Crawl Space Insulation: The Ultimate Guide to Replacing Your Insulation
If your house has a crawl space underneath and you’ve discovered your floor gets extra cold in winter, that could be an indication that you need to change your crawl space insulation. Homes that have a crawl space underneath tend to have colder floors compared to houses constructed on a concrete slab. Here is a guide to replacing your insulation.
Crawl Space Insulation According to the Climate Type
To make your floor comfortable, you should be careful to choose the right insulation for your climate. For instance, if you live in a moderate climate area where you hardly experience subfreezing temperatures, then insulating in between the floor joists would be ideal. However, if your locality experiences extremely cold temperatures, you may want to consider insulating the crawl space walls and covering any open spaces and gaps entirely.
Assuming your region experiences a short winter season with minimal freezing, then you could easily install an R-19 6-inch thick fiberglass batts in between your floor joists. This together with excellent measures to control moisture would go a long way in controlling moisture and keeping mold at bay. The best part is that you’d only spend approximately $1 for every square foot which is cost-effective when you’re working on a budget.
What You Should Keep in Mind
Whether you prefer installing the crawl space insulation yourself or hire a professional crawl space expert, ensure that the fiberglass batts are installed in such a way that they’re in contact with the base of the subfloor. Your expert should place a wood lath after every 18 inches to enhance support.
A criss-cross wire webbing would also work well when it comes to offering support. One material you should stay away from is stay rods, also known as tension rods. This is because they squeeze the fiberglass and reduce its insulation value leading to inefficiency.
Seal off the subfloor. Often, builders, plumbers, and electricians leave open holes and spaces once they are done wiring your home. You want to ensure that all open holes are completely sealed. You can opt to use spray foam insulation for its robustness.
Ventilate. If you want to effectively ventilate your crawl space, get in touch with a qualified and reliable expert. They’ll be able to assess and let you know the magnitude of ventilation that your crawl space requires.
Remember, you’re assessing the best methods of preventing freezing and heat loss in your home both during winter and summer. One thing you should do is keep all your heating and cooling systems and plumbing pipes appropriately insulated. While you may want to use closed cell spray foam insulation, it’s worth noting that while the method is robust and effective, it’s quite expensive.
You may, therefore, not afford it if you’re working on a budget. Still, it offers the ultimate effectiveness and in some areas, it could be the only viable solution. You may want to calculate your long term expectations and correlate the same with your budget. Oftentimes, investing in an expensive solution that promises to deliver long term savings is worth your money.
If your expert thinks closed cell spray foam insulation is the ultimate solution for filling the cracks in between the joints, then consider investing in it. Whatever you do, you want to stay away from open-cell insulation as much as possible because it soaks up loads of moisture.
The Ultimate Crawl Space Insulation for Winter Season
If you live in extremely cold areas, you want to choose the most appropriate method for your climate. Your preferred method should help you insulate your crawl space walls and seal all the air leaks to protect it from the elements.
By so doing, you’ll have safeguarded both the heating and cooling ducts and your plumbing system from extreme freezing temperatures and therefore preserving energy in your home. In this case, the ideal crawl space insulation method would be rigid insulation. For this, you’ll have to part with $5 for each square foot if a professional is doing the insulation for you.
This price is inclusive of all materials and many homeowners will find it too pricey. The advantage of using this method is; it’s a permanent solution that offers the ultimate crawl space insulation. If you are a qualified crawl space expert, you can opt to do it yourself and save approximately half the price.
The problem with this method is; it’s a time-consuming and challenging task. If you’re a busy person, then you may never find enough time to complete it. If you aren’t an experienced or even qualified crawl space expert, you can as well forget about doing it yourself regardless of how passionate you are when it comes to DIY projects.
What Does an Effective Crawl Space Insulation involve?
Once you’ve finally decided to hire a professional to execute your crawl space insulation task, they’ll embark on the following.
- Fixing the Vents. This process is much more than covering the vents at the base of your crawl space. The ultimate professional job will involve removing the vents, inspecting the area for holes or cracks, and sealing them off entirely.
- Insulating the rim joist. For effective insulation, you’ll need to use spray foam insulation on the rim joists that are located above your foundation walls.
- Insulating the base. Stick a rigid foam insulation board to the interior side of your foundation walls with waterproof building adhesive. Make sure that all the seams are well covered using waterproof tape. In this case, you’ll need a double layer of a 2 inch thick 4 by 8-foot sheet of expanded polystyrene insulation.
- Attach vapor barrier. Regardless of the type of crawl space floor you have, it’s bound to discharge moisture. You can prevent this by attaching a 6 ml plastic polyethylene vapor barrier.
- Eradicate moisture. If the air in your house is moist, it results in a condensed crawl space. What’s more, even the slightest leaks will escalate with time and you can get rid of excess water in your crawl space by installing a sump pump. According to experts, you should keep your crawl space dry at all times if you want it to remain dry and clean with no pest or mold infestation.
Once your crawl space is sealed off from moisture and cold, you can easily connect it to the main house’s heating and cooling system through the vents. This way, warm air will easily circulate beneath your floors and make them warm hence creating a comfortable environment in your home for you and your loved ones. With the right insulation, you’ll not need to install a cooling system in your crawl space during summer. One thing you should do is to keep all vents closed when your AC is in operation. For professional services for insulation contact us.