There are many ideas in life that were once believed as fact but have been proved false over the course of time. Some of these ideas simply worked better for their time and no longer create a benefit. They may even cause damage when put into practice today. We will discuss in today’s article how crawl space foundation homes were required to be built with ventilation systems for reasons that no longer apply today.
If your home has crawl space vents, it is important to know why they have since been discontinued. You can implement easy solutions to update work done by old crawl space standards used during your home’s construction. This can also help prevent the problems associated with crawl space vents.
Years ago, crawl spaces were understood to have been best constructed for your home with vents installed throughout the foundational walls. The reason for this was so that an air exchange would be achieved, allowing fresh air to enter in while pushing out stagnant air. While this method proved more beneficial for homes back when air conditioning was much more scarce than today, modern built homes are experiencing problems from this outdated design. When warm, moisture-filled air enters in, a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and pests is created.
Removing the vents from the walls of your crawl space foundation or efficiently sealing them off from the inside will deliver the following benefits to the health of your home’s foundation. However, keep in mind this practice should also be paired with sealing off the ground of your crawl space. This is because it too contributes moisture to the environment of the crawl space. There will be a complete elimination of mildew, mold, and other related odors when your crawl space vents (as well as any cracks or gaps in the foundation and exposed floor!) are completely sealed off.
To put things into perspective, you need to know how air moves around your home. Even when your home has perfect plumbing and no groundwater flooding issues, crawl spaces are plagued with moisture issues. It seems like a small matter, but the Stack Effect will magnify its consequences and start causing air quality issues.
Up to 50% of the air we breathe inside a house comes from basements and crawlspaces. The stack effect demonstrates the phenomenon where air rises from lower levels up to the upper levels of your home. As warm air rises, it will be replaced by unpleasant air filled with spores and odors from the crawlspace. This directly exposes your family to air quality issues. The harm can get worse in relatively humid areas and makes living unbearable for people with chronic allergies.
You will know your crawl space needs encapsulation and vents sealed when you have a cat pee smell in the house, groundwater seepage issues, or when you notice that your heating bill is significantly higher than what your neighbors are paying. Insect infestation or rot in wooden framing members or buckled hardwood floors may show that the problems are much worse. Despite the destructive nature of these problems, they can be fixed with foundation repair and encapsulation services.
A crawl space that has been sealed can achieve a dry, arid climate that maintains cleanliness. Another thing that begins to level out is the temperature of the climate of the crawl space. There will no longer be a clashing of cool and warm air from the communication with the outside. With a professional encapsulation installation, the temperature will maintain a regular and steady level that is much more energy-efficient for the HVAC system of your home. Otherwise, your air conditioning has to work many times harder to keep converting the new warm air into cool air.
In summary, modern technology, combined with recent scientific studies, has proved crawl space vents to be obsolete. Homeowners that are having a problem with the quality and condition of their crawl space foundation would find great benefit in considering a professional for help. Encapsulation services will fit the bill for sealing off your crawl space vents and fixing other moisture intrusion problems. Barrier Waterproofing Systems offer industry-leading and proprietary crawlspace encapsulation and air exchange technologies to correct any crawl space issues.
If you are unsure of where to start from, we will provide you with a crawl space evaluation complete with advice on the best course of action. The solutions are established on building codes and the expert advice of a BARRIER Specialist.
Give Barrier Waterproofing Systems a call today at (615) 257-1060 | (931) 536-1168 to improve the comfort, air quality, and energy efficiency of your home with our high-quality vapor barrier waterproofing materials.
This post was originally published on 6/11/2020 and updated on 8/1/2021 for accuracy and a larger scope of information.