To seal or not to seal?

Part 2

To seal or not to seal?

A foundation flood vent.

The July Carolina Country magazine carried an article in which the author recommended sealing the crawl space underneath houses as a way to avoid moisture and heat loss or gain. He noted that houses that are dry underneath year-round are candidates for sealed crawl spaces.

Houses located in a federally designated Special Flood Hazard Area, however, are required for insurance purposes to have flood vents on their foundation or crawl space walls. The vents let flood water pass through in order to relieve pressure on walls. Low-lying areas in the North Carolina coastal area are prone to flooding.

Your local building inspector can help you determine your area’s status. Look for these publications:

  • “Openings in Foundation Walls and Walls of Enclosures” at the Federal Emergency Management Agency site: fema.com
  • “Closed Crawl Spaces: An Introduction for the Southeast” at Advanced Energy: advancedenergy.org

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