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crawl space moisture & joist rot

Posted by J. Grimes on October 1st, 2000 11:44 AM

Please help. Found perfect home, but on inspection of crawl space found: partial vapor barrier, with heavy moisture above and below. Condensation on a/c flex duct work, condensation on joists with rot beginning. I was able to shove a flat head screw driver into most joists up to 1 inch. Most joists are discolored with mold/mildew. Does this mean they are shot, or could I dry them out and have adequate structural rigidity. Apparently termite and home inspectors in my area (eastern NC) can go both ways when asked, "Is this a problem?" It sure looks like a problem to me, but if it could be dried out by conditioning, complete installation of vapor barrier, closing off vents, etc... I am willing. We all love the house.

Also, the average utility bills for home have been around $400/mo, w/$100 being water and sewer. The current owners have cooled a back porch, which has a 2x6 floor with thin carpet. (this was only done for one summer) All porch air has gone straight under house and fed the condensation problem. Furthermore, the home has two water-to-air heat pumps, and all the water lines run under the house, but above grade. I think they add to the condensation problem to. Last but not least, fiberglass insulation has fallen out of place due to moisture. Most is still in place, but may have lost its loftinest/effectiveness.

I appreciate any info regarding:
Can joists be saved?
Can home be dried?
What is best method?
What might be approximate costs for:
New insulation (1800sq. ft. on ground floor).
Installation of final 25% of vapor barrier.


J. Grimes

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