Crawl space vents serve two significant purposes. They allow outside air to circulate under the floor in summer to prevent moisture buildup that encourages mildew and rot. And in the winter, when the air is drier, the vents are closed to reduce the chance that the pipes in the crawl space might freeze.
When these crawl space vents are not operating properly, your home is at risk of the following:
High humidity and water damage: Open crawl space vents can introduce humid air under the home, which can be absorbed by wooden structures such as floor joists, causing them to soften and rot over time, leading to sagging or uneven floors inside the home.
Mold growth: Open crawl space vents can allow moist outside air to enter and cause mold growth.
Structural instability: Moisture and mold can weaken the structural integrity of the home.
Pest invasion: Open crawl space vents can provide easy access for insects and pests, especially during cold weather.
Energy loss: Open crawl space vents can lead to increased energy bills.
Corrosion, rusting, and wood rot: Open crawl space vents can promote corrosion, rusting, and wood rot.
Open crawl space vents can cause a variety of problems as listed above. Properly operating crawl space vents were once believed to be necessary, but there is now evidence to support the benefits of sealing, closing, or eliminating them in conjunction with a crawl space vapor barrier. But if your home has them, routine inspection and maintenance should be performed. For evaluation and repair of your crawl space and vents, contact a professional with expertise. Learn more about our ventilation services.