If It's in Your Crawl Space, It's in Your Home: Sealed vs. Vented Crawl Spaces

Thursday, May 10th, 2018 by Kelsey Bullerdick


Standards in home building have changed significantly over the years. Greater severe weather tolerance, better energy efficiency, and non-toxic building materials are just a few of the perks that modern homes enjoy today thanks to updates to the International Residential Code (IRC). In fact, it's become increasingly popular for homebuilders to go above and beyond IRC requirements to include environmentally friendly features like natural light, fresh air, and eco-friendly building materials.

 

SO, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR CRAWL SPACE?

Improved home building codes, best practices, and scientific advancements have shown us how to build crawl spaces that make homes healthier, cleaner, and much more energy efficient. However, building codes here in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois allow both vented and closed crawl spaces, so how do you know what's right for your home? The answer is all in the humidity and moisture levels. And we can all agree to how hot and humid summers in the Midwest can be, it's likely that a closed, or encapsulated, crawl space is the best solution for your home.

 

COMMON CRAWL SPACE PROBLEMS

When homeowners have a problem with water intrusion, it's an obvious problem. So why does it matter in a home with a dirt floor crawl space? Keep reading below to learn about how humidity, moisture, and chemicals can cause major problems for your whole home.

IF IT\'S IN YOUR CRAWL SPACE, IT\'S IN YOUR HOME: SEALED VS. VENTED CRAWL SPACES - Image 1

 

IF IT\'S IN YOUR CRAWL SPACE, IT\'S IN YOUR HOME: SEALED VS. VENTED CRAWL SPACES - Image 2

Mold and fungi: dampness can breed mold and fungi that rise with warm air into your home living space.

IF IT\'S IN YOUR CRAWL SPACE, IT\'S IN YOUR HOME: SEALED VS. VENTED CRAWL SPACES - Image 3Structural damage: moisture and high humidity can cause wood rot and degrade building materials.

IF IT\'S IN YOUR CRAWL SPACE, IT\'S IN YOUR HOME: SEALED VS. VENTED CRAWL SPACES - Image 4Poor air quality: Humidity and moisture lead to musty odors, allergens and dust, and rises to enter the living space.

IF IT\'S IN YOUR CRAWL SPACE, IT\'S IN YOUR HOME: SEALED VS. VENTED CRAWL SPACES - Image 5Bugs and critters are attracted by the moisture and humidity and can cause wood rot and structural damage.

IF IT\'S IN YOUR CRAWL SPACE, IT\'S IN YOUR HOME: SEALED VS. VENTED CRAWL SPACES - Image 6Rising energy costs: Having a vented crawl space lets in humidity in the summer and cool air in the winter, leading to higher heating and cooling costs.

 

SYMPTOMS OF A CRAWL SPACE PROBLEM

If you have experienced any of the following symptoms, your crawlspace could have structural damage, mold, or air quality issues.

  • Uneven Floors
  • Foul Odors in the Home
  • Drywall Cracks in the Interior
  • Heightened Allergies or Asthma Symptoms

THE BENEFITS OF AN ENCAPSULATED CRAWL SPACE

Sealing your crawl space heavily reduces moisture and humidity levels, leading to:

 

IF IT\'S IN YOUR CRAWL SPACE, IT\'S IN YOUR HOME: SEALED VS. VENTED CRAWL SPACES - Image 7Improved air quality - no musty odors, reduced dust and allergens

IF IT\'S IN YOUR CRAWL SPACE, IT\'S IN YOUR HOME: SEALED VS. VENTED CRAWL SPACES - Image 8Greater durability and reduced risk for structural damage

IF IT\'S IN YOUR CRAWL SPACE, IT\'S IN YOUR HOME: SEALED VS. VENTED CRAWL SPACES - Image 9No bug food, therefore no bugs

IF IT\'S IN YOUR CRAWL SPACE, IT\'S IN YOUR HOME: SEALED VS. VENTED CRAWL SPACES - Image 10Increased storage space for your home

IF IT\'S IN YOUR CRAWL SPACE, IT\'S IN YOUR HOME: SEALED VS. VENTED CRAWL SPACES - Image 1115-20% savings in energy costs

 

WHAT NOW?

Now that you know more about the difference between vented crawl spaces and encapsulation, you may have an idea of what's best for your home. It's clear that having an unsealed crawl space allows mold to grow, attracts bugs and critters, and contributes to poor air quality - not to mention the potential for structural damage and wood rot. So, what can you do?

  1. Watch for symptoms of a crawl space problem. You may notice musty smells, heightened allergies or asthma symptoms (especially in the winter), drywall cracks inside your home or uneven floors.
  2. Get an expert opinion. Whether you notice some of these obvious symptoms or not, Healthy Spaces offers free inspections and estimates for crawl space repair, and it's worth having us out for a visit. Our specialists have the knowledge and experience to diagnose your problem or give you the good news that you don't have one.
  3. If you determine action is needed, hire a pro. There are too many pitfalls you can run into with a DIY approach, and the potential risk for structural damage just isn't worth it.

If you suspect a problem with your crawl space, have us out for a free inspection. Our solutions create a complete barrier between the exposed dirt floors beneath your home, eliminating excess moisture and allergens, and protecting your home against rot, mold, mildew, and pests.

our service area

We serve the following areas

KentuckyIndiana
  • Birdseye
  • Branchville
  • Central
  • Depauw
  • Derby
  • Eckerty
  • English
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  • Grantsburg
  • Laconia
  • Leavenworth
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  • Marengo
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  • Sulphur
  • Taswell
  • West Baden Springs
Our Locations:

Healthy Spaces
2280 N Cullen Avenue
Evansville, IN 47715
1-812-720-9418