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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » How to improve air quality (especially in crawl space)??

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Author Topic: How to improve air quality (especially in crawl space)??
Tammy N.
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I wanted to reach out to my smart friends here on Lymenet. We really are so incredibly lucky that we have this forum to share important, life-improving tips.

Mold is a part of my illness picture (as it is for so many of us). I have a genotype that cannot process the toxins from mold. My docs have made it clear I cannot be near mold. My husband and I have taken many steps to address our indoor air (installed an excellent HVAC system with a germicidal blue light and Merv 16 filter. Also got an Austin Air Healthmate Bedroom unit to remove any VOCs, particulates, fungal and mold spores, etc.)

It's the crawlspace that has us stumped. I've heard it said that 50% of the air in our homes comes from our basements or crawlspaces (Eww!)

Our house is about 60 years old. The crawlspace was never vented. Over the years there was a tiny leak that occurred in little spurts here and there. Nothing major. Most people wouldn't bat an eye, but for us we want it pristinely clean. We sealed the foundation from the outside (a major undertaking). There is a stale, slightly musty odor. Venting makes sense to us. But we just don't want to add simple vents that can let hot humid air in in the summer.

We've been reading about adding something like a Humidex unit. But we keep hearing pros and cons. There never seems to be consensus.

I don't think dehumidification is enough. I think there needs to be air flow. I don't think it's good for the air the stagnate.

Any wise thoughts out there? Please share. We want to move back into our house (asap), but want to address this situation first.

Many thanks.

Posts: 2238 | From East Coast | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RC1
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I don't think crawl spaces are supposed to be vented. Momlyme had posted about a product that seals the crawlspace from the inside, it was one of her later posts. You could check the archives, wish she was still posting, she was awesome. I have the same issues as you. Did the gutting, now putting everything back together. Man, is constuction stressful!
Posts: 845 | From Northeast | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tammy N.
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Thanks RC1. I agree, construction is stressful.

Yes, momlyme is awesome! She and I stay in touch. Her basement was totally different (dirt floor, etc.) so her approach worked well for her situation. Ours is different, so I'm not sure. My gut tells me that it should breathe, and have air flow, but not moisture.

Posts: 2238 | From East Coast | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lymetoo
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Tammy... someone was asking about MomLyme in General.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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hammond
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My two cents-

O.K. I 'm a carpenter and every new residential construction project I have ever worked on (new home or addition with foundation) REQUIRES crawl spaces to be vented. It's in the codes, but it may NOT be a good idea!

So I was interested when I read this article......

http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/reports/rr-0401-conditioned-crawlspace-construction-performance-and-codes/view

This article is very interesting. The take home for me is ......

1. The crawl space should have at least a 6 mil polyethelyne covering. This is in the standard codes anyway, but just incase you forgot!

2. Crawl space grade should be above the exterior grade.

3. Crawl space walls should be insulated (exterior or interior)
But some interior insulation types should not touch the concrete! Or moisture/condensation might collect.

4. Technical details about Rim Joist (the outer most joist) and moisture/condensation issues.

5. Radon gas needs to be addressed when sealing a crawl space.

6. HVAC systems need to be addressed when you seal a crawl space. You need to supply air and return it.

7. Make sure your downspouts cary water away from the foundation!

So it's a complicated process. Good luck! Hope you get to move back home.

Posts: 65 | From oregon | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
momlyme
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quote:
Originally posted by RC1:
I don't think crawl spaces are supposed to be vented. Momlyme had posted about a product that seals the crawlspace from the inside, it was one of her later posts. You could check the archives, wish she was still posting, she was awesome. I have the same issues as you. Did the gutting, now putting everything back together. Man, is constuction stressful!

Awwww. Thanks!

Sorry, I have been away so long. I just signed in today for the first time in a long while...

Nice to know I was missed! [hi]

I don't have much time today... heading out to a LLMD appointment... I will try to catch up on PMs and posts... and hopefully be around more.

I am having trouble with EMFs... so I don't like to be by the computer much.

My grounding mat is lost... and haven't re-purchased one.

--------------------
May health be with you!

Toxic mold was suppressing our immune systems, causing extreme pain, brain fog and magnifying symptoms. Four days after moving out, the healing began.

Posts: 2007 | From NY/VT Border | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
momlyme
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Here's the link to what we did with our cellar (not a crawlspace) http://crawlspaceinfo.com/

We were told NOT to vent because venting causes condensation when cold hair hits warm air.

We had others suggest venting...

The jury is still out. We did NOT vent. We encapsulated... watch the videos at the above link to see how we did it.

You can also hire someone to do the encapsulation... we were quoted $6,000... and we bought the materials for around $1,000

--------------------
May health be with you!

Toxic mold was suppressing our immune systems, causing extreme pain, brain fog and magnifying symptoms. Four days after moving out, the healing began.

Posts: 2007 | From NY/VT Border | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
WendyK
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Ah, a topic where I can be helpful! I work in environmental remediation.

The key to mold issues is to control sources of water/moisture. If there is no water, mold will not grow.

Check for any leaks, areas of condensation, or other sources of water entering the area, and fix any you find.

Make sure gutters and downspouts take water away from the structure. ( I see you already waterproofed the foundation)

If you have mold left from before, you can clean it with a dilute bleach solution.

Once the water is taken care of, you shouldn't have any more mold. If you are still worried about air quality from the basement, there are ways to control air flow.

You can vent from the crawlspace to outside.

You can have fans blowing in in the living area to create positive pressure.

If you have a radon-type system, that takes air from below the slab of your home, creating negative pressure under the slab and preventing air from entering the space from below. There are many qualified installers of radon systems.

I hope this is helpful and good luck.

--------------------
Wendy

Posts: 253 | From Near Albany, NY | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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