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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    395

    Default Salts on Carwlspace columns

    Another crawlspace. This crawl was pretty dry and installers ran vapor barrier over piers. The columns still had the shingle underneath them but many of them had salt built up and what looked like moisture wicking. Not sure where the moisture came from as there were no signs of water in this crawlspace.

    Any idea how / why this is happening?


    //Rick

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    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Salts on Carwlspace columns

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    Another crawlspace. This crawl was pretty dry and installers ran vapor barrier over piers. The columns still had the shingle underneath them but many of them had salt built up and what looked like moisture wicking. Not sure where the moisture came from as there were no signs of water in this crawlspace.

    Any idea how / why this is happening?


    //Rick
    You said there was no signs of moisture (water) in the crawlspace, but the vapor barrier is an indication that moisture WAS a concern at one time.
    Now that there is a VB moisture cannot escape except from around the columns.
    Moisture is wicking up the column and causing the effervescence seen on the concrete.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Salts on Carwlspace columns

    Rick,

    I am in the Pacific NorthWest. Vapor Barriers are part of our building code. The column is sitting on top of the vapor barrier and shingle. I doubt there was any transfer of moisture from under the vapor barrier as I didn't see any breaks in the barrier.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ben Lomond, CA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Salts on Carwlspace columns

    I agree with Rick. Moisture most likely coming thru VB under post. The shingle would have torn the VB as it was driven tight. Vapor has no where to go but where there is a tear. We have some areas in California where you only have moisture in the winter months when the ground water is high.
    Could remove posts, bituthene the VB at pier and reinstall with shingle at post beam connection retained by post top hardware.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: Salts on Crawlspace columns

    I can't quite tell if the column has depressed the vapor barrier and soil (lower elevation) but in my part of the world when a crawlspace is ventilated to outside and a vapor barrier is installed, the humid air and fog condenses on the cold surfaces and puddles on the vapor barrier. It is a mess.

    We prefer closed crawlspaces with conditioned environment.

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Salts on Crawlspace columns

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    We prefer closed crawlspaces with conditioned environment.
    We're going the same direction here.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Salts on Carwlspace columns

    A simple test to determine if moisture (vapour) is coming up through the concrete is to take a 12"x12" piece of 6 mil plastic and tape it to the concrete floor with duct tape and leave for 48 hours. If vapour is coming up the underside of the plastic will have condensation forming.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wenatchee Wa
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Salts on Carwlspace columns

    I have seen a very similar thing and I assumed that there was a break in the VB. Also could have something to do with the make up of the concrete for the pier.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Salts on Carwlspace columns

    There is a dark stain there as well, pic #1. If you had a sample of the white stuff, you could check it out in the daylight. Could be it is lime, put there to deter bug attacks.

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

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