Open or Closed Crawlspace Vents for South Dakota Winters
Winter in South Dakota can be extremely harsh, with cold temperatures, and frequent blizzards and ice storms. During this frigid time of the year, most homeowners in South Dakota want to keep their homes as tightly closed up as possible to preserve warmth. However, there is the question of vents in the crawlspace? Although some people recommend closing the crawlspace vents all the time to prevent termites from getting in the home, this can defeat the purpose of having crawlspace vents in the first place.
Generally, crawlspace vents are required by building codes. This means that it is probably worth it to have the vents open during the summertime. In the warmer months, the crawlspace vents can let in outside air, allowing circulation beneath the floor. This air movement prevents moisture buildup in the crawlspace. This is important, as excess moisture in your crawlspace could result in a host of issues, such as mold or mildew growth, high humidity, condensation, wood rot, and rust.
During the winter months, however, it is a good idea to close the crawlspace vents. Closing the vents in the cold season will prevent the dry, cold air from freezing pipes in the crawlspace. Closed vents also keep snow out of the crawlspace. There is another big reason to have your crawlspace vents closed during the wintertime. This is to prevent what is known as the stack effect (or chimney effect). The stack effect occurs when warm air rises and exits the home through the ceiling, leaving the cold air from below to replace it. Having crawlspace vents open enhances this effect by letting in more cold air on the lower levels of the home.
Sealing your Crawlspace Vents for the Winter in Your South Dakota Home
During the wintertime, it is a good idea to seal your crawlspace vents. There are a few different ways to do this. The most effective and common ways to close crawlspace vents for the winter are:
- Use the Provided Louvers
- Use Foam Blocks
- Use Automatically Closing Vent
- Apply Covering
Some Crawlspace vents include louver that you can easily slide into place from the outside when the weather starts to get cold. Other vents are actually automatic, meaning that as soon as the temperatures start to drop, they close up on their own. If you do not have a vent such as these, you can use a covering to block off the vent. Many different types of coverings can be used, including doors with attachable screens. Yet another solution is to use foam block to plug the crawlspace opening. These block are specifically designed to close crawlspace vents, and are easily inserted and removed later on.
For more information on crawlspaces, crawlspace repair, and crawlspace encapsulation, contact Rapid Foundation Repair today! We are committed to helping you keep your South Dakota crawlspace in top condition.