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Is your crawlspace winter-ready?

Do you have drafty floors during the winter? Have you experienced having a pipe break in your crawlspace due to cold weather? Do you want to avoid potential mold and mildew growth under your house?

Install foam blocks to cover vents

It’s fall time here in Oregon which means weather starts to become wet and cold. Make sure your crawlspace vents are closed up and covered with foam blocks such as this: 

Adding foam blocks helps to keep the colder air out of the crawlspace during the winter, and helps protect your pipes from freezing. Other helpful ways to provide insulation in your crawlspace is to make sure that there is either rigid foam insulation along the exterior walls or fiberglas insulation below the main floor (in the “ceiling” of the crawlspace). Lastly, ensuring that you have a proper moisture barrier installed and in good working order along the floor of your crawlspace (and sometimes along the foundation walls depending on the setting) will help prevent unwanted moisture from entering the structural components of the house/causing mold or mildew. 

Another area that is often overlooked in sealing out a crawlspace is the crawlspace hatch itself. Many crawlspace entry points are outside of the home under decks or along an exterior wall. These crawlspace doors break down over time, start hanging crooked, and often times are sort of thrown together and not very weather proof. If you have an exterior entrance door, ensure it fits snug against the house preferably with a weather seal to make it more water and wind proof, and ensure that it has a solid latch on it to prevent it from swinging open and allowing access from rats, mice, raccoons or other wildlife.

As you’re going through and adding foam into your vent screens this fall or winter don’t forget to double check that all vents are thoroughly attached to the frame with no gaps. Do not simply install the foam over an open or broken vent screen in hopes that the foam will keep our critters. Foam blocks are easily chewed through by rats, mice, raccoons, possums, and basically anything else that you don’t want living in your crawlspace. 

Fix broken vents:

As you’re inspecting your vents, fix any broken ones (usually done from the inside of the crawlspace or by using a vent screen kit which can be done from outside), seal any holes, and then make sure the foam blocks are installed tightly to prevent cold air from entering into the crawlspace. 

If you find a vent screen broken out or a hole leading into the crawlspace, inspect the crawlspace itself for rodent activity or other signs of wildlife which could include: droppings, urine, paw prints, rub marks, chew marks, or a strong odor. 

Preventative work can help protect you from costly repairs down the road!

If you’re in the Portland area and any of this feels overwhelming feel free to call or text us at 503-985-6523 and we’d be happy to help anytime.

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