How To Install Foundation Vents

Water is one of the most destructive things to your home. While most homes are built and protected to deal with water on the outside of the home, water and moisture inside the home can become trapped. Most older homes have air holes and cracks that allow some of the moisture to evaporate. But, many newer homes are so well insulated that they’re pretty much air tight and there’s no air circulating to dry up moisture or water.

One way to help keep moisture out of your home is by installing vents in the foundation. Your home needs to be able to breather to stay healthy! Around seven to ten gallons of moisture is generated each day inside your home. While moisture can cause rotting and mildew, trapped moisture becomes laden with vapors that can be harmful to your health.

A lot of emphasis is being placed on insulating homes to reduce energy costs. It is true that adding vents to your homes foundation will slightly increase your heating bills. But, it can help prevent costly repairs for moisture damaged wood and also keep your family healthy by reducing mold and mildew.

Moisture gathers inside the home from numerous sources including taking showers, washing clothes and cooking. It can create odors, condensation that forms on windows during cold weather and stale unhealthy air in general.

If your home has a block foundation, you might think that it’s too late to install vents. But, you can easily install vents even into an existing foundation. The general rule for installing vents is to add a one foot square vent for each 150 square feet of your homes floor space. But, if the crawl space has a dirt floor, or if you live in an area that is shaded by lot’s of trees, you might want to add a few extra for more aeration.

Once you’ve purchased your vents, measure and mark each place on the foundation that you want to add a vent. With a drill and a masonry bit, drill holes close together all along the outline. Be sure to wear safety goggles, the drill will throw bits of masonry into the air.

Take a cold chisel and a hammer and go along the drilled holes to break up and remove the masonry. You want the hole to be as smooth as possible, so once all of the block is removed, use the chisel to chip off any rough edges that remain sticking up. It may take awhile to get it smooth enough for the vent to easily slide into the opening.

You can test the edges by sliding the vent into place to make sure it has a good fit. After you’ve got the hole ready for the vent, use a small trowel and place cement all the way around the inside of the opening. Place the vent into the cement bed and finish up the seal with a coating of cement on the outside surface around the edges.

When you apply cement around the outside of the vent, be careful to not fill the fins on the vent and clog them up. The best type of vents to use are the ones that have adjustable fins. With adjustable fins you can have the option of opening the vents more or less depending on the weather. Open them more if you’re experiencing a rainy spring and then adjust them if you’re having a dry summer.