If your heat is turned way up and you still have a cold floor, you may have your crawl space insulation to blame.
Just like your attic, the crawlspace of a home is usually not a great place to hang out. They can be dirty and damp. Crawl space neglect can lead to wasted heating energy, moisture buildup and mold growth.
The first habit you want to change is to visit your crawl space regularly. Getting to know the area under your home can save you big time down the road.
What am I looking for?
If you take a look under your house, see if there is any damp or dangling insulation. If there is, you likely have insufficient insulation and are wasting money on heating. You could also run into mold problems if you don’t fix the problem soon.
If your house predates energy-conserving building codes that were made standard in 1990, you might see that there is no insulation at all. The U.S. Dept. of Energy recommends at least meeting R-9 in your floors, although we aim for more than that.
I want warm feet in the winter.
To keep your feet toasty all winter long, you’ll need the right insulation for your area. Since Pro Home Improvement serves customers where winters can get pretty darn cold, you’ll want to opt for insulating the walls and sealing up the crawl space entirely, along with between the floor joists.
Should I put fiberglass insulation between my floor joists?
The old method was to install fiberglass batts in between the joists. This is generally frowned upon today, for a few reasons.
- Fiberglass tends to absorb moisture and crawl spaces are not the driest places.
- After it begins to absorb moisture (or just after a few years), the insulation is pulled out of the joists due to the relentless effect that gravity has on it.
Ok, no fiberglass. What then?
Pro Home Improvement, as well as many home building and energy conservation experts across the country, recommend that you insulate the exterior walls and between floor joists with spray foam insulation.
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Pro Home Improvement’s Pro Grade Spray Foam Insulation, is a closed-cell foam that expands to 100 times its original volume, which enables it to successfully seal all cracks and crevices.
A similar type of product is used in the insulation on a typical freezer door. The inside of the freezer is below freezing, but the exterior is the temperature of your kitchen area, somewhere around 70 degrees. This is the same type of insulation effect, but protecting your entire crawl space.
Spray foam insulation doesn’t shift, settle or fall and lasts for decades beyond any fiberglass installed in your joists.
What about moisture from the ground?
I’m glad you asked! We recommend installing a layer of visqueen over the ground to act as a vapor barrier to prevent moisture buildup in your crawl space.
Homeowners with crawl spaces need to make moisture control a priority. If you don’t, your crawl space becomes a Petri dish supporting all kinds of mold, mildew and other nasty stuff that is expensive to get rid of.
So that’s it?
As easy as that. Spray closed-cell foam between the joists, all along the walls and seal up the ground with visqueen and your floors will be nice and warm all winter long.
If you could use some help assessing the health of your crawl space, give our Pros a call, they are ready to help you out immediately. Visit our estimates page to schedule a meeting or call 888-776-1998 today.