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Old 03-04-2009, 11:25 AM
 
36 posts, read 169,268 times
Reputation: 16

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Paulie,
I thought that one of the advantages to a crawl space was that you had access to plumbing, some electric and other things like easier pest control treatment. It seems you take that away if you seal the access.
True?
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:44 PM
 
116 posts, read 489,902 times
Reputation: 84
Having moved from a home with a crawl space to a slab, I must say I'm a slab man (ok, no jokes). As long as the builder does the slab correctly, then it is a no maintenance issue. But with a crawl space, it always seems that potential problems are lurking. Be it too much moisture, critters, vermin, mold/fungus, or termites. I'm not saying that those issues will always come up, but the possibility is always present.

And as far as the vents go, it seems everyone has an opinion. I asked my plumber, electrician, termite guy, and the power company and it seemed they all had differing opinions. Eventually, I settled on keeping them closed from Nov to early April and open for the rest of the year. If a big storm was coming, I might close them if it looked like a lot or rain might blow in. One final reco if you go with a crawl space, make sure that any shrubs are trimmed so that air can get to the vents. It can get humid here and you need adequate air flow to keep the area dry. And even if you do that, you may still have to get a dehumidifier for your crawl space.
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Valley of the Sun
196 posts, read 517,960 times
Reputation: 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigimac View Post
Paulie, wait a minute, if I'm not mistaken crawl spaces have to have those little rectangular ventilation things in them. But you CAN put a screen over them. A few years ago we had our home inspected, and some of the vents were blocked to our crawl space, and he said to unblock them. Perhaps code varies from county to county, state to state. I ain't no expert. But I just wanted to point out that I think a crawl space has to be ventilated. GG
I knew I was opening a can of worms here but the conventional way of thinking by people is not an easy thing to change on any issue. Too brief a post on what can be a complex issue can be a disservice but also stokes a give and take by those interested in this kind of topic.
I'll do my best here while trying to not bore anyone.

You're right about codes, they can vary for very legitimate reasons. Snow loads up north, wind loads in hurricane country, etc...Most city and county governments utilize the IRC, International Residential Code, it's updated every few years. The Building Official at local government can choose to accept or decline any part of it. They're local, they know what works best locally. Closed or conditioned crawlspaces are in the IRC and more and more Building Officials are choosing to accept this method when they read the science on this topic. So to address your first sentence,"if I'm not mistaken crawl spaces have to have those little rectangular ventilation things in them". No they don't. If your local BO accepts em great. If not it's worthwhile to change his mind. They do it all the time when they are presented with the evidence. That said it's not just a matter of covering over those vents,(see previous post) air change in the space is required but it comes from either the supply side of your HVAC or directly from the living space above via registers. Remember, think of the space as a mini-basement, an extension of your liveable space. Also keep in mind we're on a Coastal NC thread here. High humidity leads to mold and woodrot issues in these crawlspaces. Heres a couple of great links to some science on the issue I hope the moderator will allow. Take a look. Advanced Energy and BSI-009: New Light In Crawlspaces —
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Valley of the Sun
196 posts, read 517,960 times
Reputation: 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retirein11 View Post
Paulie,
I thought that one of the advantages to a crawl space was that you had access to plumbing, some electric and other things like easier pest control treatment. It seems you take that away if you seal the access.
True?
Sorry Retire, didn't mean to use "seal" as closed in perpetuity. Think of air seal. We are doing everything we can to keep moisture out of the space. There most definitely is an access door to get to those components you mention but that door will close on a gasket. Whatever moisture enters when it is opened for servicing will be quickly expunged after the job. Also, any mechanical equipment has to be sealed combustion and vented to exterior, very important.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
43 posts, read 129,840 times
Reputation: 23
Crawl Space, no doubt about it.
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