No matter what you call it, a cold cellar, fruit cellar or root cellar can be a great addition to your home. Trouble is, they often are not built properly or maintained correctly to act as one. When built & maintained properly, the cold cellar design will avoid that damp and musty feeling often associated with these spaces.
With cold cellars that are intended to be a “cold space”, you should ensure that:
- the common interior building-cold cellar walls are insulated with proper vapour barriers
- the door used between the cold cellar and the rest of the house is an insulated exterior grade access door
- there is proper weather-stripping / seal between the building itself and the cold cellar door.
- your cold cellar has air circulation in it at all times by having proper ventilation to the exterior / outside of the home (for example in winter).
The above will assist in reducing the chances of condensation build up and the potential for mould growth in cold cellars.
If on the other hand you don’t want a cold cellar and would prefer to turn it into a “warm space” (in other words, make it it part of the interior of the home) you should ensure that:
- provide insulation and vapour barriers on the exterior walls of the cold cellar,
- remove say ¾” off the bottom of the interior access door so there’s air circulation providing heat to reach this area, much like you would for an interior closet of a home.
- If this space is large enough, you might consider taking the door completely off and treating it as a small interior room.
Built and designed properly, cold cellars should provide all the utility needed for cold storage.