Unventilated Crawl Space

Benefits of an Unventilated Crawl Space & The Building Codes

There are codes to how nearly all of the important and systematic things are done in our country today. One of these processes is home building, of which nearly 7 million single-family homes alone were built in the last 10 years in the U.S.! There is a set of International Building Codes that home builders abide by when building these homes if, of course, the local regulations don’t override them. The topic for today’s article focuses on the benefits of an unventilated crawl space. A longstanding practice of ventilating crawl spaces is something we at Barrier Waterproofing Systems do not recommend due to the negative effects it has on your crawl space environment.

Following the IBC, your home builder may have built your home, if it has a crawl space foundation, with a series of crawl space vents. They will have done so according to all of the measurements and specifications the code provides. However, there is an opposing argument to crawl space ventilation that has grown quite developed among the industry. Crawl space ventilation has shown to increase the amount of humidity in the crawl space that counteracts any beneficial effect that ventilation was thought to provide, causing mold and mildew growth, as well as a host of other moisture-related problems. Here at BWS, we do not recommend crawl space ventilation and, fortunately, the IBC has recently included code requirements for building unventilated crawl spaces.

These requirements include taking precautions like ensuring that the air between the upper living areas and the crawl space is properly and mechanically circulated, the vapor barrier is properly sealed, and the crawl space walls are properly insulated. To be most certain that your vented crawl space is professionally sealed off from outside moisture or your unventilated crawl space is encapsulated according to code, give Barrier Waterproofing Systems a call today at (615) 257-1060 | (931) 536-1168 and schedule a FREE evaluation.