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Should I close the crawlspace vents of my home?
The bottom line here is that each homeowner has to take the information provided, examine the source for validity, and make a determination of what is best for them.

In an average year, we are in more than 100 crawlspaces. I have been crawling around in them throughout my 30 year construction career and have seen just about every possible scenario there is.

My house is over 40 years old and was built on a foundation with piers. The foundation vents are closed, blocked with 1″ foil faced polystyrene, and sealed with expanding foam and sealants. Humidity-laden air no longer enters through the foundation vents. There is 100% coverage of the dirt area with 6 mil clear polyethylene that is staked to the ground with landscape staples, sealed at the seams with Tyvek tape, and secured to the walls with PVC lathe.  All was accomplished on a Saturday for less than a few hundred dollars spent for materials.

There is no moisture, no mold, no mildew and it is quite clean and cozy when access is needed for appliance, electrical or plumbing repair/modification. If this minimal correction was not effective, we would have installed a dehumidifier with a controller that monitors temperature, relative humidity, and water vapor to increase the effectiveness of our efforts.

You can have a totally sealed and conditioned crawlspace for thousands of dollars; but rarely is that level of attention and expense required if you manage the conditions by other means. Each person has to determine what is best for their situation. The methods described above work perfectly for me and my situation.

Us old guys really don’t intend to be cheerleaders or beat a differing opinion over the head with a stick. We just share what we know from our experience and let others decide for themselves.

J. Trent

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