Don’t let foundation vent covers stay broken

When winter comes, pipes are most vulnerable

Q: The metal rods that operate the covers on my foundation vents no longer work, and I want to replace them. Can you recommend a replacement, or a way to make my own? Also, do you feel that closing the foundation vents is even necessary? --Steve B. A: First of all, I do recommend that the crawl space be sealed off during the coldest part of the winter season in order to prevent frozen pipes. Depending on your average winter temperatures, you can cover the vents during the coldest months and leave them open the rest of the year to allow any accumulated moisture to dissipate from under the house. The easiest solution would be to simply replace your existing vent covers with new ones of the same style, with a metal rod that operates a metal or plastic flap. As long as there is nothing interfering with the action of the flap cover as it opens and closes, they should work fine for several seasons. I would suggest a little WD-40 or similar lubricant on the hinges each season. If your vents a...