How To Insulate Your Crawl Space

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  • October 2, 2013 1:55 am
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Crawl Space Insulation

Having a crawl space is great as a homeowner because it allows you to access plumbing, electrical, and other systemic components of your home easily. Instead of having to dig into your floor to access items laid within a slab, you just crawl through some spiders and rocks to fix the problem! The nature of the airflow within a home that has a crawl space, however, is quite unique. Warm air rises, but cool air will settle in the lowest area of your home… which is the crawl space.

That means insulating your crawl space can help you save immensely on your energy bills! Here’s how you do it:

Seal your sub-flooring. Missing this step is often the most common error of the do-it-yourselfer. All that plumbing and electrical wiring that supports your home’s systems are often run through the support boards instead of underneath them. There should be some sort of foam installation in these areas to help insulate the sub-floor. In addition, you can also further insulate the pipes and ventilation ducts to prevent freezing and air flow. For many home owners, this is the first step that they must take.

Now you’re ready to put in that installation under the floor.

Attach batts to support the insulation. Insulation only works if it is in contact with the area that it is supposed to insulate. In many homes that were built prior to 1990, if you’re lucky enough to even have insulation in the crawl space, it’s likely just lying on the floor. By installing fiberglass batts underneath the main floor to hold the rolls of insulation, you’ll find a much more effective result. Try to avoid tension rods, opting instead for a combination of wood lathing and a weave of wire so that you don’t reduce the R-value of your insulation.

Ventilate your crawl space area. When you venture into your crawl space, do you get a mighty whiff of rotting vegetation? Though most crawl spaces have venting installed for them, it isn’t uncommon for there to not be enough vents to keep a crawl space effectively dry. A wet crawl space is the perfect environment for unhealthy mold and mildew, which can quickly ruin the brand new insulation you’ve just installed. You may wish to speak with a local contractor about doing this job for you if you’re not comfortable installing new vents on your own.

With a properly vented and insulated crawl space, you’ll find that your home can be much more energy efficient. Those really cold rooms in winter can often be normalized and you can actually enjoy some of your air conditioning! If you are finding temperature inconsistencies in your home, take the time to inspect your crawl space today. Whether you have damp insulation or no insulation at all, you could be one weekend project away from saving hundreds of dollars!

 

Photo Credit: Hendie Dijkman

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