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pyralis

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About pyralis

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  1. Hi Chad. Are you talking about both holes? The one picture by itself is a second hole. I thought that one might have looked like a sump pit, but the other pictures that show the larger hole seems a bit deep and irregular shape. Do you think it could have been a sump pit and fallen apart over time? Thanks
  2. Thanks everyone, I appreciate all the help, advice and suggestions. I have some phone calls to make asap. I'll be sure to update the post as I get more information on the situation and if I have any more questions.
  3. Thanks guys. I'll be checking back probably every hour to see if one of those in my area has posted. Kurt, who is Kibbel? I tried doing a search but nothing that stands out as a company in my area who would deal with this kind of problem.
  4. Thanks Marc. That's what I was thinking. Do you know who I would call for something like this? I assume I would need it checked out before I have it filled.
  5. Hello again everyone. Sorry in advance for the lengthy post. So I went down into the crawl space today to get some pictures. Unfortunately, I found something that I think might be a much bigger deal than high humidity and this time I have absolutely no idea what to do. As I was crawling through the space, at one point I ended up putting my hand down in a spot and nearly fell into a "hole" that you will see below. the vapor barrier covering it looked like it was two pieces overlapping each other and weren't even sealed as far as I can tell. I don't think I ripped it when I hand went into it, but I'm not positive. Click to Enlarge 34.44 KB Click to Enlarge 30.32 KB Click to Enlarge 41.09 KB Click to Enlarge 40.23 KB I was quite shocking and a bit dumbfounded to say the least. I tried my best to cover the hole back up with the barrier. I continued on through more of the crawl space and noticed an area that the vapor barrier was sinking into and this time had a large rip but was wrapped over itself. Low and behold, another "hole". It isn't that far from the other hole btw. I couldn't really get a good picture of this one because of angle and lack of light. Click to Enlarge 23.26 KB At this point I am now freaking out. I got some more pictures and got out as quick as I could. I am no expert in the slightest bit, but they look like sink holes and it looks like there are water channels at the bottom. I didn't have any kind of measuring tape, but they have to be at least 6+ feet deep. Anyone have a clue what is going on here? And who would I even call? A structural engineer? I am at a complete loss now. As for rest of the crawl space. I've upload some more pictures below. I also used my new moisture meter and the majority of the wood I tested is ranging from 20-24% moisture, which I know is way too high. John, thanks for all the suggestions to check for. I checked a few things, but after getting out of the crawl space I just couldn't do any more. FYI, this was a flip house. It was bought by a investment company in a short sale and they basically ripped it apart and rebuilt the innards. The electrical panel is indeed new. 90% of the wiring is new as well. They moved everything from the crawl space into the attic (HVAC, duct work, electrical) The hood fan over the stove does indeed have a metal pipe that runs into the attic and out the roof. The vent is it's own and the opening is covered with mesh wire or something so stuff doesn't get in. I think the water pipes are copper, but I'm not really sure. I insulated them shortly after moving in since they are still in the crawl space. I checked various spots both inside and outside the crawl space with the screwdriver. Hard as a rock. Didn't go into anything. And funny thing about the downspout in the back. When we first looked at the house we saw that and kind of scratched our head trying to figure out why that was there. It was the first thing we did after buying the house. We removed that downspout, patched the hole in the gutter, and increased the size of the other downspout that runs into a pipe which goes into the ground and out towards the street. Again, thanks you all so much. I am trying to calm myself down and be positive that it might not be as bad as I think, but it's not working too well. Click to Enlarge 44.94 KB Click to Enlarge 30.67 KB Click to Enlarge 35.65 KB As you can see here the barrier is pulled away from the foam spray. There are many locations where this is happening. I think a lot of damage and movement happened when they were working down there prior to our purchase. Click to Enlarge 36.25 KB Click to Enlarge 29 KB Click to Enlarge 37.01 KB Click to Enlarge 34.62 KB Click to Enlarge 54.71 KB This is around one of the concrete supports. Again, the barrier wasn't attached to anything. Click to Enlarge 29.47 KB There are various spots that have a lot of debris. Almost like crumbled drywall or something. But I don't know why that would be under the floor. Click to Enlarge 23.88 KB Click to Enlarge 27.43 KB Click to Enlarge 41.66 KB Click to Enlarge 34.78 KB Click to Enlarge 34.25 KB Click to Enlarge 37.14 KB Here you can see there is definitely moisture/water under the barrier. There are a couple specific corners in the back of the crawl space where I see this. Click to Enlarge 36.44 KB The greenish looking crap you see is insulation of some sort that they had stuffed behind one of the vents. Since the rest were open I figured that one should be as well. Thank you all very much!
  6. Firstly I want to thank everyone for their help, suggestions and advice. I really and truly appreciate it! Here is the link to the house info on zillow with some pictures of the house as well. Because of the way the land slopes towards the street, I don't think there is any issues in the front or driveway side of the house. I could be wrong of course The house was built in 1953. The original house is all stone, the additions have siding. As for the foundation, when I'm in the crawl space it looks like large cinder blocks maybe? I'm not really sure, but the picture I am going to take should show well enough. When you say to check the exterior walls, do you mean to dig down to expose part of the foundation or to check above the foundation? I can easily check inside the crawl space as well, but it didn't look like the foundation was rotting from inside. 'edit': Btw, I also ordered a moisture meter and should have it by the end of today or tomorrow. So when I go into the crawl space to get pictures I will be able to see what the moisture content of the wood is. Thank you again everyone!
