There is much debate surrounding the question whether crawl space vents should be open or closed. It’s important to know that your home’s location plays a role in deciding which is best. And for most homeowners, you possibly haven’t even considered that there could be costly problems associated with having your vents open. That’s what we’re here to discuss today.
History Behind Crawl Space Vents
In the mid-1900’s, most of the homes built in Texas were placed on pier and beam foundations. That space between the ground and the floor above is typically referred to as the crawl space (unless you live in the north and then it’s a basement). In order to prevent moisture and humidity buildup which encourages mildew and rot, home builders would add vents to help air circulate through the crawl space. In the winter, homeowners were encouraged to close the vents to prevent pipes from freezing.
Makes sense, right?
Well back then, there wasn’t a lot of research done on the effects of placing open vents along the perimeter of a foundation. Nowadays, there are far more proponents for keeping the vents closed – and for good reason.
Foundation Support Specialists, your local crawl space encapsulation experts, can provide you a crawl space inspection and discuss all of your options including our long-lasting repair solutions.
Why You Should Close Your Crawl Space Vents
One thing we’ve learned over the years is that a vented crawl space invites in quite a few problems for homeowners.
Vents can negatively impact not only your crawl space, but your entire home in general by welcoming moisture in. This moisture creates the perfect environment for mold growth and mildew. And if you have enough moisture living in your crawl space, you’ll end up with wet insulation, wood rot, and before long, the wood beams helping hold your home up will start to fail.
Open crawl space vents also allow for unwanted pests and rodents to move in and make themselves at home. Rodents like squirrels and mice can create expensive issues for you when they start to chew on the wood components of your foundation. As for pests… well, nobody likes those anyways. No reason to give them a cozy home!
Speaking of high utility costs…
What is the Stack Effect and Why Does it Matter?
The Stack Effect is the movement of warm air up through your home and out through the upper floor or attic. At the same time, cold air is being pulled in to your crawl space and up through the first floor of your home. This phenomenon is best seen mid-winter when there’s the biggest difference in outside versus inside temperatures.
Consider how a hot air balloon works and you’ve understood the Stack Effect.
One of most noticeable indicators that the Stack Effect is impacting your home is your utility bill. With a bare crawl space, cold air is continually pulled up through the bottom of your home which causes you to crank that heater up even higher!
Foundation Support Specialists has proven solutions that can help eliminate the Stack Effect and lower your utility bills.
Your Home Reaps the Benefits
As we mentioned, closing or sealing up the vents in your crawl space has many benefits, especially when you take the step to have a crawl space repair professional lay down a vapor barrier.
- Incoming moisture is eliminated! When coupled with encapsulating your crawl space and installing a dehumidifier, moisture is 100% controlled. This eliminates the possibility of mold growth and mildew which means the life of your foundation is extended.
- Pests? What Pests! Closing your vents means there is no longer an access point for rodents and pests to enter your crawl space and set up camp.
- Lower utility costs! With your vents sealed and crawl space encapsulated, the Stack Effect is minimized. This means in winter, the cold air will not be brought in from your crawl space and floors.
Book Your Free Crawl Space Encapsulation Inspection
Foundation Support Specialists is your go-to expert for crawl space encapsulation, as well as foundation repairs. We offer free inspections to homeowners across Central and South Texas. If you are ready to ‘go green’ and encapsulate your crawl space, contact us today!