What is an Open Crawl Space Vent?
Around the 1950s, every home with a crawl space was built with vents. It was believed that the vents would help the stale, stagnant air exit the crawl space. The thinking was that the fresh air circulating in the crawl space would therefore prevent mold growth. However, over the years it has been proven that these vents caused more damage than good.
If your home has vents in the crawl space, you might be wondering what to do with these openings. Should you leave them be or seal them? A lot of homeowners are struggling with this dilemma. Read on as we address crawl space vents, their purpose, the problems they often cause, and ways to avert these issues.
What Are Crawl Space Vents?
Crawl space vents are fixtures that can be found on foundation walls. They at one point were even required by building codes in many areas.
While crawl space vents are a great idea in theory and should keep the space beneath your home dry and mold-free, they actually cause a whole range of problems. The issue with these fixtures is that they allow wet air to enter the crawl space, which is rather counterproductive as they were invented to help dry out crawl spaces.
Vents also encourage airflow from the bottom to the top of the home. In other words, the air from the crawl space eventually ends up in your living area. If the crawl space is full of mold spores, dust, and allergens, all those particles find their way to the rest of your home, contaminate the air you breathe, and even cause health problems.
Disadvantages of Open Crawl Space Vents
If the crawl space vents in your home remain open, it will be impossible to regulate moisture levels. Moist air will continuously seep in, raising humidity levels and creating the perfect environment for moisture-related issues.
Almost 50% of the air inside your house is circulated from the crawl space through the vents. If the area is dirty, damp, and moldy, the air that enters your living space will be contaminated. This toxic air can trigger respiratory problems and worsen existing asthma symptoms.
When the moisture levels rise in the crawl space, you will experience discomfort while indoors. This will require extensive use of your heater during the winter months and your air conditioner during the summer, resulting in high energy costs each month.
Seal Crawl Space Vents for a Healthier Home
To achieve a more energy-efficient home, prevent mold growth, and control moisture, consider using vent covers to block crawl space vents from the outside. A complete seal by certified professionals like Groundworks can significantly decrease moisture accumulation and temperature fluctuations within your residence.
Homes with sealed vents outperform those with open vents. After sealing the vents, it’s crucial to encapsulate the crawl space using a robust, 20-mil plastic vapor barrier to ensure ultimate protection.
By sealing the vents and encapsulating the crawl space, you can enjoy several benefits, including:
- Warmer Floors During Winter
- 20% Lower Heating Costs
- Making It More Difficult For Pests & Termites To Enter
- Better Indoor Air Quality
- Wood Decay & Mold Growth Prevention
Crawl Space Vent Sealing Help
Are you concerned with the state of your crawl space? Contact the reliable crawl space experts in your area for a free inspection and quote. We are happy to seal your open vents and encapsulate your crawl space so outside air or moisture won’t trouble you again.