Crawl spaces are built into more than 80M homes across America. Most people do absolutely nothing with their crawl space vents and that is the worst possible option they could choose.
Conscientious homeowners typically close their crawl space vents in the winter, but what almost 100% of homeowners don’t know is: Winter is not the only time of year you should keep your foundation crawl space vents closed. There are other times of the year when you would greatly benefit from keeping your crawl space vents closed, and we’re about to explain why.
What is a crawl space for?
The primary reason for a crawl space is to allow air to circulate under your home when needed. But crawl spaces serve other purposes as well. If the ground underneath your home isn’t level, it’s a lot easier and more cost-effective to build your home on a crawl space rather than moving the dirt to create an even surface to build upon. A crawl space also provides a space that’s easily accessible and out of the way for your pipes, hvac venting or fuse box.
When should I close my crawl space vents?
People usually close their crawl space vents in the winter, but you might be surprised to learn that it’s also important to close your vents in the summer and any time it rains!
In the Winter
- The most common reason most people close their crawl space vents in the winter is to keep the cold air out when temperatures drop below freezing. This is to protect the pipes from becoming frozen. Pipes can freeze in as little as 6 to 8 hours, which means it can happen overnight. If your pipes freeze, they can crack and burst, which is a major problem. Not only could it leave you without water, but it would cause a ton of damage, which is often very expensive, and the moisture that’s left could attract even more problems.
In the Summer
- People often keep their crawl space vents open during the summer so that the air can circulate and keep the crawl space dry. However, this isn’t as effective as it sounds. With the higher temperatures in the summertime, the humidity in the air also rises. That humid air that’s supposed to be circulating and drying out your crawlspace is actually just carrying moisture inside. That moisture, coupled with the dark environment creates the perfect environment for mold and may eventually cause severe structural damage.
- Another factor to consider is pests. Leaving your vents open in the summer leaves you vulnerable to infestations. Even if you have a wire cover for your crawlspace vent, it won’t keep rodents and insects out, as they can still easily get inside, breed, and chew their way through your home.
- Keeping your vents open in the summer can be expensive if you use an air conditioner. When you keep your crawl space vents open in the summer, the hot air from outside pushes its way inside and displaces the cool air under your home. The result is if it is 90 degrees outside then it is going to be about 90 degrees under your home… and heat rises. Your air conditioner will have to work twice as hard because it will be like your home is sitting on top of a 90 degree heating pad. The cool air that is normally in your crawl space is lost when you keep your crawl space vents open and that may end up costing you a pretty penny.
When It’s Raining
- Just like the cold in the winter and the humidity in the summer, the rain poses a risk to your home if you leave your vents open. The rain could easily enter your crawl space. If it’s left there, mold and mildew will develop over time, and the fear is that it could eat away at the wood under your home. You may not notice it until there’s significant damage and the floor is caving in.
- Another risk is that rainwater could settle in your crawlspace, providing a long-term source of water for any rodents and insects that try to make a home under your house. As long as they have shelter, a water source, and food (which they are experts at finding), it could be very difficult getting them out.
How To Close Crawl Space Vents
Some people say you can just stuff some styrofoam into the vent and call it a day. The problem with that is it’s an eyesore, you have to replace the styrofoam inserts every couple of years and it doesn’t do a great job in terms of protection. Styrofoam is too soft and rodents can chew right through it. To add extra protection, keep your styrofoam and add Vanity Vents as a second secure layer of protection and insulation.
Vanity Vents install in 3 seconds. Vanity Vents don’t warp, fade, peel, crumble and they come in 5 gorgeous colors.
Where To Get Crawl Space Vents
For the best exterior foundation crawl space vent covers that cover your vents and look stylish, contact Vanity Vents today!