  7. We already have two radon systems installed. The house had one already and when we had the home inspection done it was still a bit high, so they sellers had a radon company come out and they added another system on an addition that is on a concrete slab. After that the tests came back way below the accepted level. I actually just ordered two more tests early this week because we wanted to triple check after being in the house for 6-9 months. Planning on having a landscape architect take a look at the grading. My mom has used him a few times at her house. She apparently had some water in her basement and after getting several quotes in the $18-25K range she called this person and he managed to deal with the water outside the home for about $3K. As for damage that is being done, I really don't know. There is a good amount of batt insulation that was hanging down, but it could have been like that for years before we purchased the house. I don't know for sure if there is mold growing on the wood, I will take a good look this weekend. As for the humidity levels. In the house they stay around 50%, but the A/C has also been running for the past couple weeks. Also the past couple of weeks we have had temperatures in the 80-90+ degree range. Most days the humidity outside was 30-50% during the day and 70-90% at night. At the same time the temperature in the crawl space was around 65-68 degrees with the humidity ranging from 80-95%. It would be a little lower during the day then go back up at night. Now yesterday we had a break in the temperature, it was about 70 degrees and humidity outside was in the 30% range. It was also very nice and breezy. We did get a few sun showers during the day as well. In the crawl space it was about 65 degrees and I was very happy to see that the humidity went down to about 60-65%. This morning it was at 62%. I am still going to get a good amount of pictures hopefully tomorrow after work and if not then over the weekend.
  8. Thanks for the reply Marc. The downspouts are done very well, taking all water away from the house. I do think there is a grading problem, as well as a cobblestone patio and concrete walkway in the back that have sunken a bit and are angled towards the house. I also think that there might not be enough vents. I have no clue how many there should be. The house is approximately 1900 sqft and the crawl space covers almost all of the house except for an additional room that was added later I assume. There are a total of 4 vents. I am probably not going to be able to do everything at once because of money being tight. I am thinking right now to start with getting the vapor barrier replaced and working on the grading. Though the patio and concrete might cost a bit. Still going to get some pictures.
  9. So sorry. I will get some pictures as soon as possible, probably Friday or Saturday and will post them.
  10. Hello everyone. Firstly, let me apologize, because this post might be a bit long. I am starting to go crazy trying to figure out what is right and wrong when dealing with high humidity in a crawl space. I live just outside the Philadelphia, PA area and just purchased my first home in the end of Sept. 2015. Shortly after moving in I installed a couple of wireless thermometer/hygrometers in the crawlspace so I could see what the temp and humidity was during the different seasons. The crawl space is vented btw. During the winter the humidity was very low for most of the time, but would jump up to the 70-80% range for a day or two if it was snowing/raining and humid outside. Fast forward to this spring and the humidity has been staying in the 75-90% range. There is already a vapor barrier installed but it looks old and worn, plus there are some tears in various spots. I have been in the crawl space myself several times since moving in. I had to insulate my water lines and do a few other various things. I have also gone in there after we have had heavy rain and never have seen standing water on top of the vapor barrier, but there is some water under it. I have several companies to call to get estimates from, but had the first company out yesterday. The guy didn?t even go into the crawl space, just stuck his head in and looked around for maybe 5 minutes max. He even tells me that he saw water on top of the vapor barrier, but not positive where it is from, possibly from condensation. There is no HVAC at all down there and all pipes are insulated. After all the talking and explanations, I received an estimate for $26,000. Yes, $26K! $11k for a new vapor barrier because the one installed was done ?incorrectly? and $15k for a French drain system. Granted the crawl space is dirty and has some stuff that needs to be cleaned out (old duct work, wood, fallen insulation, etc.) but these prices seem very very high. I had done a lot of reading before I decided on calling companies for estimates but at this point I am more confused than anything else. So, here are my questions: 1. Should there be any water at all under the vapor barrier? I don?t mean a lot of water, just a small layer of water in a few areas. I know that there will be moisture, but the guy said there should be no water at all. 2. If I do indeed need a French drain, I would assume it should go outside the perimeter of the house and not inside the crawl space. If there is indeed water coming in under the vapor barrier, why would I want to ignore the problem of water coming in by putting the French drain inside versus dealing with the problem at the entry point (be it grading of soil, gutters, etc.) 3. Even with a properly installed vapor barrier, should I still seal the crawl space and install a dehumidifier since we have high humidity all summer long in this area? 4. Lastly, the crawl space is small, maybe about 2.5?-3? high and the entrance is a small window like opening which I doubt a dehumidifier could fit through. Plus there is not electricity in there. Do they make dehumidifier units that can go outside and be vented into the crawl space? Thank you very much in advance for any help and advice given. I really need some advice from people not trying to make a quick buck and to put my mind to ease. Ross Wexler
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