Crawl spaces can be one of the most dreaded areas of your home. Who enjoys going into a dark, musty area with only a flashlight to guide your way? The dank environment in a house’s crawl space is due to excess moisture that collects and is trapped. Old building codes and some contractors suggest adding multiple vents to the area in order to alleviate the excess moisture. — Oh, how wrong they are. Having a ventilated crawl space can cause many more problems than they solve. Here a few reasons why vents in a crawl space should be avoided.
Moisture is a common problem in nearly all crawl spaces. The exposed soil under the crawl space allows moisture to enter the area as does warmer outside air. Once in the crawl space the air cools, leading to condensation on the structure and insulation too. All of the moisture that collects causes greater problems for your home including mold, mildew, and rot. This is especially dangerous since nearly 40% of the air in your home originates from your crawl space. Not only is your home at risk structurally, but your family has increased health risks as well.
#2. Increased energy consumption
Since they are not encapsulated, ventilated crawl spaces allow outside air to enter and exit freely from underneath your home. Even with insulation underneath your floor, the weather will still have an affect on the amount of energy you are using. During the winter months cold air finds its way into your home, making your floors chilly and your heating costs rise. Warm, moist air during the summer brings with it the potential for mold as well as an increase in your air conditioning use. With every homeowner looking to save money, there’s no reason this should continue.
#3. Difficult maintenance
Ventilated crawl spaces are some of the most difficult to keep maintained. Since they are susceptible to the various weather conditions, many homeowners often find sagging insulation, gaps in floorboards, and even pests. The worst part of all is that most of the problems that can occur in a ventilated crawl space often go unnoticed. If left alone, they can lead to serious dangers. All of these can be hazardous to your home and leave you with a much lighter wallet.
What should I do?
Now that you understand the possible hazards of having a ventilated crawl space, you can begin planning for its repair. The best way to protect your crawl space and the rest of your home is to encapsulate it. Encapsulating your crawl space will not only protect your home from excess moisture and changing weather, but it will also give you the peace of mind that your home is safe and secure.
With over 30 years of basement waterproofing experience, Ameri-Dry offers patented, permanently dry systems that are backed by a full lifetime warranty. For more information about Ameri-Dry and the Ameri-Dry Guy, visit ameri-dry.com.
Photo credits: Top © gunnar3000 / Fotolia. Middle © Stephen Martin / Fotolia.