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For years, it was thought that proper ventilation to a home’s crawl space was necessary to keep the air inside free of moisture. Through testing, however, it has been found that ventilating a home’s crawl space can actually do more harm than good and can even increase the chance of water damage to your home. If a crawl space becomes moist, it can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew, as well as a hospitable environment for pests, like rats and termites.
Why is Venting Dangerous?
Older building codes required crawl spaces to have proper ventilation systems to ensure moisture did not build up by allowing outside air to dry out the crawlspace. The only problem with this logic is that if the outside air is more humid than the air in the crawl space, it will actually cause more water to enter the home through condensation. Because of this, it is now recommended that instead of using a ventilation system to dry out your crawl space you should have a dehumidifier placed inside the area to remove any moisture.
If your crawl space is not free of moisture, it becomes an ideal place for mold to grow. Mold has an array of health problems associated with it and the mold spores can easily spread to the main floors of the house via the stacked effect. Much like how a chimney expels air through the roof, the stacked effect creates a vacuum in the lower region of your home and allows air inside the crawl space to be sucked upwards into the home. If mold is present in your crawl space, you can be sure that you are inhaling many mold spores in your home.
If your crawl space is ventilated, it also becomes a great environment for pests to call home. In addition to allowing them an easy entryway, ventilation systems can provide protection from the outside elements and any damaged wood or drywall becomes ample food for many of these critters, like termites and carpenter ants. A pest infestation can lead to a number of additional health hazards, like rat-bite-fever, and structural problems.
The best solution to ventilation problems is to seal up the crawl space entirely. StayDry can help you seal your crawlspace and then add waterproofing methods that will actually work to expel water from your crawl space. French drain systems and sump pumps are popular fixtures in crawl spaces because they work to pump any excess water away from the house. We can also encapsulate your crawlspace with our waterproof vapor barrier and drain mat to protect your home from external water leaks and natural moisture in the soil in your crawl space.
If your crawl space has an out of date ventilation system and you are in need of our crawl space waterproofing services or any of the other services we offer, you can contact us here or call us at 800.782.9379.