Winter is here, and that means cold weather. While we all love hot chocolate and sitting by the fire, the idea of walking on cold floors or rubbing against cold walls isn’t one of them. But that’s the sad fact about having an open crawl space in the Washington, D.C., area.
Winter cold and moisture will creep into this area and penetrate your home, but not before instigating mold growth, nasty smells, and wood rot. This air gets into your home through the stack effect. You can avoid moisture issues, burst pipes, and high utility costs by sealing the crawl space.
Here’s what most homeowners don’t think about. Regulating the temperatures and the conditions in the open crawl space is next to impossible. You either do something about it or brace yourself for crawl space problems and costly repairs.
Ways Cold Air Affects the Crawl Space
For the next several weeks, your walls and the floor above the crawl space will be chilly. That’s if you don’t insulate or seal this low-lying area under your home. Cold air will penetrate through gaps and cracks.
As well as cooling off the surfaces in your home, the cold air will bring in mold spores, dust mites, allergens, and nasty particles. All these have the potential to pollute the indoors. Your loved ones will start experiencing respiratory problems and the indoor air will feel stale.
You will also see a drastic rise in your utility costs. Since air comes in unabated, the walls and floors will be perpetually cold. You will have to run the heater for hours just to warm up the interior. Woe to you if there are leaks, as heating costs can increase by 60% or more.
Another problem that’s linked with cold moist air is wood rot. Moisture buildup will cause wooden beams to decay, meaning they won’t provide adequate structural support to your home. Eventually, you will have to replace them or your home will collapse.
Ways to Keep Your Home Warm
Lucky for you, there are a couple of measures you can take right now to protect your home from the frosty weather outside.
Install Crawl Space Vent Covers
Seal off the vents on your foundation walls using airtight vent covers. Made from durable plastic, these fixtures prevent cold and moist air from the outside as well as discourage vermin from infiltrating your crawl space.
Crawl Space Insulation
Inadequate insulation is behind the discomfort and energy problems in your home. To create a dry and energy-efficient crawl space, cover the walls with padded and puncture-resistant insulation. We recommend rigid ExTremeBloc™ panels. Our solution is compatible with other crawl space repairs and can be paired with a plastic CrawlSeal™ vapor barrier and drainage matting.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crown your crawl space repair efforts by installing a thick 20-mil plastic vapor barrier on the walls and floor. This isolates the crawl space from the outside, locks out mold spores, and makes it very difficult for pests to enter and destroy the crawl space. With the liner in place, you will enjoy crisp, clean air and worry less about moisture or pest infestation. Best of all, your home’s value will increase, and you will cut down heating and cooling costs by about 30%. The conditions in the crawl space will resemble that of your living space above.
Extreme winter cold and frost can hurt your crawl space and set the stage for water or moisture problems. Take decisive steps before the situation down there goes from bad to worse. Contact the experts at JES Foundation Repair for a free crawl space repair inspection and quote. We have the tools, expertise, and experience to create a clean, dry, and energy-efficient crawl space.