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We recommend using this checklist every spring and fall.
__1. Crawlspace standing water is absent both on and under the vapor barrier. Moisture under the vapor barrier is normal, but not standing water. Look for wet soil by footings, or dark colored vertical lines indicating water seepage through the cold- joint.
__2. Plastic vapor barrier on crawlspace floor should be in good condition and attached to footings or stem wall. Look for evaporate mineral stains on the plastic vapor barrier on crawlspace floor and water stains on any wood debris. There should be no water under the vapor barrier. Moist soil under the plastic is okay, in fact, it is typical to have water droplets on the underside of the vapor barrier, but you should have no puddles of water.
__3. Look for staining from plumbing leaks or condensation on the crawlspace decking and look for condensation on the perimeter of the crawlspace where the concrete meets the floor joist (especially on the north end of the crawlspace).
__4. Look for rust on nails, black gas line pipe, and form brackets (for pouring cement) which would indicate a wet environment.
__5. Seal any floor deck plumbing/electrical penetrations with spray foam. Limit airflow into home from crawlspace.
__6. Insulation should be in good condition without evidence of water soaking. Look for water staining on Kraft-back paper on insulation. Insulation should be on the entire perimeter of crawlspace or on the entire floor deck.
__7. Discolored wood on decking or rim joists on north and northeast corners of crawlspace can be an indication of standing water in the crawlspace from October until March. The warm moist air created in the crawlspace condensates on the perimeter of the top of the foundation where the floor assembly and the foundation meet; this occurs during the colder months.
__8. Look for evidence of microbial growth on decking, floor joists, and behind insulation. Check our web site for photos.
__9. Crawlspace vents open year-round for proper ventilation. Temporarily close when the temperature is below 20°F (-7°C).
__10. Crawlspace vents should not be covered by insulation. Vent should be above ground level.
__11. Make sure the air conditioner condensate line discharges to the exterior.
__12. Make sure dryer duct is properly sealed & vented to a dedicated discharge, with no crawlspace vent within two (2) feet. Look for lint in wash room collecting on horizontal surfaces; this shows dryer exhaust leakage.
__13. Look to see that fans from areas such as bath, laundry, stoves, etc, exit to the exterior and are sealed for leaks.
__14. Gutters and downspouts should be adequate to catch rainwater from roof, and routed to discharge 3-5 feet or more away from foundation walls or crawlspace and vents. With some soils, gutters may not solve a water intrusion problem.
__15. Sprinklers should be installed at least two (2) feet away from foundation walls or changed to “Drip System” along foundation walls. Check to ensure water doesn’t spray on siding.
__16. Make sure there is trim on windows, doors, stucco. Look for gaps, swelling, cracking, caulk pulling away, and any discoloration.
__17. Check for staining on soffit, which shows various roof leaks.
__18. Check attic for drip staining from condensation or roof leaks from flashing dripping onto insulation.
__19. Check Attic for microbial growth (spotting) on decking and roof joists.
__20. Bathroom condensation spots on ceiling indicate a lack of ventilation. Discoloration or staining on sheetrock, vinyl, or separation around tub, shower, or vanity show water leaks.
__21. Interior window condensation in winter indicates excess moisture in the house, dryer leaks, or water in crawlspace. Look for water seepage into wall cavity from leaking windows.
__22. Interior painting – look for symmetrical staining on top of walls and ceilings indicating soot staining from scented candles or combustion of lint from dryer through an electric wall heater.
__23. Linoleum discoloration or swelling indicates water intrusion.
__24. Wood flooring warping or ridges can indicate water intrusion in crawlspace or a water leak.
__25. Check HVAC operation, and if duct system needs cleaning, dirty filters, ducting leaks etc. See also HEPA Filtration & Fresh Air Exchange Systems.
Ness does crawlspace evaluations, Infrared Imagery diagnostics to identify water intrusion in roofs, walls, plumbing and energy efficiency. Also, Ness provides the restoration services to correct any problems in your crawlspace. Visit our website at www.nessllc.com