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  1. #1
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    Default Painted Crawlspace

    Found a painted crawlspace yesterday. I suspect it was sprayed with a stain killer like Kilz. The house was built in 1996. The crawlspace is a subfloor space under the basement pier and beam floor. The sub floor ventilation system wasn't working and the two steel support posts were heavily rusted (and one had rotated well out of plumb) but my question was why did someone spray paint this space? There wasn't any evidence of a past fire and smoke.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Found a painted crawlspace yesterday. I suspect it was sprayed with a stain killer like Kilz. The house was built in 1996. The crawlspace is a subfloor space under the basement pier and beam floor. The sub floor ventilation system wasn't working and the two steel support posts were heavily rusted (and one had rotated well out of plumb) but my question was why did someone spray paint this space? There wasn't any evidence of a past fire and smoke.
    The were probably trying to hide mold.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    Besides hiding stains, the paint actually will help to keep the OSB dry by sealing the surface.
    They've laid down a heavy duty vapor barrier.
    It is all good, IMO.

    The screw jacks, not so good.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Washington State
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    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    The white paint (Kilz) was most likely used to treat and/or seal fungi growth. I have found that OSB products develop fungi growth more easily than plywood or standard dimensional lumber. It's common for building materials to get rained on, or get damp at the job site. In most cases the fungi growth develops after installation and goes unnoticed by the builder.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    I wondered about mold too, but couldn't find evidence of that. Of course, light mold can be hidden with Kilz. Sealing it to help keep it dry isn't something that I've heard of, but that may be the plausible answer.

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  6. #6
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    St Paul, MN
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    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    Typically there are only two reasons for spraying wood building products. Sealing mold, or sealing smoke damage.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    The screw jacks, not so good.
    Why not?

    We hear this all the time. I can see that a hollow steel column with screw adjustment can have a fire protection (rating) issue, but what is wrong with this screw jack as a support column??

    Where in the code does it say that you can't use columns with screw adjustments as long they are in accordance with ASTM A 53 grade B or approved equivalent?

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Typically there are only two reasons for spraying wood building products. Sealing mold, or sealing smoke damage.
    Thay may be so, but I believe the best way to report on painted wood in crawlspaces or attics is to advise that the structure was painted, the paint may conceal potential underlying problems that were not visible at time of inspection and that the buyer should question the owner about the history of the paint for information, record and further action, as necessary.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Typically there are only two reasons for spraying wood building products. Sealing mold, or sealing smoke damage.
    I agree.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Why not?

    We hear this all the time. I can see that a hollow steel column with screw adjustment can have a fire protection (rating) issue, but what is wrong with this screw jack as a support column??

    Where in the code does it say that you can't use columns with screw adjustments as long they are in accordance with ASTM A 53 grade B or approved equivalent?
    Take a look at that one jack. It is rusted to the point where it could just collapse. That is what I meant by not good.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
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    Dec 2009
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    Florida
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    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Take a look at that one jack. It is rusted to the point where it could just collapse. That is what I meant by not good.
    Looking at the paint (looks like mold abatement spraying), and the damage to the jack (that jack should last for years without rust) looks like a high water mark or water was spraying on it for a while----the basement was flooded and mold took over.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    Is under floor insulation required in your area? It's been required here since the early 90s. That could add fuel to the "space being flooded" theory.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Is under floor insulation required in your area? It's been required here since the early 90s. That could add fuel to the "space being flooded" theory.
    No, I've never seen a basement under-floor crawlspace with insulation. Ordinary crawlspaces (under the house floor) frequently have the foundation walls insulated or insulation in the floor joists. In this house, the foundation walls are insulated but none in the crawlspace.

    Obviously, someone really wanted this sprayed, because it was a pain in the arse crawling through that space with a spray hose. I looked for evidence of heavy mold but didn't see any. Light mold is easily covered by Kilz, but you can often see the evidence of heavy mold even through the Kilz.

    After considering the comments here, I wonder if there was a flood in the past (the rusted steel posts) and someone decided to spray Kilz as a preventive or to seal light mold. There are two sump pits and pumps (one is the normal). Both are about 3' deep and dry, but we are in an extended drought. In a wet year, the water table could be considerably higher.

    Incidentally, we have active soils here with expansive clays. When houses are built, if the soil samples show low levels of expansive clay, then the basement usually has a concrete slab floor. But if the samples show high levels of expansive clay, then they put in the more expensive pier and beam basement floor with a shallow crawlspace. Many times I can't get into these tight crawlspaces. In the newest homes, they're sealing the dirt floors of these crawlspaces with plastic sheathing and treating them like part of the conditioned spaces. In 1996, they didn't do that and this crawlspace has been retrofitted with the plastic sealed vapor barrier.

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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Erwin, TN
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    187

    Default Re: Painted Crawlspace

    Most likely from a mold/fungus remediation


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