Crawl Space Repair

Crawl Space Ventilation in Ohio

Grated Crawl Space Vents outside a home in Uhrichsville, OH

Crawl space vents can usually keep out mice and rodents, but what about termites, carpenter ants, and other insects?

How Crawl Space Vents Affect Crawl Space Humidity... And Why

Crawl Space ventilation is the answer that contractors have historically given to the issue of crawl space humidity in homes.

Generally, this involves installing vented openings in a cross-sectional area equal to 1/150 of the floor area served.

These crawl space vents are usually fitted with a covering -- usually a wooden/metal grating, or a mesh covering.

The covering is installed to prevent infestations from rodents and animals, but they cannot prevent insects such as termites and carpenter ants.

crawl space ventilation and air movement in a building

Crawl space ventilation moves outside air through the house. This affects utility bills and, when that air holds mold spores, your health.

The Theory Behind Vented Crawl Spaces

Crawl space ventilation was meant to keep a constant supply of fresh air circulating throughout the crawl space environment.

It was thought that this would help to purge the space of the heavy, damp air in the house that settles in the lower levels.

Additionally, some contractors claim that damp, humid air is heavier than dry air, causing all the moisture in the home to sink down into the crawl space.

This belief had become so widespread that crawl space vents were actually written into the International Building Code!

In recent years, however, these codes are quickly changing to reflect improvements in the industry and formal scientific study.

Engineers and building scientists are becoming more and more aware of how crawl space humidity really works in a home, and are taking steps to stop the practice of venting crawl space environments.

What Crawl Space Humidity Research Says

Consider these crawl space humidity facts:

Here's a little more science: Hot air rises, leaving your house through the roof and upper levels. This creates a vacuum below that is filled by air from your crawl space, basement, and from outside. Air in your crawl space eventually enters the rest of your home!

Consider These Two Scenarios:

Winter Air - Frigid air fills your crawlspace, making the floor above cold. It cools your hot water pipes, your water heater, your furnace, and your heating ducts. Your utilities work harder and cost you more to run, and your home is drafty and uncomfortable.

Summer Air - Hot, humid air enters the crawl space, where the earth cools it naturally. According to Builder Magazine [PDF], this humidity will lead to condensation on your pipes, wood, and cool surfaces, leading to mold and rot. Damp air rises upward into your home. Wet air is harder to cool than dry air, and you spend more on utilities. Meanwhile, your crawl space insulation gets wet, loses its insulative value, grows mold, and drips to the floor. Moist, rotting wood is a perfect place for termites, ants, rodents, and other creatures to move in!

When crawl space insulation is saturated with water, it drips off onto the floor.

Crawl Space Encapsulation

Crawl space ventilation does not work. If your crawl space is rotting and moldy, then you already know this.

To protect your crawl space, follow these steps:

  1. Eliminate any flooding with a crawl space sump pump system
  2. Seal your crawl space vents and doors with airtight covers.
  3. Line your crawl space walls and floors (even if they are concrete) with a thick, durable plastic liner
  4. Install a self-draining, strong dehumidifier in the crawl space.

This keeps everything you don't want in your crawl space outside- including moisture, cold air, termites, and ants.

Your crawl space will be dry and usable as storage space, and as an added benefit, a crawl space liner will even serve as a passive radon mitigation system!

Superior Basement Systems would like to help you create a dry, healthier crawl space. If you'd like a free, on-site consultation, call or e-mail us today!

We service Ohio, including Alliance, Ashland, Cadiz, Dover, East Liverpool, Hartville, Massillon, Millersburg, New Philadelphia, Salineville, Wooster, Yorkville and nearby areas.

More information about Crawl Space Vapor Barriers

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Serving OH including the Greater Canton area
Our Ohio Service Area
Cities in Ashland County, OH
Ashland
Jeromesville
Loudonville
Perrysville
Polk

Cities in Belmont County, OH
Alledonia
Barnesville
Bellaire
Belmont
Bethesda
Bridgeport
Flushing
Jacobsburg
Martins Ferry
Piedmont
Powhatan Point
Saint Clairsville
Shadyside

Cities in Carroll County, OH
Carrollton
Dellroy
Malvern
Mechanicstown
Sherrodsville

Cities in Columbiana County, OH
East Liverpool
East Rochester
Hanoverton
Homeworth
Kensington
Lisbon
Salineville
Wellsville

Cities in Coshocton County, OH
Fresno
West Lafayette

Cities in Guernsey County, OH
Byesville
Cambridge
Kimbolton
Lore City
Pleasant City
Quaker City
Salesville
Senecaville

Cities in Harrison County, OH
Bowerston
Cadiz
Freeport
Hopedale
Jewett
Scio
Tippecanoe

Cities in Holmes County, OH
Big Prairie
Glenmont
Holmesville
Killbuck
Lakeville
Millersburg

Cities in Jefferson County, OH
Adena
Amsterdam
Bergholz
Bloomingdale
Brilliant
Dillonvale
Hammondsville
Irondale
Mingo Junction
Rayland
Richmond
Steubenville
Tiltonsville
Toronto
Yorkville

Cities in Knox County, OH
Brinkhaven

Cities in Mahoning County, OH
Beloit
Sebring

Cities in Monroe County, OH
Beallsville
Clarington
Graysville
Jerusalem
Lewisville
Sardis
Woodsfield

Cities in Stark County, OH
Alliance
Beach City
Brewster
Canal Fulton
Canton
East Canton
East Sparta
Hartville
Louisville
Magnolia
Massillon
Minerva
Navarre
North Canton
North Lawrence
Paris
Uniontown
Waynesburg
Wilmot

Cities in Summit County, OH
Clinton

Cities in Tuscarawas County, OH
Baltic
Bolivar
Dennison
Dover
Dundee
Gnadenhutten
Mineral City
New Philadelphia
Newcomerstown
Port Washington
Stone Creek
Strasburg
Sugarcreek
Uhrichsville

Cities in Wayne County, OH
Apple Creek
Burbank
Creston
Dalton
Doylestown
Fredericksburg
Marshallville
Orrville
Rittman
Shreve
Smithville
Sterling
West Salem
Wooster

Our Locations:

Superior Basement Systems
6628 Roy Andrews Road NW
New Philadelphia, OH 44663
1-330-423-4426