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  1. #1
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    Default Lime in crawl space

    Did an inspection today and there was lime all over the vapor retarder in the crawl space. It was likely applied to remove odor, it appeared the sewer ejector tank over flowed. This is a first, any thoughts.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Here are a few pics.

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    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Jeffrey Donners (what ever his name was) old house. Bodies in the soil under the home is a dead give away.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    I ran across this once before.... I crawled through it. It ruined my camera (got the crap in the retracting lens) and probably poisoned myself. I wouldn't do it again. I was doing it as a listing inspection and the seller said it was put down due to a past sewage leak. Whatever the reason, it's a mess for sure.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    That looks pretty nasty.
    I see crawl spaces fairly often that have DE spread all over to control bugs, it looks pretty similar to that.
    Vapor's not the only thing retarded in that house!


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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    That was a good one.


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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    In my one encounter, the owner said lime was a snake repellent. She had it spread in her crawl space to keep snakes out. I wanted to tell her the best way to keep snakes out would be to get rid of any rodents first.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA www.VaInspectionService.com

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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    So what would you recommend in this situation? I certainly wouldn't go in that crawlspace. I'm thinking I'd just take a photo of the "possible lime, or other unidentified material", cite it as possibly hazardous, and recommend its removal by a qualified hazardous material disposal contractor. That might kill the deal, but what would the consequences be if a kid went exploring in there sometime, and got that in his eyes? How would some of you handle this one?


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    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    In my one encounter, the owner said lime was a snake repellent. She had it spread in her crawl space to keep snakes out. I wanted to tell her the best way to keep snakes out would be to get rid of any rodents first.

    Mothalls.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Chambers View Post
    So what would you recommend in this situation? I certainly wouldn't go in that crawlspace. I'm thinking I'd just take a photo of the "possible lime, or other unidentified material", cite it as possibly hazardous, and recommend its removal by a qualified hazardous material disposal contractor. That might kill the deal, but what would the consequences be if a kid went exploring in there sometime, and got that in his eyes? How would some of you handle this one?
    Could someone, not you, not me, grab hold of the poly near the hatch and drag it out? It would be easy enough to deal with if it was wetted down a bit and then the poly was folded over to bag it.
    Option 2 - pump in a concrete slurry and just spread that over the whole mess. I love a concrete crawlspace.

    BTW, if it's just lime, we used to spread it out on our fields, turn it into the garden patch, etc. I never rubbed it into my eyes, though.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 02-28-2011 at 12:05 PM. Reason: added 'if'.
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Mathew,

    I see lime in crawlspaces in Central KY all the time - usually under old rural farmhouses. Owners seem to think that the lime will absorb any water that gets in the crawlspace. All the lime does is make a pasty mess. Of course the homeowner would be better off correcting the numerous grading/drainage issues I usually find at these homes. People also think that planting trees in a wet area of the yard will absorb all the water - mayber some but once again it's usually a grading/drainage problem.


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    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Question is. Is it lime? Like another thread about tasting brown ooze on the shingles of a home I do not think I would be tasting any white powdery substance under a home or crawling around in it. I would write the findings as an unknown to have a further eval by whom ever I thought best at the particular occurrence.

    I guess my one answer needs repeating if only for my sake. "I would not be crawling around in it." That is one crawl I would not go in.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    If you don't know what it is and before spending money on a test, ask the home owner. it's cheaper and easier to find out that way than to recomend pricy testing and deal with it properly that way. cheaper and easier than a toxic exterminators coming to clean your house for something that you can just clean properly yourself. I wouldn't want to crawl around in it. but take a pic and let that speak for you.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Hi, ALL &

    * Anyone thought of the 'other' white powdery substance some like to snort ?

    Possible sloppy illegal operation down there & got spilled all-over...

    Maybe the person(s) doing just that were high on it (exposure to it, or couldn't resist a snort) ???


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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Lol Glenn,

    Um no had not thought of that and don't want to get paid in that unknown sustance either, I'll stick to olde fashion cash and like forms of payments.


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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    The big gulp or other sourced large plastic cup, although inventive, is not a listed or code approved plumbing material.

    The crawl needs the decontamination and clean up work completed, and proper correction/repair-remediation of the system, including the corroding connection(s) and a properly installed, intact vapor barrier to the soil.

    The DIY rigging and plastic cup obviously not from a "plumber".

    Might be a bag of gypcrete, joint compound, whatever - was stored, busted when the leak occured - not necessarily hydrated or garden lime (which when wetted gets very warm and would have made holes/weak spots in the thin poly where wetted).

