Insulation serves as a non-traditional but effective waterproofing measure when it’s installed in your crawl space. You should not consider it a permanent solution to your problems, though. You’ll need to check on the status of your crawl space insulation at least once a year to ensure it’s still keeping unwanted moisture out of your home. Without these annual check-ups, your insulation may suffer damage and become a host for the moisture it was supposed to keep away from your belongings and structural supports.
The Benefits of Insulating Your Crawl Space
Your crawl space is more than just a space in which you can store seasonal belongings or hand-me-downs. Crawl spaces can host utilities and are sensitive to the changes in the soil around them. They can also house the structural supports that help keep your home secure and pleasant to live in.
As such, it’s important to try and take the health of these environments seriously. If you let your crawl space fall into disarray, you may rapidly find yourself dealing with problems not only within the space but also throughout your home. For example, a damp crawl space can host unpleasant smells that disrupt your quality of life. More seriously, standing water and moisture in your crawl space can turn the environment into the perfect incubator for molds that can damage your family’s respiratory health.
Insulating your crawl space does not waterproof it, but it does allow you to take the steps you need to prevent significant damage therein. Thermal insulation, either on its own or when doubling as a barrier between your space and unwanted moisture, helps you control the temperature in your crawl space, thereby reducing the amount of damage the space can take on.
It’s also a good idea to pair insulation with encapsulation in your crawl space for more comprehensive protection and energy savings. Being aware of what types of materials you are using in the crawl space also is crucial. Soft fiberglass insulation, for example, can easily hold onto moisture and water, creating the perfect breeding ground for mold and pests. Avoid these nasty conditions by investing in waterproof, pest resistant ExTremeBloc™ rigid insulation panels coupled with the CrawlSeal™ vapor barrier.
Damage to Look Out for When Checking Your Crawl Space Insulation
What kind of insulation damage is likely to plague your crawl space? That all depends on the size of your space and the area in which you live. The St. Louis, MO, area falls victim to the same versatile weather as many cities in the Midwest. As such, you’ll likely find yourself dealing with cool and damp winters as well as blistering summers.
Your crawl space can show signs of insulation damage when there’s too much rain in the area. It can also begin to suffer if the soil around your home starts to shrink in the midst of a drought, as that shrinkage will cause your foundation slab and structural supports to shift. As such, you’ll want to keep an eye out for symptoms of larger problems in your crawl space insulation. These include but are not limited to:
- Inconsistent temperatures throughout your home
- Increasing electric or heat bills
- Signs of seepage throughout your crawl space or basement
- Mildew or mold
- Standing water
If you’re not sure what to look for or what the symptoms you have spotted may mean for your home, it’s best to reach out to a professional foundation and crawl space contractor. The contractors working in the St. Louis, MO, area like Foundation Recovery Systems can provide you with a free quote on the services you may need to restore your home after their inspections are complete.
Inspecting Your Crawl Space Insulation
As mentioned, insulating your crawl space won’t always waterproof it. However, when you work with the contractors in your area, you can invest in crawl space insulation that repels water while also helping you control the temperature in your home.
While you can check on your insulation after it’s been installed, the contractors who did the original work will often be able to complete an inspection more quickly. The process typically involves the following steps:
- Find your insulation
- Classify your insulation
- Start looking for signs of dampness
- Look for damage outside your home as well as throughout the rest of the building
When in doubt, it’s best to try and follow your nose while inspecting your crawl space. As mentioned, damaged insulation gives off an unpleasant smell, especially when it’s transformed into a housing unit for mold particles. You can most often follow musty or moist scents to the source of damage in your crawl space, allowing contractors to start repairing said damage all the faster.
Need some assistance getting started? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals at Foundation Recovery Systems for an expert inspection and opinion.