Should I Air Out My Crawl Space?

Should I Air Out My Crawl Space?

Did you know that mold causes more wood damage yearly than termites and fires combined? Unlike pests and fires, mold takes its time to kill raw materials. However, its effects are still detrimental to your home.   


The main reason buildings get mold in their crawl spaces is moisture in the air. If your home has a crawl space, you know how tough it is to keep it dry.  


When mold takes over your crawl space, your home is at risk of serious damage, and your environment becomes unsafe. There must be a way to cut down this risk, right? Some experts recommend improving the airflow through this area, but should you air out your crawl space?  


Cathmer Crawl Space Doors 

Our PVC crawl space doors create a tight seal, preventing moisture from entering your crawl space in the first place. This reduces reliance on constant ventilation adjustments. Because we make our doors from PVC they are resistant to rot and rust, unlike traditional wooden doors. They're also lightweight and easy to open and close, making crawl space access convenient. 


We offer standard door sizes, but we understand every crawl space is unique. Cathmer can create custom-sized doors to ensure a perfect fit. 


What Is Crawl Space Ventilation?  

Think of crawl space vents as windows for this space. They are made from several materials:   

  • Sheet metal  
  • Corrosion-resistant wire mesh  
  • Hardware cloth  
  • Cast-iron grating  
  • Extruded load-bearing brick vents  


Crawl space vents are fairly easy to open and close. This makes it simple to increase air circulation in the summer. However, having to rely on them can cause many issues, which is why a reliable door is the best solution.   


Should I Keep Crawl Space Vents Open or Closed?  

Whether you should open or close your vents depends on the season. If your crawl space has a dirt floor and you keep the vents open year-round, the ground will always give off moisture. Even when the top layer of soil seems dry, just a few inches below, it’s still wet.  


When to Open the Vents   

You should open the vents in your crawl space when the weather gets warm, like during the summer. Open vents let the air from outside move around under the floor, which properly stops moisture from building up.   


Unfortunately, open vents also cause problems. If there’s too much moisture, mold and mildew may begin growing. A damp crawl space can also create problems. The ventilation allows the air to carry mold spores that could spread throughout your home.  


Open crawl space vents also act as an entry point for rodents and insects. It’s hard to justify keeping them open when you know there’s a potential for infestation. Even grated crawl space vents do not completely stop smaller critters, like flies, from entering your crawl space.    


When to Close the Vents  

Closing your crawl space vents in the winter is crucial. Winter brings dry air and cold temperatures, which can cause big problems for crawl spaces.   


The main concern is freezing pipes, which can burst and cause extensive water damage in your crawl space, basement, or rooms on the ground level of your home. Protect your home by closing the vents to your crawl space when the temperature drops.   


Winter isn’t the only time to close the vents, though. Weather can impact whether you should be airing out your crawl space or not. Periods of heavy rain or high humidity can enhance your problems when the vents are left open.   


Heavy rain can make water gather on the ground, dampening the air and increasing the humidity. Too much moisture for too long can lead to all sorts of problems. It’s best to close the vents when there is a lot of rain in the weather forecast.  


How to Air Out Your Crawl Space Without Using Vents  

Opening your crawl space vents is not the only way to increase airflow in this space. Other methods will also keep your crawl space healthy and safe.   


Crawl Space Insulation  

Insulating the crawl space keeps your home’s temperature steady and improves the air quality. If the insulation isn’t good, outside air can get in and cause temperature issues. Crawl spaces can affect half of your home’s air, so insulating them for a comfy and healthy living space is key.  


Crawl Space Dehumidifier  

A dehumidifier can be beneficial in places where it’s extremely humid. Crawl spaces can be colder than other parts of your house, leading to higher humidity levels. Having a dehumidifier can help control this problem.   


However, you shouldn’t rely on a dehumidifier as your only solution. Combining this with other methods of maintenance will keep your crawl space in peak condition.  


Crawl Space Exhaust Fans  

Using an exhaust fan to air out your crawl space is practical. This solution:  

  • Improves air circulation  
  • Provides moisture control  
  • Reduces odors  
  • Enhances energy efficiency   


Adding an exhaust fan will help prevent mold growth, but depending on your climate, you may need to use it more or less. It will provide long-term benefits and maintain healthy and comfortable living conditions.  


High-Quality Products to Protect Your Crawl Space  

Airing out your crawl space is important to keep mold and mildew at bay. However, ensuring you have a high-quality crawl space door will help prevent moisture from entering in the first place.   


If you need a door to close off your crawl space, look no further than Cathmer. Our products are made from durable PVC without hinges, meaning your door won’t rot or rust. Standard door sizes are available, but we’re happy to make you a custom product. Start shopping today, and don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions!   



Back to blog