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  1. #1
    M Kelekci's Avatar
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    Default Crawl space questions?

    Siding around the house has 4'' gap between siding and the grade, no more openings provided. Can we say enough ventilation provided in crawl space?

    How do you all deal with standing water in crawl space?
    Do you swim (!) thru it to inspect the whole area?
    Or do you all note in report " whole crawl space was not accessible, partially inspected"?

    Your help greatly appreciated.

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  2. #2
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    M-- (no name)

    Crawling under there is tantamount to swimming with gators in a small pool of water.

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!

    NO INSPECTION... tell them the crawlspace cannot be inspected due to being flooded. The crawl will have to be dried out, full access gained and the cause of the flooding abated prior to going under there. You cannot tell if there are any live/ exposed wires on the ground (or not).

    I always run (one hell of) alot of water at every fixture before going under the home to identify if there are any leaks from the plumbing fixtures. How are you going to tell where the leak is coming from if it's already flooded?

    Report the condition of the crawlspace, that it was unsafe to enter and not accessible due to hazardous conditions and make the above recommendations to be done prior to another inspection can be done (whether it's you or some one else).

    Rich


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Thats why you always have rubber boots and a respirator in your car. That is NASTY. No proper venting! "No" being the key word. Were there any vents. Was there any insulation between the joists, with a vapor barrier. Was there mold on everything. were there rats. The plywood underlayment will delaminate in this situation. You have to check it all or not go in at all citing health concerns. It is not considered normal to have a bacteria pool in your basement. A perimeter drain system installed to a sump pump or two, 10 inches of gravel,and concrete topping.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    The standing water is enough by itself for you to state in your report........."crawlspace interior and all other systems and components inside crawlspace could not be inspected due to standing water noted on floor throughout crawlspace - crawlspace was not entered - water instrusion source needs to be corrected and water removed from crawlspace floor before crawlspace interior can be further evaluated).

    Your personal safety is your first concern. There could be a loose electrical connection sitting in that water or something living in that swamp.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    As others have said, do not go swimming. If a crawl space is muddy, I will not crawl through it. It is still wet and it should not be wet. I'm not paid enough to crawl through muck and mire.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
    M Kelekci's Avatar
    M Kelekci Guest

    Default Thank you guys for prompt responses

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    No proper venting! "No" being the key word. Were there any vents.
    There were no vents besides the gap at the bottom. What makes you say that it is not properly vented?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    Was there any insulation between the joists, with a vapor barrier. .
    Some joists were missing insulation and insulation that was present didn't look good.

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    Was there mold on everything. .
    The part of the crawl space that I inspected didn't have mold.

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    were there rats..
    No, but I saw a creature moving, buyer said it was a craw fish.


    Thanks again.


  7. #7
    M Kelekci's Avatar
    M Kelekci Guest

    Cool Name

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rushing View Post
    M-- (no name)
    Didn't pay the taxes, running away from IRS. That is why I didn't want to disclose my name.

    Anyway,

    When I was registering on this bulletin board to expedite the registration process I just put M. I don't know if I can change it now.

    My full name is Mehmet Kelekci, but I go by Matt.

    How about the ventilation though? Is it enough?

    Thanks for the post.

    Last edited by M Kelekci; 07-04-2007 at 08:46 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Name

    Quote Originally Posted by M Kelekci View Post
    How about the ventilation though? Is it enough?

    Depends. (I say that fairly often, don't I? )

    What is behind the siding?

    How far down does that go?

    Is that 4" space totally and completely open?

    *IF* that 4" space is totally and completely open, then .333 feet (4 inches) times the perimeter of the house/open vent area (in feet) gives the total vent area, then divide that into the sq ft of the house to get sq ft vent area per however many sq ft crawlspace area. Minimum crawlspace ventilation is 1 sf net free vent area for each 150 sf of crawlspace area.

    Of course, though, you now get into: How is that vent opening screened? (It probably was not, otherwise I suspect you would have mentioned it.)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    M Kelekci's Avatar
    M Kelekci Guest

    Default Re: Name

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Depends. (I say that fairly often, don't I? )

    What is behind the siding?
    There is nothing behing siding except 2x4 and plywood (which are not treated) Please see picture below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    How far down does that go? .)
    It goes down to 4-5 inches above grade. Not consistent though. At some spots it is only 2 inches or less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Is that 4" space totally and completely open?
    I can say "yes" except the spots I mentioned above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    *IF* that 4" space is totally and completely open, then .333 feet (4 inches) times the perimeter of the house/open vent area (in feet) gives the total vent area, then divide that into the sq ft of the house to get sq ft vent area per however many sq ft crawlspace area. Minimum crawlspace ventilation is 1 sf net free vent area for each 150 sf of crawlspace area.
    I assume it is a 25x55 building. The perimeter 160 lf. 0.33x160= 53.28 sf of ventilation area.
    The squarefootage of the building 1375, divided by 150=9.17 sf minimum required sf.

