Help below my fireplace


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Old 01-23-21, 07:16 PM
T
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Help below my fireplace

Went into the crawl space of my new house for the first time today and noticed the boards below where my fireplace is have rotted. Obviously I have to figure out where the moisture is coming from and fix that. But I'm wondering about the rotted wood. Is that just something that was used to pour the concrete for the fireplace and I don't have to replace it now, or is that something that I need to worry about and replace immediately?
 
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Old 01-23-21, 07:39 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

New house or just new to you ?
Is this the framing that's holding the hearth up ?
If the moisture isn't coming from the crawl space then maybe it's coming down the chimney.

Is it possible to post a picture or two for us....... How-to-insert-pictures.
 
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Old 01-24-21, 03:47 AM
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I agree with Pete that pictures will be helpful. If possible, can you designate in the pictures the outline of the fireplace above it? Does your fireplace have a lot of brickwork?
You are right to locate the moisture source, I recommend that you start dehumidifying the area now and get the wood dry. Decaying wood attracts insects and is a source of mold.
Is there a vapor barrier in your crawlspace? Perhaps you could add pictures of the general area.
I guess the home inspector didn't mention any problems in the crawlspace?
 
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Old 01-24-21, 02:24 PM
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Thanks!

Thanks guys. New house to me. Home inspector did not mention crawl space. I think the problem is the house was backfilled incorrectly, and slopes toward the house- which I plan to correct. I am really just wondering if I have a problem with the wood forms being rotted- I don't want my fireplace to end up in the crawl space!





 
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Old 01-24-21, 03:46 PM
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There are some construction practices here that I am not familiar with, so I will leave comments on the construction to our experts.
That mold is significant and is affecting your structure and air quality. I recommend against going down there again without isolation suit, respirator, eye protection, and gloves.
I think first thing I would do is to contact the home inspector. If inspector is bonded then repairs may be covered by insurance.
You will need to address the mold, either yourself or a remediation company. I believe EPA recommends that homeowners seek professional assistance if mold covers more than 10 sq ft. Not a requirement, just a recommendation.
Let us know how you feel comfortable proceeding. We can assist with info on mold remediation and structural repairs.
 
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Old 01-24-21, 06:05 PM
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Thanks!

Thanks for the help. I am thinking that I can treat this myself, but would appreciate any advice that you could give. I am pretty sure the moisture seeped in from the foundation as the land lays toward the house. I just didn't know if I need to replace the wood below the fireplace, or if that is just the form framing that was used to pore and create the fireplace, and serves no purpose now- or if it is actually doing something. jrsick- you made me realize how dangerous this is- I was down there for about 2 hours yesterday rehanging loose insulation- that's why I found this- of course just before I finished.
 
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Old 01-25-21, 03:44 AM
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I have some broad recommendations, and we can get specific as you decide how you'd like to proceed.
Create a new post for Interior Home Improvement>Attics, Basements, Crawlspaces. Post the pictures that you have taken of your crawlspace, and add foundation pictures.
Get some professional estimates for mold remediation and structural repair. This will help you understand what is required and you can decide if you want to hire some or all of the work.
Get smart on mold. Crawl space ninja has some informative videos.
Get the equipment you need now. Suit, gloves, respirator, glasses as previously mentioned (P100 respirator filters, and glasses that seal around your eyes). You will need an air mover to create negative pressure as you remediate mold. I recommend that you get a round air mover and duct both ends; carry the intake (suction) end with you as you move around, and have exhaust blowing air well clear of your house. The mold count is crazy high.
Decide what you will apply to the mold. Take a look at vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and the many listed online. You'll want something that penetrates wood. I recommend either Harris Termite powder, or Boracare. They are both Disodium Octaborate based. You may want to add dye to the mixture because it is easy to lose your place when spraying.
 
 

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