Who is really at fault when a six year old house has crawlspace floor system moisture ranging from 20 to 25 percent with heavy fungi growth. Assume the problem started developing when the house was new. The ground was covered with vapor barrier over about 40 percent of the area.
The IRC ?
The code inspector ?
The builder should have explained to the buyer that the crawlspace needs inspecting at regular intervals which I doubt this one did. Not many builders are going to say “Oh, and you should have my work checked often to see if I screwed up”.
The IRC may not be liable but is part of the problem when they want to be involved in construction but allow crap to be built.
Code inspection departments are becoming liable, there have been two major suits around here (NC) and I know the code office lost in court on one so far.
They lost their exemption when they went out and purchashed insurance according to the judge. (no I don’t have time to show anyone this, its Gaston County NC if you can find it, it was in the newspaper awhile back).
The owner is now a bank, so no, they will not get screwed, they will just wait for the right buyer to show up with the wrong home inspector…
The system has a major flaw and our job functions are very important for the buying public. That is, if the public knows who to hire…
Its the fault of whomever still thinks it makes sense to build a home on a vented crawlspace. That is old and outdated technology and one that will promote mold growth at least here in the southeast.
I don’t think making generalized statements like this is accurate either. Homes have been built on ventilated crawlspace for over a hundred years; most do not have problems.
Sure vented crawlspaces can have problems, but so can sealed crawlspaces. As a matter of fact, I’ve yet to see a retro fitted crawlspace (converted from vented to sealed) that has not had major problems; more problems that the original vented crawlspace.
Jamie, if you ever get into Norfolk, I would be happy to show you some beautifully sealed and conditioned crawlspaces. Does it make sense to invite wet and warm air into a space that is cool? It’s outdated, we can build smarter and should
The latest type of vented crawlspaces arpound here that are working good for the most part have all of the following:
Lots more foundation vents than the older method.
No HVAC ducts at all.
Plenty of height for air volume/movement.
Ventilation also under porches.
Complete vapor barrier with good overlaps.
Grade sloping away from the house on all four sides.
Downspout water diverted via underground drains.
Crawlspace drain at low end to handle plumbing flood and/or unusual prolonged heavy rains.
I’m with you; it’s a great idea and new construction sealed crawlspaces are great.
However, retro fitting vented crawls into sealed crawlspaces is a very difficult task (and I have never seen one that did not have lots of problems; including standing water). The last one I saw was in Norfolk; it was supposed to be a retro fit (their plan was to seal a vented crawlspace); it did not work out too well.
I believe both vented and sealed crawlspaces have their place in the industry; no one system works under every circumstance.