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Archive for April, 2011

CrawlSpace Day 1

April 30th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

So yesterday I posted about how bad my moisture problem is. What I didn’t mention is that I’ve known about this problem since August but have had a million problems getting accurate fixit ideas. I decided to go with a product called CleanSpace. There was nothing about this part of my project that could even remotely say was done on a shoestring budget. This part of my remodel was 6k. It will be worth every penny because it’s better to pay more now in prevention than have to deal with more problems later.

CleanSpace is a 20 mil product that wraps around walls and floors to keep moisture from evaporating and being transferred to other peices of the home, like wood, floor, etc. It also has a biocide on the botton to prevent mold and rot from affecting the 20mil plastic.  you can find out more information here:

After three months of figuring out inaccurate bids, awful subcontractors and lots of hurry up and wait – we finally found someone that would do the whole moisture management comprehensive project, guarantee their work and stick with their bid price…weird. So TerraFirma came in today! The first day they mostly dug to help direct the moisture out of the house and they started putting the clean space on the walls.

This is a deep trench coming out from the basement doors.

And the trench goes all the way to the hill.

The rotten beams were replaced with pressure treated beams and put on top of the Clean Space so the moisture won’t rot the beams again.

Clean Space started to be put on the walls. You can see the trench they dug on along the side of the foundation.

The trench continued around the side of the house – look how dark the dirt is! That’s water! Ugh! So glad it wasn’t me digging this hole!

and the trench continues….

This trench is coming from the opposite side of the foundation and is coming under the bathroom to meet up with the other trench.

Clean Space Hung on the wall.

I can’t wait to see what they get done tomorrow!!!

Basement Water Problems

April 29th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

I’ve said it before – I’ll say it again. Based on a typical home in the United States, the E.P.A. estimates that the air in your home is replaced almost every hour and about 50% of that “new air” comes from your crawl space! That simply means that the quality of air in your home is greatly affected by the condition of your crawl space. It might be out-of-sight and out-of-mind, but it is a large part of your living environment and quality of air that you breath.

Photos below are of my basement. It all started with a really bad smell – like wet dirt. A couple weeks later we pulled up all the subfloor and these are more pictures of what we found.

Yup. That’s a lake. In my basement. Slowly rotting away the floor that was here before.



See that white pipe in the bottom right hand corner of this photo? That’s a pipe that is bringing water from further up in the crawlspace and daylighting it right in front of the foundation…. and ultimately is the reason the floor was rotten and the sliding glass door fram is rotten. Who had the awesome idea to daylight water in front of the foundation of a home?? Iiiiiidiots!

Here is a closer look at the water puddeling under the white pipe.

Because there was so much water running in the crawlspace – over time, the dirt moved down hill to cover the posts that my house is standing on. Here is a picture of the beam that is literally holding my house up, and you can see the dirt around the base.

Here is what it looks like when i moved the dirt away from it! That is NOT safe!

We dug out a little flate area so that we could have a place for storage. We displaced some of the dirt outside but removing all that dirst just showed even more obviously how bad the moisture problem is. All the dark brown dirt? Real, soggy, mud. It was like walking through a swamp. See on the left hand side of the photo how the dirt is kinda white? That’s mold and mildew. My inspector said that this pile was cement and nothing to worry about – guess he didn’t actually touch it or walk on it because he couldn’t have been more wrong. This gets me so mad. Get a Home Performance Auditor to look at your house - I will never hire another inspector ever again.

Here is a closer look at how much water was pooling in my crawlspace. Can you believe I have been breathing the air from this area for over a year! eeewwww!!!

I can’t write any more about how bad the moisture problem is. It makes me ill. If this looks like your basement/crawlspace – please call someone…. now.


Sheetrock Repair – More Bathroom Saga

April 27th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Part of my bathroom upgrade inluded sheetrock repairs – like this little repair from a not-so-perfect HRV controls installation.

Here is the control as we found it.

Gaps are circled.

I forgot to take pictures of the sheetrock fix of the control, so in another area of the bathroom there was this hole from the hold towel bar, so I can still show you how I patched it. Here is the patching material I used, it was left over from painting the house with my family when I moved in last year. .

Use a flat tool in a wiping motion to get the spackle in all of the little holes. I did it here on the light.

Then I painted it and re-installed the Deco Plate.

So Easy! And Cheap!

Buy Natives? Aren’t they Native?

April 26th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

So I paid around $100 bucks last fall to get some plants that were recommended to me here in my Backyard Certification Report. I only ordered plants I wasn’t familiar with because it made sense to buy things you can’t make or grow yourself. But it dawned a on me that if I’m buying plants so they are native to the Northwest and better for the local environment… then they are actually growing natively! In which case – why would I buy them?

My family owns a beach house with a lot of native plants around it. I decided that a relaxing weekend at the beach could double as a native plant finding mission. So I gathered by Native Plant Hunting Gear:

and headed into the deep dark wild forest next to our beach house…..

after an hour of sliding around I came back with a big bucket’o'plants. I only hit super dense areas and thinned it out a little, one fern in a bunch of a lot of ferns, and the same with the other guys. I climbed back up the hill and separated the look a-likes into old plant containers I brought with me.

So pretty… and natural! (Free)

The only thing I know about plants is that when they are moved – they need a lot of nurturing and more water than average. So I added some plants food and stirred up the soil and planted them in my newly named: Plant Nursery!

I will carefully water my plant nursery every day until my wiiiiittle babies are ready to be planted in their final planting place. Free* Native Plants!


*Disclaimer: Don’t take plants from property that isn’t owned by you or your family or you have approval to transplant plants from. Also, do not take plants that are rare, or taking them out of their area, would kill them. Never “clear cut” anywhere, anytime – even if it appears harmless.