Foundation Vents and Hurricanes

I live on the east coast and am about to get slammed with Hurricane Irene. I’ve taken all the necessary precautions I can think of to make sure everything is in order outside the house. However, there is one thing that I’m not 100% certain on. That is, would it be best to have all the foundation crawl space vents left open during the event or closed. I know that with the ‘Smart VENT’ product they open automatically to allow any flood water to automatically enter and exit through the frame opening, relieving the pressure from your foundation walls. However, I have the standard sliding vents that are manually operated. Just wondering if anyone knows if the same rules apply.



Something to think about .

I think keeping water out should be the first priority, therefore I would keep them closed. Good luck with the storm. We are preparing her in NY/NJ also.

Thanks John. We’re about 30 miles inland from OC, Md here. Good luck to you as well.

It’s a double edged sword … more water penetration vs. possible hydrostatic pressure on the walls. A lot depends on the particular circumstances (exposed wall, flood elevation, etc). I would probably opt for dealing with potential water dammage as opposed to possible structural dammage.

This link from FEMA may help, and you can go to their website to read up on the issues …