Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Well Well Well, We Found Buried Treasure!

Alternate title: Timmantha Fell Down the Well OR How to Fix a Moist Crawl Space

I have a really thrilling post today. Ever wondered how to install a ventilation well? Ever wondered how it works? No? Well you're going to learn!

You'll especially enjoy it because you might find hidden treasures in your yard such as what we found. Here is a sneak peek. I'm going to be mean and make you read all about crawlspace ventilation wells first though.


So as I've mentioned before, our house's previous owners thought it'd be a really neat idea to fill the ventilation wells at the front of the house in with dirt and the concrete shut the vent at the side. 'Cause, you know, it's really cool to make your crawl space into a moist greenhouse for SEVEN years. We're seriously lucky there is zero mold or termites considering it was literally raining underneath there when our inspector discovered it. He came out of there with his t shirt soaked.

That very day we dug up the wells at the front of the house and completely destroyed the "lovely" poke vines that were taking it over. Sadly I don't have a before picture aside from the realty stock photo.

Those are just weeds.

After digging it up so the vents could breath we let it stay that way for a  month. 

Classy Neighbors.

It wasn't THAT bad, I snapped this picture after Rob and I dragged the landscaping fabric out of the bed, but it didn't look welcoming. 

Anyhow, as you can see by the next picture, we only uncovered the majority of the vent, we didn't have the proper tools or a replacement well to put in yet. 

In the end, we still didn't have the proper tools and didn't feel like investing $30 into a shovel, so we used my grandma's hoe. It worked really well actually. 

It's fairly easy to install a ventilation well though so I'll go into it quickly in case any one else has weird previous owners who wanted a moist crawl space. 

First, you need a galvanized well piece. Go to Lowes and just say you need a crawlspace well. They're $20.  I bought this style to match the other we had under the other front window. They do sell plastic ones.  

Next, dig a massive hole. you want to dig a hole thats a few inches LOWER than the frame of the vent. Like so,

Now put the well against the vent to dry fit it. 

It needs to budge a little to the right. 

Then you're supposed to predrill some holes in your masonry with a brick/concrete drill bit. That failed for us. We had a heavy duty drill and the appropriate bit, all from Black and Decker but it just spun uselessly against the brick. Instead, we drilled into the mortar between the bricks. I'm not sure if that's street legal but it worked. Make sure you drill with a bit that is a size down from the size of your screw. 

You have to use special screws, like your fancy drill bit. We used these. They were $2.98 for 8 from Lowes. 

Still rockin' the friendship bracelet.
Now drill in the screws. I didn't take a picture of this part because it was a 2 person process. I had to hold the heavy steel well up while Rob screwed it in. 

Finally, back fill in your dirt and you're done!  

Also, ignore the neighbor with the fancy pebble garden and carefully trimmed out vent wells. 

And Viola! Now your house can breathe. Literally.

So that was just the one vent. On the other side of the door, the proper well was in place (but not bolted in, tut tut) but it was filled in with soil so we dug all of that out, and pulled out 2 beer cans, a lighter, a mcdonalds bag, a dollar store bag, some pens and god knows what else. Who throws trash on their flower beds?! 

That's a crumpled beer can in the well. The other stuff is in the picture too though. It's like a Where's Waldo game!

The third vent at the back of the house had this wonderful gem buried inside it. 

I've been told this is like the True Blood doll. Whatever that means.

Creepy baby! I've named her Timmantha (the girl version of Timmy)... since she fell down the well. ;) A friend of mine is convinced that the house now has bad vibes and needs an exorcism. I like her though, she's watching over our crawlspace and thus, our house. 

While the found beer cans annoyed me, I am just concerned that the owners buried a demon baby. I hope it's not a ritualistic poltergeist or anything. Maybe a kid did it to get back at their sibling?

I didn't bother removing her, I figure I can scare the heck out of people who come to have a BBQ over here. Or maybe just the guy who cuts our lawn for us right now. Haha he's going to get a nasty shock. 

Anyone else discovered some disturbing things from their previous owners? If I can remember, I'll take a picture of the kitchen drawers next time I go by. They have old packets of solidified soy sauce, half n half, and  feminine products in them. 'Cause, you know, it's normal to keep that in the kitchen. 


  1. That may be one of the creepiest things I have seen in blogland. ;) At first I hoped the previous owners had a child..but then I worried about a child playing with a demon doll...

  2. Oh, friend. We are soul sisters. The stuff in our house still haunts my dreams.

    A few highlights:
    - At least 25 knives of varying types - steak knives, butter knives, dinner knives. Some were buried in the backyard and others were throughout the house - in closets, under carpeting, in WALLS.
    - There were 10-12 disgusting chicken bones stuck behind the disgusting built-in in the bathroom. (Which promptly was ripped out and burned.)
    - Also behind the built-in, 3 dirty diapers, a few used tampons and pads and a knife. (I cannot make this stuff up.)

    We also found some cool stuff that was pre-previous owners. Old glass bottles and newspaper clippings, etc.

    We take the good with the bad.


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