People once thought that installing vents in your crawl space was a good solution to mitigating humidity and moisture accumulation in the home. The logic was that having vents around the perimeter of the crawl space would allow for better air circulation.
All these vents would typically have a covering of metal or plastic mesh to prevent rodent infestations, however, they are unable to prevent the infiltration of insects, such as termites or carpenter ants.
While it is true that venting the crawl space allows good circulation of fresh air, we now know that all of the fresh air from outside can actually invite excess moisture and cause big problems down the road.
Vents May Be Exposing Your Home To Damages
During the cold winter months, your crawl space is filled with frigid winter air, cooling the floors above it. This cold air will also suck the energy from pipes and ducts which are conducting warm water and air into your home. This in turn puts excess wear and tear on your heating system, driving up your monthly bill.
During the summer months, the hot humid air from outside comes into the crawlspace and is cooled naturally by the earth. This leads to condensation accumulation under your home. When there is an increased level of moisture in the crawl space, you can count on an increased level of mold.
Indoor Air Originates in the Crawl Space
Some experts estimate as much as 50% of the air you breathe on the ground floor of your home actually came up from your crawl space. That means that whatever is in the air under your house is the air that you’re breathing.
Not only does a vented crawl space allow unwanted moisture, allergens, and pollutants into your home, but some studies have shown that leaving your crawl space vented can account for more than a 15% increase in energy consumption, reflected on your monthly utility bill.
If your home’s ventilation ducts are in a crawl space that is vented, this may be an even further detriment to your home’s energy efficiency. Any leaks that might be present in the ducting system allow for unconditioned air to be drawn into the system, potentially driving up your utility bill by as much as 30%.
Most importantly, you could be putting your home’s structural integrity at risk by allowing moist air to enter your crawl space. Excess moisture accumulation will quickly lead to a rotting foundation.
Encapsulation is Preferred to Vents
These days, rather than having a vented crawl space that allows for the flow of air, an encapsulated crawl space is preferred.
An encapsulated and conditioned crawl space is much better at eliminating issues that can occur as a result of moisture coming in from damp soil or from humid air. You can ensure that the foundation of your home is less likely to develop mold and decay by eliminating infiltration of excessive moisture.
Call Evergreen insulation to discuss how to prevent any of these nasty issues from developing in your vented crawl space, and how encapsulation may be able to increase the value of your home.