Installing Crawl Space Insulation
When it comes to installing your crawl space insulation, there’s a variety of different ways to do it. There’s also a wide range of crawl space products that could be use. But what works best? What do the pros recommend?
While there’s several ways that it can be done, there’s only 2 main recommendations we make to ensure your insulate your crawl space correctly. Let’s look at those options.
Crawl Space VS Basement?
The first question we must ask, do you have a crawl space or a basement? Here’s why we ask. First, crawl spaces don’t have windows, they have foundation vents. On the other hand, basements have windows.
The majority of basements will have a concrete floor, that’s the common flooring type. Under that concrete floor, you’ll usually find a vapor retarder. Basements have this for moisture control and comfort in the basement. Crawl spaces do not have this.
Now, both crawl spaces and basements often need dehumidification to control the moisture inside. This is one thing basements and the crawl space hold in common.
Due to the location of the home, basements are typically cooler than anywhere else in the home. Crawl spaces are colder, but only due to its location under the home.
A Known Fact
The crawl space is often overlooked because it adds no value to a home. It is not considered to be a living place. While that may be true, encapsulating your crawl space can transform your crawl space.
Installing Crawl Space Insulation
The purpose of crawl space insulation is to keep warmth inside the home during the cold months. Crawl space insulation involves insulating between the inside and the outside of the home, this over the idea of insulating between the house within the crawl space. This is the new “best practice” in the industry, following the proper guidelines of building what is known as envelope energy efficiency. By disallowing cold air to enter the home’s envelope, you can protect your home better from losing heat. Installing crawl space insulation on the foundation walls will give you the best results for your investment, taking these same practices from the basement itself.
Spray Foam Polyurethane Insulation
A hot debate in the crawl space industry among contractors and homeowners, “what type of crawl space insulation should I be using?” Personally and within our company, we recommend that you use extruded rigid polystyrene insulation rather than spray foam polyurethane insulation. The main reason we recommend rigid foam over spray foam is due to the amount of moisture the insulation will absorb. Rigid foam absorbs a lot of moisture, which is what you want, far less moisture than spray foam does. In return, you’re going to see better results for a longer duration of time.
The one thing your insulation doesn’t need is moisture. This is the exact reason why fiberglass insulation should not be used in a moist environment such as an unconditioned crawl space.
Sealing Foundation Vents
The other way is not actually insulating the crawl space, but rather preventive measures to keep cold air out of the crawl space.
In order to keep the cool and heat in your home, you have to make sure you keep the heat and cold out of your crawl space. This leads us to foundation vents.
If you think closing your foundation vents is enough, think again. You must seal them up. Foundation vents were created for this, but it has been ineffective at best. If you want to keep the cold and heat out of the crawl space, seal them up.
Correctly Insulating Your Crawl Space
Properly sealing your foundation vents and properly insulating your crawl space is the key to saving money on your energy bill. These two crawl space insulation tips are the most effective.