    53.28>9.17

    Thanks for the formula. I guess we are OK, but let me ask you this. Does it matter where the ventilation openings located. At the bottom or top?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Of course, though, you now get into: How is that vent opening screened? (It probably was not, otherwise I suspect you would have mentioned it.)
    It was not screened. Does it have to be screened or it is just a good practice to keep unwanted animals out? How would you screen this configuration?


    PS.Thanks for taking the time out and training us. I have been quiet reader for last 12 months. You are a valuable asset to the bulletin board community. Because of your informative posts, I could pass the state exam last year.

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    Last edited by M Kelekci; 07-04-2007 at 01:45 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Where are the joist hangers?


  11. #11
    M Kelekci's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    Where are the joist hangers?
    Joist hangers missing.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Name

    Quote Originally Posted by M Kelekci View Post
    but let me ask you this. Does it matter where the ventilation openings located. At the bottom or top?
    No specified height location that I know of. The location along the perimeter is specified, though.

    From the IRC. (underlining is mine)

    - R408.1 Ventilation.
    The under-floor space between the bottom of the floor joists and the earth under any building (except space occupied by a basement) shall have ventilation openings through foundation walls or exterior walls. The minimum net area of ventilation openings shall not be less than 1 square foot (0.0929 m2) for each 150 square feet (14 m2) of under-floor space area. One such ventilating opening shall be within 3 feet (914 mm) of each corner of the building.

    It was not screened. Does it have to be screened

    Yes, screening is required.

    From the IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - R408.2 Openings for under-floor ventilation. The minimum net area of ventilation openings shall not be less than 1 square foot (0.0929 m2) for each 150 square feet (14 m2) of under-floor area. One ventilating opening shall be within 3 feet (914 mm) of each corner of the building. Ventilation openings shall be covered for their height and width with any of the following materials provided that the least dimension of the covering shall not exceed 1/4 inch (6.4 mm):
    - - 1. Perforated sheet metal plates not less than 0.070 inch (1.8 mm) thick.
    - - 2. Expanded sheet metal plates not less than 0.047 inch (1.2 mm) thick.
    - - 3. Cast-iron grill or grating.
    - - 4. Extruded load-bearing brick vents.
    - - 5. Hardware cloth of 0.035 inch (0.89 mm)wire or heavier.
    - - 6. Corrosion-resistant wire mesh, with the least dimension being 1/8 inch (3.2 mm).


    "How would you screen this configuration?

    Screening would be attached to frames set into those openings.

    Also, do not forget flooding in areas which have SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Area) and have BFE (Base Flood Elevation - set by FEMA) and DFE (Design Flood Elevation - set higher than BFE by the community, DFE is used to provide an extra height of protection above the FEMA BFE).

    From the IRC.
    - R324.2.2 Enclosed area below design flood elevation.
    Enclosed areas, including crawl spaces, that are below the design flood elevation shall:
    - - 1. Be used solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage.
    - - 2. Be provided with flood openings that meet the following criteria:
    - - - 2.1. There shall be a minimum of two openings on different sides of each enclosed area; if a building has more than one enclosed area below the design flood elevation, each area shall have openings on exterior walls.
    - - - 2.2. The total net area of all openings shall be at least 1 square inch (645 mm&#178 for each square foot (0.093 m&#178 of enclosed area, or the openings shall be designed and the construction documents shall include a statement that the design and installation will provide for equalization of hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.
    - - - 2.3. The bottom of each opening shall be 1 foot (305 mm) or less above the adjacent ground level.
    - - - 2.4. Openings shall be at least 3 inches (76 mm) in diameter.
    - - - 2.5. Any louvers, screens or other opening covers shall allow the automatic flow of floodwaters into and out of the enclosed area.
    - - - 2.6. Openings installed in doors and windows, that meet requirements 2.1 through 2.5, are acceptable; however, doors and windows without installed openings do not meet the requirements of this section.

