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Ventilation fans might not do the trick in a crawl space.

Owning a home can come with a lot of concerns. Owning a home with a crawl space has its variations of concerns. Consequently, it is important to read up on what a crawl space is and how it can best be used in your home. Ensuring that the crawl space is ventilated is important for maintaining its functionality. In some cases, it can be recommended that a ventilation fan is added to your crawl space. Do crawl space ventilation fans work? Crawl space ventilation fans circulate warm air and the crawl space needs dry air to function properly.

Let’s take a look below at some more crawl space ventilation ideas.

What Is A Crawl Space Ventilation Fan?

The purpose of a crawl space ventilation fan is to vent in the air from the outside and circulate damp and moisture-filled air to the outside. So, air enters the outside of the home and gets pushed into the crawl space vents. The idea is that this will keep the crawl space encapsulation free from moisture and dry. However, this isn’t always the case. Let’s take a look below at some issues with crawl space ventilation fans.

Do Crawl Space Fans Create Issues?

The idea of a crawl space ventilation fan is that the air outside is cycled through to reduce humidity levels and keep moisture out. The crawlspace needs cool and dry air to keep the environment under your home in good working condition. You have plumbing and other items that run through your crawl space and keeping mold, mildew, and fungi from growing in your crawl space is key.

If the moisture levels are not controlled by a crawl space ventilation fan, then you will need another option. Keep in mind that crawl space ventilation fans require an opening to vent out of the crawl space. This allows rodents, pests, and insects access to your crawl space.

Installing a vapor barrier is a great idea for keeping your crawl space cool and free from excess moisture.

Are There Better Options To A Crawl Space Fan?

Drying out your crawl space and keeping it that way is a tough task. You will want to look at the safest and most economical options. Let’s take a look below at what those options might be.

  • Install a dehumidifier – You can install a dehumidifier permanently by hooking it up to your circuit breaker, or you can use a temporary unit. Dehumidifiers are meant to remove all excess crawl space moisture from your crawl space and keep moisture from building up.
  • Install a vapor barrier – Using a vapor barrier around your wood beams and the foundations of the home keeps moisture and water vapor from accessing your exposed wood. If you have a flood, the water from the flood will not access the wood beams on the home and keeps you from getting wood rot. Additionally, vapor barriers keep mold from building up or puddling under your crawl space.
  • Use a wet-dry vacuum – Using a wet-dry vac allows you to suck up excess water that has accumulated in or around the crawl space. Also, keep in mind that if the water pool is large, you can rent a more industrial-sized vacuum machine.
  • Install a drainage system – Choosing to install a French drain or another type of sophisticated drain allows you to funnel all excess water away from the crawl space. This is an added option for keeping excess moisture in and around the crawl space. Also, consider re-grading the pitch of your yard.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you are aware of how a crawl space ventilation fan works, you should read up on ways to keep your crawl space driest. Consider some of the ideas mentioned above.

Next, if you happen to live in an area that experiences a lot of tornadoes, you might want to consider reading up on if a crawl space is safe during a tornado. Depending on how the space is built, would determine if it is safe.

Lastly, staying intuned with open-air spaces in your home is important. If you have a truss roof, you also have an attic space that needs proper ventilation. Just like your crawl space needs proper ventilation so does that truss roof. Be sure that your vents are properly installed. This is a good time to read up on what is a truss roof.

Crawl spaces should be sealed and proper ventilation installed. This requires more than just ventilation fans.

When Do I Call A Professional?

Dealing with your crawl space can be a hectic project. There are so many variations to a crawl space that each home is unique in the way it is used. Hire a professional that has crawl space experience for cleaning the crawl space and keeping high moisture and humidity levels away from the space. Also, call on your local home inspection team to determine what your options are for your crawl space ventilation needs.

Conclusion

Crawl spaces can be necessary parts of a home. They allow your home to be elevated off the ground and still protect the plumbing and electrical work underneath. However, in some cases, these areas can get damaged or mold, mildew, and fungi could begin to intrude. Call on your local home inspection team to ensure that your crawl space has what it needs. Contact Waypoint Inspections and we will take a look at your crawlspace needs while conducting home inspections in Tampa, Central, and South Florida.