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Depends ...

Posted by Jay J -Moderator on February 12th, 2002 09:15 AM
In reply to underhouse vents by marynell on February 11th, 2002 09:26 PM [Go to top of thread]

Hi marynell,

I will make an assumption and say that you're referring to vents in a crawlspace ...

I live in SE PA. My vents are open year-around. My crawl is 3' high and has a poured concrete floor. It has 3 vents that airs-out 450 sq. ft. of crawlspace. It gets no water. It's half above ground and half below. The room above the crawl is insulated w/R39 fiberglass batt insulation. I do not close-off my vents.

Now, if you live in a part of the country where the ground is frozen throughout most of the Winter AND your crawl doesn't get any water AND it's unheated, then you should be OK to close off the crawl.

To say it another way, where I live, the ground isn't always frozen. It rains a lot in Winter. If I was to close off my vents, and if water were to get inside my crawl, I'd probably have moisture and/or mold/mildew problems. To add to this, the homes near the shore in central and southern New Jersey are built above ground and have sand-bottom crawls. It's about 5-10 degrees warmer there than where I live (which is about 60 miles east of there.) The crawls, also, are vented year-round (for the reasons I mentioned earlier about the temps in Winter and water. Yes, water.) If water was to get in those crawls AND the vents were closed off, there wouldn't be any ventilation for the dampness, except to go 'up' into the house.

I've said a lot. One of the BEST guages you can go by is to ask a few Builders or Home Inspectors in your area to find out how they determine what you should do. I've, basically, given you how it's done in my area. There's no direct 'true or false' answer to your question. It does depend ...

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: God Bless America!

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