Is Sub-Floor Ventilation a One-Part Solution for a Damp Sub-Floor?

TonyS_EF10-4-Installed-22-3-14-#2Sub-floor ventilation is one solution to a damp sub floor but it should not held as a panacea for all sub-floor damp issues. Why?

A damp sub floor can originate from various sources. Such as:

  • A leaky shower recess (or other internal problematic plumbing).
  • Excess rain water run off which is not properly diverted away from the dwelling.
  • Or, inadequate sub-soil drainage, spoon drains, unconnected down-pipes or broken storm-water drainage.

Sub-floor ventilation cannot fix these issues as these need to be directly addressed.

Does sub-floor ventilation guarantee that I will not have termites? The answer is no. As termites may enter the dwelling through cracks in concrete slabs and forage for food sources in sub-floor areas.

However, when sub-floors have a high humidity level, this is a recipe for mould growth and provides a warm environment which suits termites right down to the ground! The Termite Inspection Report in Accordance with AS 3660 states that ‘sub-floor ventilation is a deterrent for termites to establish themselves within the property’; In simple terms, ventilation makes the sub-floor area undesirable for termite activity, acting as a deterrent. Sub-floor ventilation is just one important part of the overall prevention or control of termites.

Does that mean that a homeowner should throw caution to the wind by not having regular termite inspections? Or does that mean that other strategies should not be implemented to control a potential termite infestation? At Envirofan, we strongly recommend to continue regular termite inspections and consult with a reputable pest management company or persons. Areas where there is a prevalence of active termites, inspections at six-month intervals is advisable. If not, then annually.

If I do have a damp sub-floor area where should I start? As mentioned above, prioritise a damp sub-floor area strategy. Have I a leaky shower recess? Is storm-water drainage in place via sub-soil or spoon drains? Are my down-pipes connected to the available storm-water drainage pipes? If these are checked off the list, then bolstering sub-floor ventilation is your last line defense against moisture in the sub-floor area. This will also lead to an improvement of the air quality inside the dwelling.

Finally, don’t leave it to chance to aerate your sub-floor via passive vents. Envirofan fan-forced sub-floor ventilation systems will enable your sub-floor ventilation solution reach its full potential.