    However, I don't think its lime spread all over. I think its more likely cutting dust from when the "handy type" cut an opening through the poured crawl foundation wall to route pipe for the pump or some other project such as inside the footing repairing or placing a foundation drainage system, or a repairing a crack in the foundation wall.

    P.S. (Off-Topic) Ted, I think you're grasping at Dahlmer (sp?) not Donners; although don't recall that sick nut burring in basements, but keeping in barrels and freezers what he didn't eat (eww). Might be Gacy you're thinking of - he was the crawl space burrier of his victims. Both are long since dead.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-28-2011 at 07:42 AM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Any chance that was "Sevin" dust? My Dad used to put it under our house and on the dogs every summer to keep the fleas down. Has a strong chemical odor. Don't know if it shortened the life of the dogs.

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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hunger View Post
    Any chance that was "Sevin" dust? My Dad used to put it under our house and on the dogs every summer to keep the fleas down. Has a strong chemical odor. Don't know if it shortened the life of the dogs.
    Seven dust all over the dogs and then of course you and then under the home with air exchange to the home. I am willing to bet it will shorten your life.

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  19. #19
    Don Hester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    I have run into this several times. Mess for sure. Fairly low on the toxicity.

    More mess than anything else. I have used it making concrete at home. Why they get in crawlspaces it can only be guesses. Most likely a poor attempt at some kind of treatment. Or- "Heck I did not know where else to put this crap!"


    Here is a little blub on its use.


    Uses-
    One significant application of calcium hydroxide is as a flocculant, in water and sewage treatment. It forms a fluffy charged solid that aids in the removal of smaller particles from water, resulting in a clearer product. This application is enabled by the low cost and non-toxicity of calcium hydroxide. It is also used in fresh water treatment for raising the pH of the water so that the pipes won't corrode where the base water is acidic. The reason is that it's self regulating and does not raise the pH too much

    Don Hester
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  20. #20
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    Exclamation Re: Lime in crawl space

    seriously i would hire a plumber to see if you have a broken sewer pipe under house, i did and it took 3 diff plumbers before i found one willing to go down in that "mess" and replace the old cast iron pipe with pvc. it smelled awful and it made us sick! he said to replace plastic floor cover with new one after ground dries after removing old cover but to put down lime first, not sure what kind, but anyways, my point is they probably used that lime to cover up the smell of a big problem, its worth the the inspection fee to get your sewer pipe checked for your health and to get that cleaned up....my insurance helped only because it was a moisture threat to the structure, but if you got a bunch of gooey black or brown stuff chances are its feces. get it fixed. i got sick over ten times first year in house and afftr repair n cleaning ive been better since. God bless.


  21. #21
    Vern Heiler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Could someone, not you, not me, grab hold of the poly near the hatch and drag it out? It would be easy enough to deal with if it was wetted down a bit and then the poly was folded over to bag it.
    Option 2 - pump in a concrete slurry and just spread that over the whole mess. I love a concrete crawlspace.

    BTW, if it's just lime, we used to spread it out on our fields, turn it into the garden patch, etc. I never rubbed it into my eyes, though.
    John, what do you mean "I never rubbed it into my eyes though"? Did you play high school football? I think I got plenty of it in my eyes

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    John Kogel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    John, what do you mean "I never rubbed it into my eyes though"? Did you play high school football? I think I got plenty of it in my eyes
    Canadian in the 60's, we played soccer. If we played rugby, I passed the ball to one of the big guys.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 01-31-2012 at 07:15 PM.
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Hetner View Post
    If you don't know what it is and before spending money on a test, ask the home owner..
    that will surely obtain an honest answer


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    The lime cuts the odor and helps to break down the organic matter in the soil. It is a recommended fix to a sewage leak. It is not harmful but I wouldn't wear a mask. It can be watered or tilled into the soil. Under the house turning it into the dirt or covering it with dirt would obviously be the choice under a house.

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  25. #25
    Bill Hetner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Joseph HagartyQuote:

    Originally Posted by Bill Hetner
    If you don't know what it is and before spending money on a test, ask the home owner..


    that will surely obtain an honest answer

    Gee Joseph have you never gotten an honest answer. sometimes an owner will tell you what is going on rather than scare off a sale or have to pay the cost of testing something they know all about. It's not like it's going to cost you money to ask them a question, just requires an effort, and then if that doesn't work then suggest further testing if the client is concerned about it.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    Possible sewage leak in crawl space Lime used to absorb liquid and reduce odor.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Lime in crawl space

    First things first--I'd get a copy of Jimmy Hoffa's dental records, and go from there. Somebody would pay big $$$ for the leftovers, right?


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