While we all love the holidays that come with the winter season, no one loves the cold. Winter temperatures make life unbearable. How much worse is it when the crawl space is poorly insulated or exposed? If your Denver, CO, home has a crawl space, you have to act before the temperatures drop further.
Cold Weather Impacts on Your Home and Crawl Space
Other than making it more difficult to control the temperature in your home, the cold weather can have a lot of damaging effects on the crawl space. Let’s look at how the cold weather affects the crawl space and ways to protect it.
Makes Your Home Colder
Cold air gets into the crawl space and up into your home through the stack effect. The stack effect is the upward movement of air throughout your home. If your crawl space is vented or has openings to the outside, cold air will flow in unabated. The stack effect causes this cold air to move up into your living area, causing a multitude of problems. Your floors and walls will become noticeably colder during the winter.
Lowers Air Quality
Other than cold floors, the stack effect directly affects the quality of air inside your home. Vented crawl spaces are naturally damp, musty, and teeming with mold. As your home breathes, cold air from the crawl space flows into your home’s living space. This air carries mold, mildew, dust mite feces, and nasty odors into your living area. These contaminate the indoor air and cause health problems like lung infections.
Damages Crawl Space Insulation
Some homes with vented crawl spaces also typically have fiberglass insulation installed between the floor joists. While this may work for a while, eventually, the fiberglass insulation loses its effectiveness as it soaks up moisture in the crawl space. Over time, the fiberglass insulation degrades and falls out of place, exposing your floors to the winter cold again.
Increases Moisture Level
A crawl space with open vents allows cold outside air to leak into your home. When this cold outdoor air meets with your warm conditioned air, this causes the water in the atmosphere to condense and form thousands of water droplets in your crawl space. Problems start when the moisture condensation sits on your wood, causing mold growth and wood rot.
Raises Utility Costs
As the cold outdoor air enters your crawl space, it travels throughout your home, cooling your floors and living spaces. This forces your home’s heating system to work harder to keep your home warm and comfortable. The result is higher utility bills, which can be 30% more than what you’ve been paying.
Protecting Your Crawl Space
Since the cold winter weather affects your crawl space negatively, you need to protect it. Here are some effective prevention measures you can implement.
Seal Vents and Insulate Your Crawl Space
Cover all the vents that allow the cold winter air into the crawl space, then insulate the walls so air won’t escape. This way, you will stop air exchange and your crawl space will stay warm just like the upper areas in your home. Insulating the crawl space also dramatically reduces your energy costs while ensuring the quality of indoor air stays clean.
Encapsulate Your Crawl Space
Crawl space encapsulation is the process of closing up the crawl space with a 20-mil plastic vapor barrier. This heavy-duty liner helps keep cold, drafty air from entering your home and turns your crawl space into a conditioned part of your home. With proper crawl space encapsulation, you can count on a clean, dry space instead of a dirty, musty space. Encapsulation also locks out moisture-laden air and prevents mold and mildew growth.
The condition of your crawl space determines the health and comfort levels of your home. Sealing and insulating it not only prevents cold air drafts from entering your crawl space, but it also improves air quality and reduces energy costs. You will end up with a conditioned space that makes your home warmer and more comfortable throughout winter.
Be sure to contact Complete Basement Systems for a free crawl space repair inspection and quote. We are a reputable crawl space repair company that has been helping homeowners in Denver, CO, insulate and encapsulate their crawl spaces for years.