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How a Cold Crawl Space Affects Your Home in Winter

Winter in many areas of North Carolina means dropping temperatures. And your floors and walls, which were warm, will feel colder than usual if the crawl space is exposed or poorly insulated. But that’s not the only thing you will experience. Watch the video to learn more about what can happen to your crawl space in the winter.

Unless you do something about the cold air from the crawl space, you will have to brace yourself for a long, uncomfortable winter. Together with humidity, the cold air will create a host of problems. It’s never too early or too late to weatherproof your crawl space for winter. 

This article explains how cold air gets inside, the damage it can do, and how our expert team at Tar Heel Basement Systems addresses these issues with trusted crawl space encapsulation solutions.

How Does the Cold Air Get In? 

The cold air gets in through open crawl space vents and goes up through a phenomenon known as the stack effect. Left unchecked, the stack effect will make it difficult to regulate the temperature in your home. You will have to turn your heater on and leave it running for long. What this does is perpetuate the airflow without warming up the indoors and results in high energy bills

As long as the temperatures keep fluctuating, the cycle of air will persist. This isn’t something you’d want to happen during the cold winter months. Cold isn’t the only concern. During winter, outside air can bring microbes and allergens from the crawl space into your home. These microscopic particles will deposit themselves around the kitchen and bathroom, leading to mold infestation. Mold spores can cause serious fungal infections. Anyone with a history of lung problems or a weak immune system will likely suffer health problems. 

Cures for Crawl Space Cold 

Some homeowners intentionally blow heated air into the crawl space in a feeble attempt to warm the floors above it. But what’s happening is the heat from the ducts escapes right through the vents, dramatically increasing the heating cost. To create a warm, conditioned crawl space, here’s what you need to do. 

crew concealing open crawl space vents

Cover Crawl Space Vents 

Cold air will continue flowing into the crawl space if the vents stay open. Seal them to block the outside air. We cut our specially-made insulation panels to fit these openings, and exterior vent covers are available upon your request. 

Attach Insulation Panels to Crawl Space Walls 

Your crawl space is the weakest link in your weatherproofing efforts. Insulate and air seal it and you won’t have to worry about walking on cold floors. If you don’t have heating ducts down there, insulating it makes sense. We use a two-part insulation system that consists of rigid insulation panels and spray foam. With insulation firmly in place, your crawl space will stay warm during winter. 

crew installing crawl space insulation and encapsulation

Encapsulate the Crawl Space 

Install a plastic vapor barrier over your crawl space floor and walls with all seams taped down and sealed. We recommend the CrawlSeal™ liner, a puncture-resistant 20-mil liner that isolates the crawl space from the outside. Three times thicker than a standard builder liner, our solution effectively locks out cold, moist air. It also is treated to resist mold, pests, and water. 

Contact Tar Heel for Reliable Crawl Space Solutions

Are you looking for ways to keep the floors over the crawl space warm? Be sure to contact Tar Heel Basement Systems for a free crawl space inspection and repair quote. We have been helping homeowners create conditioned crawl spaces for years. We will install a durable plastic vapor barrier, insulate the foundation walls, and seal crawl space vents to block outside air. This way, your crawl space stays warm in winter and cool in summer.

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3400 Walsh Pky, Suite 220
Fayetteville, NC 28311

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611 Summit Ave, Suite 5
Greensboro, NC 27405

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208 Millbrook Rd. Suite C
Raleigh, NC 27609

Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill Location

3333 Air Park Road
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526

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2155 Enterprise Dr. NE
Leland, NC 28451

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2910 Griffith Rd
Winston-Salem, NC 27103