Case Studies

Building Science Issue (Crawlspace)

Client: Homeowner
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
Completion: Feb thru March 2006
Corrections Cost: c. $10,000
Key Project Team: Timothy Toburen

IET was retained by the homeowner to determine the cause of extensive mold growth and beginning decay in the ventilated crawlspace of his 10 year old home. IET performed visual inspection inside and outside, as well as thermal imaging and moisture mapping in the crawlspace.

Results of inspection: Landscaping deficiencies had resulted in the foundation perimeter wall being saturated with water. When this water evaporated to the interior, the relative humidity of the crawlspace went up. The situation was worsened by multiple HVAC supply line leaks into the crawlspace from a recently installed duct system. Little effort had been made to seal the duct boots to the sub-floor. Cold air leaking into the crawlspace reduced the temperature of that area, raising the relative humidity.

Recommendations for correction: Carefully seal all duct boot connections. Modify landscaping and site drainage to divert water well away from foundation.

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Thermal and visible light images of HVAC duct boot connections to the interior of the home. The blue color indicates cold air leaking out into the crawlspace due to gaps of up to 1/2" at the connection.
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