    I bring the above up because in many areas, the finish floor level is established such that the floor framing is above flood elevation, which means that the crawlspace will be 'below flood elevation' and the openings must meet the above.

    One thing just seems to lead to another, doesn't it?


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Matt,

    No one mentioned the big threat of being electrocuted either in a crawlspace with standing water.

    Several years ago I was under a house and kept hearing the popping and sizzling noise only to find that a 220V wire was laying in some water that had ponded near the foundation wall. The soil under the house was extremely moist and I should have never went under there being that wet.


  14. #14
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Rick,

    I came out of a crawlspace about a year and a half ago absolutely covered in PAINT!!

    Some SOB had spilled 5 gallons of paint on-top of the vapor barrier about 20 ft from the opening. You couldn't see it until you were already in the sheeiit!!

    I was absolutely painted from head to toe.... Looked like one of the old three-stooges episodes where curley had paint poured over the top of him--- FUBAR.

    Rich


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    ROTFLMAO

    I can just picture that happening. I would be p'off.


  16. #16
    Mike Huppi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    I had someone spray bleach into one area and I did not notice it until I crawled through it. My red shirt that has my company name now looks like a tye dyed shirt, my coveralls did not get affected.

    Do not go some where that may be hazardous to you.

    Mike


  17. #17
    M Kelekci's Avatar
    M Kelekci Guest

    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Thank you all.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Matt,
    If it was so low to the ground, how did you get in there to take the photos?

    I agree with others about NEVER going in there when there is standing water.

    It is also my opinion that it is not an ALL or NOTHING thing. There have been many times that I wasn't able to inspect the entire attic or cralwspace due to something going on. I may have been able to see 75% of the area, and told them why I could see the rest.

    You can only do what you can do. Just be sure to tell them in writing about the stuff that you are NOT able to do or see, especially if you are required by a SOP (since you are in TX I assume you are).

    JF


  19. #19
    M Kelekci's Avatar
    M Kelekci Guest

    Default What is the minimum dimension of access gate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Matt,
    If it was so low to the ground, how did you get in there to take the photos?
    JF
    THere was an access door which is 22X12 (WidthXheight). I have a code check guide. It says minimum 24X16. I wrote this up however, the question I am having is that would you all go into the crawl space if the opening dimensions are smaller than minimum requirements?

    Thanks,


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Jack,

    I've taken numerous pictures like those of Matt's and not crawl into the crawlspace.

    After removing the panel and seeing water as such, I lay over the edge and hold my camera under the home and attempt to take a 360 degrees series of pictures. I'll then adjust the zoom and do it again. Its amazing some of the things you'll find in the background of those pics when you download them back onto your computer.

    When I do use those pics as such on my reports, I always state exactly how the picture was taken from the entry panel to the crawlspace only and still claim that the crawlspace was not entered.

    Once in those pictures, I discovered several termite tubes, damaged floor joists, ducts on the ground and broken drain pipes that would not have been discovered if I hadn't took such pictures. I've had people walk deals just from those type of pics, and I never entered the crawlspace or got dirty doing so.

    In that 2nd. picture of Matt's it looks like some toilet paper is present in the water which mean we probably have some raw seewage (floaters)in there. Not the place you'd want to dive into for sure.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    If I can fit through an access whether an attic or crawl, I do enter, I never worry about the specific measurements. If it is too small to fit through, I will look for everything I can from the hatch and disclaim like Rick mentioned. If it is wet or otherwise hazardous, I don't go in.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Rick,
    I have done the same. I was just asking out of curiosity.
    JF


  23. #23
    Paul Tooley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Getting into crawls has always been fun. I have squeezed through an opening a quarter of a block larger than a single CMU (8x16) superman style - one arm forward, one back, head sideways and push with the toes. not fun, for sure, but the major termite infestation was only visible from inside!

    A common trick in older houses in the hampton roads area of VA have ranches with 18-inch crawls and a rigid metal duct trunk running the length of the crawl, right down the center. There is typically a body with tunnel under the trunk to get from the rear to the front. those are always fun.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Paul,

    Some paramedic is not going to like you someday.

    Rick


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Nick,

    In that boilerplate, "instrusion" S/B "intrusion".


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Crawl space questions?

    Thanks Michael. My response was actually off-the-cuff and not a copy and paste from my report. I just have poor spelling on this board .


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