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The Home Smithy
The Home Smithy, Home Builder
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 9622
Experience:  #1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience
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I have a manufactured home and just went into my crawl space

Customer Question

I have a manufactured home and just went into my crawl space and there was condensation all over the fabric barrier. We have had an unusual amount of rain the last couple of weeks What can I do to stop this This is the first time in 3 years this has happen
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Martin replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome. Does that house have an enclosed or an open crawl space? Do you know if the water table is high where you live?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

enclosed and yes the water table is high there is a poured concrete floor. We have had an excessive amount of rain recently This is the first time in 3 years we have had this problem

Expert:  Martin replied 4 years ago.
There is 2 things that can be at work there. If you made some opening, the damp hot air might condense in the area if the concrete create a fresh zone by evaporation of the underlying water. Sometime an area stay more dry if we only let it dry at night after the dew fell.

If the water table create enough of pressure, it can pass trough the concrete (you will then see white efflorescence on the floor if that continue for a while). To alleviate this problem, having a good drain may help.

As you may have this happen only occasionally you could install a humidity detector and activate fans to dry the place when the same situation happen again or completely seal the crawl space and put a dehumidifier there that dump water into a drain.

I could also suggest using heavy drinkers trees as solar pump but as you have a concrete floor, this can be a double edged sword. If the material under the concrete floor can carry water well, a sump pump could prevent the problem to build up and allow it to go away faster.
Expert:  Martin replied 4 years ago.
Another pro on the site mentioned me that some of my explanations may be complicated to understand. I assume he mean the "two things at work" i mentioned. Essentially the water may come from the ground water OR from hot exterior humid air entering the craw space. Essentially the whole crawl space and his concrete floor can act like an evaporative pot:

In the case ground water create the humidity directly, you need to remove that water. In the case the water come from the outside air entering the space, blocking that air entry in the hot part of the day ,allowing it only after dew time (of course, removing the humidity in the trapped air and the ground is still needed).
Expert:  Martin replied 4 years ago.
I just noticed you did not gave me a favorable rating. Anything i missed or you want to have explained in more details? Any particular solution you already had in mind?
Expert:  Martin replied 4 years ago.
The other pro (The_Home_Smithy ) have a word on the matter. As i have problem with the private messaging i will use your question space to invite him in the conversation.
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 4 years ago.

Hi. Welcome to Just Answer.

Maretin has asked that I jump in here and see if I can offer a solution to your problem.

I have set more manufactured homes than I can count. Some in the south where the humidity is high and some in the north where cold is a big factor.

If you have high humidity where you live then the condensation on the moisture barrier under your home is actually kind of normal. If the warm moisture laden air comes into contact with the moisture barrier and it is cooler than the ambient temperature then the moisture will condense on it.

It is just like a kitchen window during the holiday season. Moisture is going to form on it when the cooking gets going good. The cooking produces humidity and when it hits the cool window it condenses on it.

One thing that I have seen is some manufacturers used to use blown in cellulose insulation under the floor. It was cheap, light weight, and met the code requirements at the time. Today it is no longer code compliant. The reason being that it would settle and lose its insulating ability. The units that had it installed would begin to have problems just like yours. If the inside of the unit was kept cool during hot humid days the underneath of the home would look like a muddy swamp from all the condensation.

This could very well be what has happened to your home.

What I suggest you do is get a roll of gaffers tape (black duct tape. Its extra sticky strong) and a utility knife and go under the home and open up the moisture barrier where you think the most condensation is happening. If the insulation is the blown in type you really should have it reinsulated with regular batt type insulation. This will keep the cool air of the home from coming in contact with the warm moist air outside. That done the moisture will not condense on the barrier anymore.

One other thing here is the crawl space needs to be vented. If warm air is trapped under the home it can cause all kinds of problems besides just condensation on the barrier. Mold, dry rot, foundation subsidense (newer units), and rusting of metal jacks and other compoinents of the home. Ensure that you have good ventillation installed in the skirting, and that will eliminate most of the potential problems.

Please let me know if you have any other immediate concerns.
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Best, Smitty
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