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In the crawl space of a 1942 bungalow there was no vapor barrier or under floor insulation. There was about 3 square feet of ventilation screen on each side for good cross flow.

There was absolutely no ill affects on any of the materials that I could see due to the lack of a vapor barrier.

I don't have to make a big deal out of the lack of a vapor barrier in this case do I?

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Originally posted by John Dirks Jr

In the crawl space of a 1942 bungalow there was no vapor barrier or under floor insulation. There was about 3 square feet of ventilation screen on each side for good cross flow.

There was absolutely no ill affects on any of the materials that I could see due to the lack of a vapor barrier.

I don't have to make a big deal out of the lack of a vapor barrier in this case do I?

What does it mean, big deal?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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No insulation in the attic either. Gable end vents and one of them was blocked with plywood nailed over it. I am going to tell them to open the gable vent back up.

Interestingly, there were no ill affects in the attic either. It is a solid little place. Needs some cosmetic attention and it had some wiring problems. Oh yeah, the original asbestos type stove flue had been removed previously and it's stored in the attic. That has to be removed.

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Originally posted by John Dirks Jr

No insulation in the attic either. Gable end vents and one of them was blocked with plywood nailed over it. I am going to tell them to open the gable vent back up.

Don't do that if you've got vents under the eaves and jack vents near the crest of the roof or a ridge vent or you'll decrease the effectiveness of the attic ventilation.

Even if you don't have vents at the eaves, that's plywood over skip which generally means you'll get quite a bit of infiltration at the perimeter.

Gable end vents aren't very effective unless the house is oriented with the vents on the same axis as the prevailing winds. If the attic ventilation is working the way it is I'd leave it alone.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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It may be prudent to mention the lack of a vapor barrier so someone doesn't come along behind you and make your peeps think you missed something. But in real time, it isn't of paramount importance. Around here, crawlspaces are either swamps or they're mostly okay, and a vapor barrier isn't going to make much difference one way or the other. I'm including a photo of a house I checked out today, after two weeks of hardly any rain. Does anyone really think a vapor barrier will solve the problem? I told my buyer the crawlspace required professional waterproofing, which is typically $2-4K depending on the square footage.

Around here, the hack inspectors tend to dwell on things like vapor barriers and doors that don't close exactly so 'cause they do one-hour runthroughs and have nothing else to flap their lips about.

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Originally posted by hausdok

Originally posted by John Dirks Jr

No insulation in the attic either. Gable end vents and one of them was blocked with plywood nailed over it. I am going to tell them to open the gable vent back up.

Don't do that if you've got vents under the eaves and jack vents near the crest of the roof or a ridge vent or you'll decrease the effectiveness of the attic ventilation.

Even if you don't have vents at the eaves, that's plywood over skip which generally means you'll get quite a bit of infiltration at the perimeter.

Gable end vents aren't very effective unless the house is oriented with the vents on the same axis as the prevailing winds. If the attic ventilation is working the way it is I'd leave it alone.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

No other vents at all. Only the gables.

I'm reporting the lack of insulation and vapor barrier. Not as a problem but for informational purposes. I included a hint for the increased comfort and energy savings that could be gained by adding them.

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Katen touched on a salient point. What does it mean "big deal"?

I would try to not think about issues as being big deals, or small deals. They are deals with possible consequences. You have to describe the consequences.

It goes to the idea of looking and describing what you see. If you don't see any problem, say so. I'd put in a small comment about VB's as an educational aside to the observation. If there were obvious problems, then the recommendation turns into something else.

This isn't making a big, or small, deal out of the situation. It's describing what's there factually and accurately. That's a better orientation to accomplishing our job.

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