For such a small area, the crawl space has a huge impact on your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. Substantial savings are possible if you add insulation here. You should always insulate the crawl space, but your method depends on whether the area is ventilated or not. Use these guidelines to install crawl space insulation properly.
Insulating a Ventilated Crawl Space
Ventilating your crawl space helps moisture evaporate before it causes problems. However, you should only ventilate the crawl space if mechanical systems like ductwork and plumbing don’t run through here.
You want to keep your ventilated crawl spaces separate from the living area above. This means you should install insulation between the floor joists above the crawl space. Fiberglass batts are easy to install between joists that have been built to code.
Insulating an Unventilated Crawl Space
You may decide to air seal the crawl space, converting it into an unventilated and conditioned part of your home. In this case, you should insulate the crawl space walls. When you do, this prevents the need to insulate ductwork and plumbing that also runs through here.
The best material for insulating an unventilated crawl space is closed-cell spray foam. Not only does this material insulate, but it also acts as a moisture barrier, so the crawl space walls dry to the outside. You only need two inches of spray foam to achieve the desired insulation level.
Crawl Space Vapor Barriers
Whether your crawl space is ventilated or not, a vapor barrier is critical to prevent moisture from rising out of the earth and into your home, where it can cause high humidity, mold growth and structural damage. To prevent these problems, install a polyurethane vapor barrier over the dirt floor. Pour sand over this plastic to hold it in place.
Install Crawl Space Insulation in Southeast Virginia
While it’s possible to install crawl space insulation yourself, consider hiring a professional for the job. This way, you’ll know the work is performed correctly and up to code. Plus, you don’t have to purchase or install the potentially messy insulation yourself, and the installers will clean up after themselves so you don’t have to. You can even request a fungicide spray to keep mold growth at bay.
Please contact Tidewater Insulators today to request a free quote for your crawl space insulation project. We serve homeowners in the Norfolk area of southeastern Virginia.