Crawl spaces insulation is an oft ignored section of the house that could be regarded as shallow basements. It affects your home more than you’d like to believe and for that reason, experts suggest treating your house’s crawl space as just another part of your home. Here are a few important factors to keep in mind when handling insulation in your crawl space:
- Keeping moisture away from your house
- Loss of heating & cooling
- Ventilation in your crawl space
- Your regional climate conditions
10 percent heating and cooling loss is no laughing matter. Moisture causing damp, mildew, rot, and pests are even less funny.
The Biggest Threat in Your Crawl Space: Moisture
Like basements, the risk is the biggest threat is moisture buildup which can accumulate right through your floor and damage the value of the house. This moisture is eliminated by maintaining proper temperature consistency in the section.
Moisture Prevention Basics
First and foremost, spray the area with fungicide and ensure that all water sources are directed away from the area and that no water lies in the crawl space area. Seal all cracks, pipes, and drainage elements as they are an entry path for moisture and pests. Also make sure that none of your gutters are clogged and that rainwater will not be routed in that direction when it rains. Another detail is that an under house plastic barrier will be needed in any case to block any moisture from below accumulating at the base of the house.
Crawl Space Ventilation and Insulation
Whether your crawl space is ventilated, and your climate are good guides to help you get the most out of your crawl space venting without overinvesting. Under normal circumstances, if your crawl space is not ventilated, the best route is to insulate the crawl space walls rather than the ceiling of the crawl space. If it is ventilated, insulate the base. However, in colder areas, ventilation is a must for the Winter. Be sure to arrange a venting system in your crawl space to prevent your plumbing system from freezing. In contrast, ventilation of the area is not recommended for humid climates.
Polyurethane spray foam insulation is the most effective of all available options for keeping out moisture and insulation, offering the highest R-value of any material. A polyurethane sprayer handles the challenging job of reaching into studs and floor joists. Cellulose and fiberglass are poor options here as they are not adept at preventing water damage, despite being cheaper alternatives to polyurethane. Houses with a concrete floor are especially bad when it comes to insulation and moisture permeability. Keep in mind that recent building codes dictate air conditioning for crawl spaces while in other regions there are regulations for fire safety involving any uncovered insulation.
Planning Your Investment
In time, the energy saving benefits and preservation of your system’s integrity will compensate for the initial cost and whatever the per square foot price is. To be sure that you maximize your energy savings, you are recommended to hire the service of a professional company. Measure the crawl space of your home and use a calculator if you’d like to gain an idea of how much installing certain types of materials will cost you.