Your Vents Are Below Grade!

By
Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

 With an unconditioned crawl space an inspector does not want to see the vents below grade. When vents are below grade, rain and runoff water are likely to run into the crawl space -- which is something you do not want. Also, if they are far enough below grade, the dirt can actually block the vents so air will not circulate. When home inspectors see this condition, they usually recommend vent wells. Sometimes people do not know what vent wells are. The most simple vent wells consist of frames made from pressure-treated lumber. However, vent wells, specially made for the purpose, can be purchased. A photo of a very neat looking plastic vent well is in the photo below. You will notice that, also in the photo, the vent is blocked with plugs. Although this is sometimes justified in winter, when there is danger to pipes from severe temperatures, in Washington State blocked vents in an unconditioned crawl space are defined by the WSDA as conducive to attracting wood destroying organisms. A state licensed structural pest inspector is heavily regulated by the state.

 

Thanks for dropping by

www.kingofthehouse.com

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA home inspector

Posted by

        

        

Check out "This Day In History" -- music and vintage television from the 1950's through the 1980's.  I enjoy writing these articles because they take me back to my days in radio broadcasting. Click on Elvis' gold record, below, to revisit those golden hits of yesteryear.

           

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the graph to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Tags:
bellingham wa home inspector
anacortes inspector
mount vernon wa home inspector
birch bay home inspector
mount vernon inspector

Comments 9 New Comment

Ambassador
1,040,069
Charles Buell
Seattle Home Inspector
Charles Buell Inspections Inc.
Ryan, I am sure Steve will chime in on this too but it is ok that vents are below grade---as long as they are kept clear of debris, don't facilitate water running into the crawl space, and provide adequate air flow as intended/required.
January 10, 2008 01:10 PM
Rainmaker
1,172,399
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

Ryan,

I agree with Charlie. The key is that all those conditions he set forth must be met. And, in my experience, usually the easiest solution, taking only a few minutes per below grade vent, is the well. The thing is, you really do not want water getting into the crawl space. Some people get the vent open by removing soil right in front of it, but in effect they make a slope, like a hill, that water runs down right into the crawl space.

January 10, 2008 01:45 PM
Rainer
112,847
Ryan Martin
Bellingham Commercial RE Broker
Windermere Real Estate / Whatcom Inc.
I imagine that I am in the clear. I have gravel around the vents, so the water does run through the screens.
January 11, 2008 03:21 PM
Rainmaker
1,172,399
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

Ryan,

Do you mean "does not" run through the screens. If you have water going thru the screens, at all,  put in some wells.

Steve

January 11, 2008 05:32 PM
Rainer
112,847
Ryan Martin
Bellingham Commercial RE Broker
Windermere Real Estate / Whatcom Inc.
LOL... Yes, I meant "does not" run through the screen. I don't have any rivers flowing under my house.
January 11, 2008 05:57 PM
Rainmaker
1,172,399

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the folder to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information

Steven L. Smith, King of the House Home Inspection, provides information for real estate buyers, sellers and real estate industry professionals. Blog posts emphasize issues commonly found in Bellingham, WA and Whatcom County. Smith is Washington State Licensed Home Inspector #207, a state licensed structural pest inspector, ASHI certified inspector #252760 and one of the most experienced inspectors in the northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest. Steven L. Smith is lead instructor of home inspection at Bellingham Technical College and teaches classes for Washington State University and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Steve was a two-term member of the state licensing board.