Blog Buyer A Case for Keeping Your Crawl Space Vents Open

A Case for Keeping Your Crawl Space Vents Open

By Robin Hakeman, December 2, 2022

It’s that time of year in Oregon when the weather is colder and many people worry about their pipes freezing. The first thing they do is close up the crawl space vents with styrofoam blocks thinking this will help. But every home inspector that I have worked with says this is a big no-no.

Here’s why:

Your Crawlspace Needs to Breathe:

Here in Oregon we get water in our crawl spaces – it’s just a fact. It can happen for a variety of reasons; poor grading of the soil around your home or periods of heavy rain creating excess ground water. Wet crawl spaces mean excess moisture which can lead to mold growth below the home and up into the attic. Keeping ALL of your vents open year round will help the air flowing and stop moisture build up.

radon is the highest leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers:

I’ll say that again. radon is the HIGHEST LEADING CAUSE OF LUNG CANCER IN NON-SMOKERS. If you aren’t familiar with radon (it doesn’t deserve a capital letter here) it is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the soil. Some areas have higher amounts of radon in the soil than others but even small amounts of radon can be harmful to your health. Everyone should test their home for radon gas and take the proper measures to ensure the least amount of radon enters the home. The best way to lower radon levels is to keep your crawlspace vents OPEN! Closed vents mean the radon has nowhere else to go but up into the home. The second way is to ensure that the floor of your crawlspace is completely covered with black 6 mill vapor barrier. The vapor barrier should be in good condition without rips or holes.

Click Here to learn more about radon gas and how to test for it.


There is low risk of your pipes freezing in Oregon:

Don’t quote me on saying that your pipes will never freeze or burst – of course that can happen. But we don’t get below freezing often enough to keep your crawl space vents closed up for months at a time. If temps drop below freezing for more than a day or two, fine, go ahead and close them up. But then open them back up immediately after the freeze. Many homes have insulation covering the majority of the plumbing and if you live in an older home without insulation below the floors, consider adding it. Your feet will thank you and so will your energy bills!

Check out my instagram post on this topic & make sure to follow me for more real estate fun!

Robin Hakeman

Broker | Earth Advantage | OR


One of the things I love most about my work in real estate is that it never feels like "work" to me. I love it. I love guiding my clients through the process & celebrating all of the wins along the way. Are you a first time buyer who needs the 101 on all things real estate? We'll sit down and go through it all. Or are you a seasoned-pro looking for top notch service & strategy? We will work closely to put together a plan that ensures your home stands out above the competition. I am passionate about understanding the needs of each client and will be your advocate every step of the way. I truly value the relationship that we will create and my goal is to make this a fun & successful experience for everyone.  Why real estate? My background as a Merchandise Manager for top retail brands prepared me well. I am that rare combination of business smarts meets creativity and this works well for real estate. I have the analytical background necessary to help both buyers and sellers with numbers and negotiation, as well as the creative vision to help clients prepare their homes for sale. As a native Oregonian, I have a deep understanding of all things Portland & beyond. I spent my childhood living in Tigard and when I was old enough, I realized a dream of living on NW 23rd Ave. The first home I owned was in NE Portland and now I live back in the burbs! When I'm not at the office or out with clients you can find me playing tennis, taking a barre3 class, enjoying family time, volunteering at a school and enjoying local theater arts. My super power is open & honest communication - and it works! Let's chat.   Specialties Include: 
  • First Time Buyers
  • Upsizers/Downsizers
  • Relocation
  • Condo Purchase/Sale
  • New Construction
Awards & Designations:
  • Top 5 Broker, Q2 2022, Living Room Realty
  • Earth Advantage Certified
  • Real Producers "Rising Star" feature, Feb 2021
  • Five Star Professionals Rising Star award, 2019
  • Fiver Star Professionals Winner, 2023
Read More
  • T: 503-680-0404

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