahoma State University (no degree) Certified Installation Trainer with Several Manufacturers Licensed Insurance Adjuster - Texas

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