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When to Close Your Crawl Space Vents

When to Close Your Crawl Space Vents

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Do you remember standing on your unfinished first floor over your crawl space? You promised yourself that your house would have a firm foundation. If problems are showing, you should know when and how to close your crawl space vents.

In this thread, we’ll see how important proper crawl space maintenance is to keep your family healthy and stress-free. Knowing when to close your crawl space vents is one.

What Big Factor to Keep in Mind

Temperature is the culprit when minding your crawl space. If it’s too hot or too cold, it’s wise to secure your crawl space.

What to Watch Out For

A place secluded from the activities of people; crawl spaces are a haven for critters. Depending on your location, bugs or larger animals may find themselves at home down under.

You can reduce your chances of coming across a snake or possum with proper upkeep. Furthermore, staying vigilant and knowing the signs will also repel other problems.

Besides pests, excess moisture will raise humidity within. This steamy domain will nurture fungi that’ll eat away at your wooden beams.

What Signs Lead to Pests?

It’s easy to spot an infestation. Sometimes, there are droppings in the area; or you find holes in floors and walls. Other times, you’ll hear unnerving noises from disbanding vermin.

You can take measures of prevention on your own. The best step is to call the experts: pest control and a foundation specialist.

What Signs Lead To Rot?

The moment you smell musk on the first floor, call an expert. If it’s apparent within your home, the rot began in your crawl space a while ago.

It starts with moisture. The humid air from outside and the wet earth enclosed under your home will support the growth of fungi. In effect, the fungi produce mold and mildew.

How Much Will It Cost Me?

Experts estimate $15,000 on average. A full-blown disaster can run the bill over, but a starting issue may require under five figures.

A simple solution will keep you from having to spend so much, which will prevent pests, as well. Read on and we’ll expand on how to stave off these nuances.

Do Seasons Matter?

They do. The consensus is to close off vents in the summer and winter. This will keep humid air from coming in and increase crawl space moisture. In turn, this will prevent mold and mildew from forming.

At What Temperature Should You Close Crawl Space Vents?

During winter, you don’t want your pipes below to freeze and crack. Closing off your vents at this time would be wise.

Do I Need to Close My Crawl Space Vents in the Winter?

If your winters reach below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, your pipes are in danger. Keep your vents shut until it rises above this threshold.

Besides the pipes, you won’t have to walk on a cold floor. Thus, your heating can normally run and not drive your electric bill.

When to Open Crawl Space Vents

Ventilation at other times of the year is fine. Beware, still, that you have to avoid water pooling from the ground or any leaks.

Speaking of leaks, it’s smart to have them inspected at least once a year. This will save you tons in bills and precious water. It’s also a good measure to avert possible rot and collapse.

Is There a Better Option?

Why, of course! Extensive research has proven that sealed crawl spaces are superior. Think about it: half the air you breathe comes from down there. That’s toxic for you and your family.

A study in Flagstaff showed residents saving up to 20% in bills after sealing their crawl spaces. Allergens, also, reportedly decreased in their living spaces.

How to Get My Crawl Space Sealed

The steps are quite straightforward when sealing off your crawl space. Before you start, you should make sure that pests are at bay and that any rot is dealt with. Refer to your local experts as necessary.

The Checklist for Sealing Your Crawl Space

  • Groundwork

You can choose between concrete or plastic lining. Cover every inch of dirt and wall to prevent any seepage.

The plastic liner may appear dull but it doesn’t present additional moisture problems like in concrete. Choose white for aesthetics.

  • Drainage

If groundwater has been an issue, it would be smart to install a sump pump or a French drain before sealing the ground.

  • Dehumidifier

Having a dehumidifier will ensure your hard work is well worth it in the long run.

Final Thoughts

All in all, having sealed crawl spaces is the best thing you can do for your home, family, and yourself. It stops you from having to keep up with the seasons to maintain your crawl space.

If you’re still hesitant, make sure to follow the seasons. Below 32℉ and in humid summers, close off your crawl space vents. You’ll keep excessive moisture from building up, and thus, lessen the chances of mold and rot.

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