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Crawlspace Plastic vapor barrier

Posted by geesh (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 31, 11 at 8:35

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..


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Crawlspace Plastic vapor barrier

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.


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RE: Crawlspace Plastic vapor barrier

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?


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RE: Crawlspace Plastic vapor barrier

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


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RE: Crawlspace Plastic vapor barrier

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

Then it is not doing anything.


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RE: Crawlspace Plastic vapor barrier

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


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So is it a overall opinion.......

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..


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RE: Crawlspace Plastic vapor barrier

Leave the plastic down.


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RE: Crawlspace Plastic vapor barrier

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?


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RE: Crawlspace Plastic vapor barrier

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.


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RE: Crawlspace Plastic vapor barrier

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


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