A Handy Guide to Crawl Space Insulation
June 8, 2021
No matter where you live, if you’ve been in your home long enough, you’ll appreciate the importance of having a properly insulated crawl space. Runaway moisture and temperature fluctuations can affect indoor conditions.
Summers will be extremely hot, while winters are freezing cold. Either way, you’ll turn to your HVAC system to harmonize the conditions between your home and the crawl space, which will push up the heating and cooling costs. You can avoid both scenarios by installing crawl space insulation.
Here, we give you a walkthrough of crawl space insulation, explain why it’s necessary, and show you why it’s best left to professionals.
Why Insulate the Crawl Space?
Insulating the crawl space can help lower your utility bills and makes it easier to keep moisture that causes harm at bay. With proper insulation in place, you can be sure the winter won’t freeze and burst your pipes.
Another benefit of insulating the crawl space is that it improves the overall health and conditions in your home. The quality of indoor air will improve, and your loved ones will live and breathe easy. With no mold to bother you, your home’s resale value will also go up. Potential buyers will snap up your home the moment you list it with a realtor.
Crawl Space Insulation
While there are many simple projects you can pull off on your own, crawl space insulation isn’t one of them. Leave this to crawl space experts in your area, as they have the right tools for the job, industry experience, and knowledge.
Typical installations go like this:
1. Clear water from the crawl space.
Water in the crawl space must go. Otherwise, it’ll make your insulation damp in no time. Water can turn your insulation into a hazard. Certain types of insulation like soft fiberglass can also harbor mold and elevate the moisture levels inside the crawl space if it’s installed poorly. We’ll get rid of the crawl space moisture or remove stagnant water.
2. Fix cracks and damage.
Our crew will check the crawl space for cracks and damage, then perform the necessary repairs before installing the insulation material on your walls. The reason for this is simple. We want to create a dry crawl space interior so your insulation can work. If you overlook or miss this step, you could find yourself dealing with nasty mold.
3. Protect your vents and doors.
Once the crawl space damage is repaired, we’ll turn our focus to vents and doors, ensuring that doors fit their respective slots properly and vents are sealed. These are weak points in many homes and can lead to moisture buildup if they’re warped or left unsealed. Moisture control will also be a problem if these fixtures don’t have a watertight fit. It’s best to have the vents sealed with vent covers and doorways replaced. Doing so will eliminate gaps, ensuring your crawl space remains airtight.
4. Install the necessary waterproofing.
There are different waterproofing solutions. We’ll help you find waterproof insulation along with interior drains and a sump pump system. If humidity is high, we encourage you to get an energy-efficient dehumidifier to dry out the air. This way, you’ll avert moisture problems and prevent water damage and associated repairs.
The next thing our experts will do is to apply the insulation material. While there are different materials, it’s advisable that you avoid fiberglass. This material tends to fail and easily holds water, not to mention that it can harbor pests and encourage mold growth. You’re better off installing a rigid expanded foam like ExTremeBloc™ panels that’s treated to resist termites and water.
We always advise homeowners to pair crawl space insulation with encapsulation. This entails covering the crawl space floor and walls with a 20-mil plastic barrier. What this barrier does is isolate the crawl space area from the earth and outside air. In addition, encapsulation protects your utilities from water, moisture, and mold, and makes it difficult for pests to get inside. We can help you with encapsulation if you intend to use the barrier as your secondary waterproofing solution.
Don’t wait for moisture to build up and compel you to insulate the crawl space. Act now while you still have the time. By then, it could be too late as moisture damage will have occurred. For fast and hassle-free crawl space inspections and installations, contact the experts at Groundworks serving your area. We’ll visit your home, thoroughly evaluate the crawl space, and then recommend the best solution so your interior stays dry and comfortable all year round.