Crawl Space Vent Sealing – Charlotte, Statesville, Greensboro and the Piedmont Triad Area
It’s a question that has been discussed especially recently with homes becoming more energy-efficient and “leakproof” – should the vents in crawl spaces be open or closed.
Did you know that your home literally “breathes”? It’s called the stack effect and it’s explained by simply remembering that warm air is lighter and rises. Any air leaks in your home – kitchen fan vents, bathroom vents, access to the attic, windows, doors – they all leak your warm air to the outside and rise up through your attic. As the warm air rises it needs to be replaced with air from … your crawlspace or basement. If you have open crawlspace vents that outside air with all the dust, pollen, and atmospheric pollution gets drawn into your crawlspace. There it mixes with any mold, mold spores, off-gases, radon, etc. and gets pulled into your living space. This can cause allergies, coughs, aggravate asthma, respiratory problems and other health problems.
Originally the vents were thought to help dry out crawl spaces thus preventing the growth of molds, mildew and other nasty things that can affect the health of your family. Well, we now know that’s just not the case for the traditional crawl space vents.
Crawl space ventilation is an extremely important topic for your home’s health that should involve a conversation with a Greenserve crawl space expert.
Vented Crawl Spaces are Trouble!
Construction workers have always favored crawl spaces because they’re faster and less expensive to build than a full-blown basement foundation. This type of traditional crawl space utilizes openings or air vents in the crawl space walls so that the air outside can circulate underneath your living space.
If there is any insulation installed, you may find it in the form of fiberglass batts, placed between crawl space joists, while the crawl space’s floor will be made of soil or concrete. The fiberglass insulation easily absorbs moisture and may sag or fall out of place, settling onto the crawl space floor. In winter, there’s a new set of problems: the floors become too cold because of the wet and missing insulation, meaning higher heating bills.
During the summer, warm and moist air can enter the crawl space, condensing on the cooler crawl space surface. When the crawl space continuously receives this warm air, it can cause moisture to form, which invites mold to grow and causes wood to rot. The presence of wet wood can also attract insects such as termites and carpenter ants, who want nothing more than to chew up the wood and terrorize your home.
One factor that isn’t determined by season is the indoor air pollution that can cause respiratory problems, because of the mold spores that enter the living space through the cracks and gaps in the walls and floors of the crawl space.