A crawl space provides access to your home’s wiring and plumbing through a narrow opening in your basement or attic. But a crawl space can also hike a homeowner’s energy bills since heat and cold can be lost through the floor or ceiling, forcing the cooling or heating system to work harder. A crawl space can also retain moisture, resulting in mold which can cause health problems. And, since there is nothing beneath the floor to absorb the sound, your floors can become noisy. All these reasons are why it is vitally important to install crawl space insulation in your house.
Your installation process for you crawl space insulation is dependent upon whether or not your spaces are ventilated. Crawl spaces are usually ventilated to avoid problems with moisture; in fact, most building codes prescribe vents in crawl spaces for just this reason. However, building professionals have since come to realize that it is best to either build unventilated crawl spaces or to shut the vents after allowing the crawl space to dry out when construction is finished. The reason for this is that in the winter, ventilation makes crawl spaces difficult to heat, and in summer warm, moist air brought in from outside by the vents does not dehumidify the crawl space and in fact, can even increase moisture. Installing crawl space insulation is easier in unventilated spaces.
From here you need to determine whether or not you can handle this crawl space insulation project alone, or if you should call in professional help. Take the proper precautions if you decide to install your own crawl space insulation. Make sure you wear a long-sleeved shirt, safety gloves, and protective goggles. You need to make sure that you have enough Batt insulation to cover your space, using an R-value of 10 if your space is ventilated and an R-value of 20 if it is not. The R-value determines the effectiveness of the insulation, with a higher number being most efficient.
To avoid drafts, seal up any gaps, spaces or openings before you install the insulation in your crawl space. You can create an entryway into the crawl space from inside of the house, if you seal off any external entryways. Also think about ways to control the moisture in the space. A layer of vapor barrier applied to the ground should hold back any moisture from the soil.
For an unventilated crawl space, insulation only needs to be installed in the walls of the foundation. If your crawl space is ventilated, then you will probably need to get some insulation in spaces under the floor. And if your pipes are located in the crawl space, you will need to wrap them in a layer of crawl space insulation as well, to prevent them from freezing or leaking heat.
It may not seem so, but if you haven’t done it yet, applying crawl space insulation is very necessary. If done properly, aside from saving on energy costs, it can also make your home more comfortable.
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