LESLIE: Next up, a call from Pat in Arkansas.
Pat, how can we help you?
PAT: Yeah, hi. I was wondering on house vents – you know, for your …
TOM: OK, foundation vents? Yeah.
PAT: Right. I have some that need replacing but I’ve been told by some people that it’s actually better not to have the vents. So I was wondering whether I should replace them or fill them up. They were saying that moisture gets in there through the vents.
TOM: Well there’s actually two schools of thought on this. In some cases, people will super-insulate and seal foundations so that moisture can’t get in but simply sealing up the vent is not the way to do that. So if your house is designed for it to have a vented foundation, I would definitely put the vent back in. If your house has a moisture problem, Pat, what you really need to do is to look at the grading and the drainage at the foundation perimeter. You want to look at the gutters to make sure they’re clean and free-flowing and extended out away from the foundation. And also look at the grading; make sure the soil is sloping away from the house. Those two things will keep the moisture down in the foundation. Go ahead and put that vent in and you’ll be good to go.
PAT: OK, great.
TOM: OK, Pat. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.