Having a crawl space underneath your home could be a good thing. However, it can also create certain problems.
Many people live in areas that are very humid. Humid areas might be more likely to have problems with moisture in the crawl space.
Excessive moisture can easily cause your crawl space to have mold issues. Mold and mildew growing in the crawl space could wind up harming your home.
To protect your home from getting damaged, you should insulate the crawl space. What are the best ways to do this, though?
Read on to learn about insulating crawl spaces. You’ll learn about the different approaches so you can figure out what you want to do for your home.
What is the Best Way to Insulate a Crawl Space with a Dirt Floor?
Most crawl spaces have some type of dirt floor. There are crawl spaces that have concrete floors instead, but they’re a bit less common.
If you have a dirt crawl space floor, you’re likely looking for the ideal way to insulate it. The best approach is going to depend on the type of problem that you’re dealing with.
There could be a number of problems that you’re going through. If you’re experiencing issues with groundwater, it’s best to address that first.
You could be having more issues than usual because your gutters and downspouts aren’t properly guiding water away from the house. So try fixing that to keep water from getting close to your home and the crawl space area.
Now it’s going to be best to install a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is a type of 6-mil polyethylene that you place over the dirt floor.
This barrier is great because it’ll prevent moisture issues from being a problem. Such a barrier can protect you from water that seeps up from the ground.
With this done, you can move on and insulate the crawl space. There are a few ways to do this, but the most common one involves spraying foam.
Professionals can come out to your home and spray foam in the crawl space. It’s a bit expensive, but this can work to protect your crawl space.
Some people choose to install foam boards along the walls instead. Pairing foam boards with a vapor barrier will usually work out pretty well.
What Is the Best Way to Insulate a Crawl Space with a Concrete Floor?
Ideally, you want to insulate the dirt floor and then put the concrete floor on top of that. If the concrete floor is already there, you can only insulate the walls.
The walls can be insulated using the same type of foam mentioned above. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working with a dirt floor or a concrete floor.
You want to make sure that the walls are insulated and protected. Install the boards, and everything should be much improved.
It can be good to have a vapor barrier under the concrete floor. This keeps moisture from becoming an issue at all.
Concrete floors can act as a buffer to keep moisture issues from being as bad, though. A concrete floor that’s on top of a vapor barrier is simply much better.
How to Insulate a Crawl Space with Foam Board
Insulating a crawl space with foam boards involves applying the foam boards directly to the concrete. You apply them to the concrete walls using tap con screws or by strapping them directly to the wall.
An adhesive is another option that you can turn to. This sticks the foam boards to the wall.
There are different types of foam boards that you can purchase. Some of them are more environmentally friendly than others.
EPS foam boards are the type that you want to use if you want to do things while being environmentally conscious. XPS foam boards are also an option, but they have much higher greenhouse gas emissions, and that makes them a no-go for many people.
You could also choose to forego installing foam boards entirely. Some people choose to use rock wool boards instead.
These types of boards are made out of recycled stone dust, and they cannot be burnt. They’re fire-safe options that don’t require additional steps.
The downside to this is that rock wool doesn’t act as a vapor barrier. So to get the best experience, you’d need to apply a vapor barrier first and then put the rock wool boards on top of that.
Do You Have to Insulate the Crawl Space?
Not insulating the crawl space will potentially cost you money. However, you don’t technically have to insulate the crawl space if you don’t want to.
If you’re not experiencing problems with moisture and other issues, it might not seem too important to insulate the crawl space right now. You might be able to get by without making any major changes.
However, you should know that crawl spaces that aren’t insulated will make your home less energy efficient. You’ll wind up losing a substantial amount of heat through the floorboards.
Installing the foam boards, the vapor barrier, and a concrete floor can help out with this. You can trap the air to reduce your overall energy costs.
Not only will your energy bills be lower, but you’ll also be protecting your home from moisture. It’s less likely that you’ll have problems with structural damage due to issues in your crawl space.
As a homeowner, it’s best to protect your investment by taking the right steps. Insulating your crawl space is worthwhile because it doesn’t necessarily cost a lot to get the job done.
It’s going to pay for itself with the energy savings that you’ll enjoy over time. For this reason, you might wish to call professionals to get the ball rolling soon.
Using a Crawl Space Dehumidifier
What if you’re just having problems with humidity? Sometimes high humidity in your area will be the direct cause of moisture issues in the crawl space.
In this situation, you could buy a crawl space dehumidifier. These dehumidifiers are made to work in crawl spaces, and they keep the humidity levels in check.
Buying a crawl space dehumidifier will cost you hundreds of dollars. They’re more complex than dehumidifiers that are used in your home.
They use more expensive parts, and they’re designed to be more durable overall. Getting one of these could be a solid solution to your problems, but it’s still helpful to get your crawl space insulated.
Now you know that you can insulate your crawl space by using a few different ideas. It’s wise to put a vapor barrier down on the dirt crawl space floor.
This protects from moisture issues and makes it less likely that your crawl space will have problems with mold. These barriers aren’t overly expensive.
You can further insulate the crawl space by using foam or foam boards. Foam boards can be installed on the walls to insulate the crawl space and keep the heat in.
When you have better insulation in the crawl space, your energy bills will be lower. This helps to save you money as time goes on.
Look into insulating your crawl space. If you want to protect your home from being damaged by moisture while saving cash on energy bills, it’s an excellent idea.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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