Crawlspace Plastic vapor barrier

geeshAugust 31, 2011

Another crawlspace question:

I had the seller install plastic on the floor of my dirt crawlspace. It is NOT excapsulated /not sealed at edges (didnt know about that beforehand). The musty-mildew smell is terrible. My question, is the plastic doing more harm than good ? The dirt underneith is always damp & has been damp for about a year. Am I better ioff removing the plastic & letting the dirt dry out ? I do NOT see any mold or milder on any walls of wood flooring above crawlspace..

Thanks for your input..

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geesh

To clarify, I bought the house a year ago. The plastic has been on the dirt/rock ground for one year. The dirt is not drying out & I assume it never will & as is, I am starting to think it will stink forever.. I do not have the money to excapsulate the crawlspace or add an expensive dehumidifier. I have the damp ground, I have 6 open vents, and a box fan running to move the air. So far what im doing isnt workinbg.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 9:18AM
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randy427

Is the fan just blowing the damp air around the crawlspace, or do you have it set up to draw drier air in by blowing the damp air out?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 10:52AM
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geesh

The box fan is just moving air around. Not drawing in nor blowing out..

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 1:01AM
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brickeyee

"The box fan is just moving air around. Not drawing in nor blowing out.."

Then it is not doing anything.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 11:52AM
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dennisgli

It sounds like you have a ventilation problem. Removing the vapor barrier isn't going to fix that.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 2:12PM
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geesh

So is it a consensus that I install 2-3 vent fans to pull moist air OUT of the crawlspace ? Sounds like a good plan. Should I just leave the plastic down as is or tear it out so the dirt underneith can dry ?
Thanks for your inputs..

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 6:05PM
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brickeyee

Leave the plastic down.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 6:23PM
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ionized_gw

If you are in a hot-humid climate, ventilation can cause more moisture in a crawl space than sealing it up. There can more moisture available from the circulating air than from the ground. What is your climate like?

Where is the smell, outside or inside of the house?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 8:40PM
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brickeyee

It is more than just a climate issue.

It depends on the exact conditions on the lot and in the crawl space.

If there is a ready source of moisture for the crawl space, it may never dry out and ventilation is very likely to help.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 10:47AM
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geesh

Southern Missouri on Table Rock Lake. The ground is always damp- water table I guess.. The smell is very strong in the crawlspace, until we ventilate the main living floor the smell seeps up from the crawlspace. For now we are only at the lake house about 4 days per month.
* I am thinking of adding 2- double fan exhaust vents with humidistats

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 1:37AM
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