Why Should Crawl Space Vents Be Sealed?

Why Should Crawl Space Vents Be Sealed? blog header image

Crawl space vents are common in homes in the Chesapeake Bay area. Yet, many of these vents are now being sealed. 

It used to be thought that vents were necessary to remove air and moisture from the crawl space. Over the years, however, it’s been shown that allowing air to move freely out of and into your crawl space is actually detrimental to your home and its indoor air quality.

Because much of the air you breathe in your home comes directly from your crawl space, high-performance contractors now agree that the crawl space should be treated as part of your living area. In other words, it should be sealed, insulated, and kept free of moisture.

Unsealed Vents Cause Severe Crawl Space Problems 

Some of the most common crawl space issues houses in the Chesapeake Bay area are prone to can be traced back to unsealed vents. 

Moisture Issues 

Outside air, particularly in the humid climate along Maryland’s Eastern Shore, carries a significant amount of moisture with it. Warm, humid air creates condensation when it enters your vents and meets up with the cooler surfaces in your crawl space, such as the dirt or slab floor and cold air ducts. This creates an environment that encourages mold and mildew growth, which is not only detrimental to your health, but also to the integrity of the structure of your home, your insulation, and any belongings you may have stored in your crawl space. 

If humidity and moisture are a constant issue throughout your Maryland home be sure to speak with us about our Moisture & Humidity Assessments.

Pest Infestation 

Unsealed crawl space vents are an open door for pests to enter your crawl space and infest your home. Once inside, pests can wreak havoc on your home by nesting in insulation, chewing on building materials, and producing contaminants that hurt your indoor air quality. 

Eliminate Cold Drafts & High Energy Bills 

In winter, cold air from the outside can freely enter your crawl space through unsealed vents, which is then sucked up into your home. This can cause all kinds of comfort problems, from cold floors to uncomfortable drafts. It can also drive up your energy bills as your heating system works overtime to combat the cold. 

You’ve Sealed Your Vents… Now What? 

Vent sealing will keep outside air from entering one way, but it won’t stop air and moisture from entering or heat from escaping through other gaps and cracks in your crawl space. And it won’t address any existing moisture problems you may already have. The best way to address a crawl space is with a comprehensive approach that’s customized to your specific situation. 

  1. Address Moisture Issues
    If there is standing or groundwater in the crawl space, it must be addressed first. A drainage system and sump pump will ensure water is collected and pumped out and away from the house. Leaking ductwork must also be sealed at the seams.
  2. Basement Waterproofing or Crawl Space Encapsulation
    Once moisture problems are addressed, the crawl space can be air sealed, so there are no open gaps. Then a clean, sturdy vapor barrier is installed on the floor and walls of the crawl space.
  3. Crawl Space Dehumidifier
    The last and very important step is to install a crawl space dehumidifier to ensure the humidity in the crawl space stays at a constant and acceptable level year-round.
  4. French Drain Installation
    If water is a consistent, or even just seasonal, issue with your crawl space or along your foundation, exterior french drain installation can help. 

Chesapeake Bay’s Authority on Crawl Space Solutions: Total Home Performance 

Total Home Performance is the trusted expert on crawl space solutions in the Chesapeake Bay area. We are highly experienced in both crawl space repair and crawl space encapsulation and have sealed well over 1,500 crawl spaces! 

While most crawl spaces share common problems, every home is unique, so we take an individual approach to find the solution that will best fit your needs and budget. We will assess your particular situation and needs and present you with the best solution, all while being one of the only contractors in the Chesapeake Bay area to offer Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® rebates for crawl space services.

Let us turn your crawl space from a place to avoid to a space that gives you peace of mind, increases the energy efficiency of your home, and helps lower your utility bills! 

Need crawl space help? Total Home Performance is here for you! Call 410-822-1390 or contact us online today.

Are your crawl space vents unsealed? 

Schedule crawl space services today!