ACHIEVING ADEQUATE CRAWL SPACE VENTILATION
It’s important to provide ventilation under a pier and beam home in order to dehydrate the crawl space area, preventing mold growth and wood rot. Adequate ventilation is accomplished by installing crawl space vents, which are masonry vents placed into a brick wall to help ventilate the area. They come in two different sizes—one measuring 8 inches high and 16 inches long, and another one measuring 8 inches high and 24 inches long. These vents sit directly on top of the concrete perimeter beam and are made of white, pre-cast concrete. Each vent has a concrete border with two rectangular holes in the center, which is divided by a concrete center support. In order to keep unwanted guests from crawling under a house, each hole has a metal screen. The vents come with a solid metal cover that slides over a bolt located in the center, which is fastened by a wing nut. The cover is normally applied in the winter and removed in the spring. This solid metal cover reduces heat loss during the cold winter months and is removed once temperatures begin to rise in the spring to allow evaporating water to escape from under the home.
Unfortunately, most pier and beam homes have little or no crawl space vents, which can result in significant issues. Without having vents to provide an adequate amount of ventilation for the crawl space, it can lead to wood rotting, causing the framework of the home to lose structural integrity. This often generates more serious problems, including, but not limited to, wood replacement and foundation problems. Another issue commonly seen is when other contractors, such as A/C or plumbers, use existing crawl space vents as a place to pass pipes or wires from the outside into the crawl space. This process punches out the screen and renders the ventilation ineffective as the hole is now filled with pipes and wires. In situations like this, Advantage Masonry can relocate a new crawl space vent a few inches down the wall and install brick around the pipes to improve aesthetic appearance, improve ventilation, and maintain the ability to close the vent during cold weather.
NOTE: If you’re concerned about your home’s ventilation, just click the link below to schedule an appointment for one of our qualified technicians to visit your home. They will determine if you have proper ventilation, and if necessary, design a plan to retrofit your home with sufficient ventilation. Each ventilation plan is reviewed by Advantage Masonry’s on-staff engineer prior to installation and is also inspected after installation to assess quality control.