A common mistake many homeowners make is failing to insulate all sides of a crawl space. If you fail to insulate every surface, you’ll be exposing the cold floors in your living space to moisture in the air. This causes condensation and leads to hazardous mold growth.
In insulating your entire crawl space, you should also choose a type of insulation that will protect against moisture. Water-resistant insulation will last longer and help your home retain heat more efficiently.
You can find many crawl spaces in older homes insulated with fiberglass batt and roll insulation. This popular form of insulation is cheap to install. However, it’s also the least effective at resisting moisture and other debris. This means water damage and mold growth will be more likely.
Fiberglass insulation can also become damaged more easily. It won’t last as long as other types of insulation.
Manufacturers use plastic and glass to produce fiberglass insulation. The plastic makes the insulation more flexible, allowing installers to bend and twist it to fit virtually any space. This makes it a good choice for attics and interior walls. But when it comes to insulating your crawl space, you will want a more rigid material.
You can choose between open cell or closed cell spray foam insulation, but many insulation installers recommend closed cell for crawl spaces. Closed cell insulation offers additional protection by forming a vapor barrier. It’s one of the most effective ways to keep moisture from collecting in your crawl space. It also has a high R-value of up to 7.0.
This type of insulation is a wet foam that the installer will spray onto the surface. Spray foam is great for getting into cracks and crevices, and it’s also effective in insulating the area around floor joists. Once exposed to the air, the wet foam will expand and harden. It lasts for up to 80 years before it will need to be replaced.
Although spray foam can easily get into small crevices, that isn’t always an issue with crawl space insulation. For this purpose, rigid foam offers a great alternative. It’s comprised of foam boards that are rigid and light. This makes them ideal for hanging in small, confined spaces.
Additionally, the installer can easily cut the foam boards with a basic utility knife. The installer can customize pieces to fit unusual angles in your crawl space by cutting the boards to size.
Rigid foam offers an R-value of up to 6.0, and the boards are extremely resistant to moisture. This prevents the accumulation of dampness that could otherwise lead to mold growth.
Once you choose the best insulation for your home’s crawl space, you’ll want to reduce moisture exposure as much as possible. This is a good time to schedule a roof inspection and gutter cleaning. Try to make sure rainwater flows away from your home once it leaves the gutters.
You should also inspect your home’s foundation. Look for cracks and leaks that you can have repaired in advance. This will reduce moisture exposure in your crawl space and ensure your insulation lasts longer.
Before making your final decision, it is worthwhile to consult your insulation contractor. Based on their years of experience, they can tell you which insulation performs better and lasts longer. Their insights can save you money in the long run.