Insulate the crawl space? When most of us think of insulation, we think of that pink-fluffy material that slows the transfer of heat from one room to another. In the winter, we want the heat inside the house, not outside. In the summer, it’s the opposite. Simple, right? Yes and no. It's not that complicated, but there is much more to the process than just insulating and slowing heat transfer in the crawl space, especially when your geography is damp and humid.
Old fashioned method to insulating the crawl space. The proper methods for insulating a crawl space has evolved during recent decades. The day when experts recommended the installation of fiberglass batt insulation under the first floor is long gone. When combined with operable crawl space vents (another bad idea), it wasn’t long before the batts became saturated with moisture, becoming saggy and losing their insulation value.
Proper way to insulate a crawl space. Today, most experts agree that rigid board insulation fastened to crawl space walls performs best. It installs easily and securely, is waterproof, and helps seal out moisture and air in addition to preventing heat transfer. The floor is sealed with an air and vapor barrier that’s taped to the rigid insulation. Rim joists and sills are sealed with spray foam and vents are sealed, too. The access hatchway to the outside is made airtight.
A finished product. Once your crawl space is fully encapsulated and insulated with CleanSpace, your crawl space will be a great place for storage and other valuables!
Who to call for insulating a crawl space? Basement Systems, Inc., along with its international network of crawl space dealers, is largely responsible for advances in the proper treatment of crawl spaces. The long history of success for Basement Systems dates back to 1987, since then, hundreds of thousands of basements and crawl spaces have been fully waterproofed. Basement Systems introduced its CleanSpace crawl space encapsulation system to help transform wet and dirty crawl spaces to clean and usable space.
A crawl space encapsulation system always includes sealing off outside air and providing a moisture barrier to prevent water vapor from the ground. It may also include waterproofing, wall and floor insulation, and a dehumidifier depending upon your climate, the conditions at your site, and your budget.
What's with crawl space insulation? Insulating your crawl space can save up to 20% on your utility bills!
Once your crawl space has been fully encapsulated, it then becomes a semi-conditioned part of your home. In other words, the crawl space is no longer outside the home’s heating/cooling envelope. This pays some immediate dividends.
First off, the floor above the crawl space will be much warmer to the touch. Drafts will be reduced. Humidity levels in the crawl space become similar to the rest of the house. Condensation no longer forms on HVAC equipment or ducts. Air leaks in ducts located in the crawl space no longer suck mold spores or other allergens into your living space. During the winter, the plumbing inside your crawl space is less susceptible to frozen pipes.
When deciding upon which CleanSpace products to include in your crawl space upgrade, it’s best to consult with a Basement Systems specialist. Our experts will help you make decisions about whether you will need to install a waterproofing system before you insulate, how much insulation you need, and what type of liner to use. To help you understand the options, however, here are some product combinations that are popular with our customers.
It’s smart to encapsulate your crawl space to prevent moisture and outside air infiltration regardless whether you decide to install insulation. Moisture promotes the growth of fungus that can rot floor joists, causes mold to grow (the spores from which eventually find their way into your home), and is a welcome mat for destructive insects, such as termites. In addition, water vapor from the crawl space can spread throughout the house structure to sheathing, roof decks, and siding, causing corrosion, blistered paint, and still more rot. High indoor humidity will also cause your air conditioner to work harder and be less efficient, increasing maintenance expenses and wasting energy dollars. Insulation alone cannot solve all of the problems associated with crawl spaces!
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