When you insulate your crawl space, you make an effort to preserve your home’s value as well as your quality of life. That said, you don’t want to try and install insulation in your crawl space alone. A professional crawl space repair contractor can help you take the necessary steps to protect your space from seasonal damage.
Why Should You Use Insulation in Your Crawl Space?
You install insulation throughout your home because it allows you to better protect your belongings. It can also improve your quality of life. Thermal insulation, specifically, makes it easier for you to control the temperature in your home, which, in turn, makes it simpler for you to lower your bills and maintain a positive quality of life.
Your crawl space deserves this kind of attention as much as any other part of your home, if not more so, due to its sensitivity. A damaged crawl space will not only be unpleasant to go into, but it can also put the health of your entire home at risk.
Installing Crawl Space Insulation and Protective Measures
The process of installation crawl space insulation requires you to care for the structure of your space. Once you’ve cleared the space out and ensured that it will remain as free of moisture as possible, it’s easier to install the insulation of your choice.
The process breaks down most easily into the following steps contractors will take to protect your crawl space:
Step 1: Clear Out Any Standing Water
Before you can bring insulation or other waterproofing measures into your crawl space, you need to make sure that your crawl space is fit for use. If it’s rained recently, or if your crawl space tends to retain water, you’ll need to work with a professional to clear that space out. This can mean bringing water out by the bucket-full, using a dehumidifier to draw moisture out of the air, or using a sump pump to pump the water out of the space.
Step 2: Repair Your Crawl Space If Necessary
After your immediate problems with water have been dealt with, you’ll need to go about repairing any damage that’s made your crawl space more difficult to use. It’s best to work with a crawl space repair professional, at this stage, so that you can invest in long-lasting repair measures. These repairs can vary in complexity and cost, depending on the state of your crawl space. On occasion, you may have to invest in foundation repairs before installing crawl space insulation, as damage to your foundation can impact the health of your entire home.
Step 3: Seal Your Doors and Vents
Next, make an effort to seal off your doors and vents. By ensuring that, upon their closing, these openings have a tight seal, you’ll prevent moisture from entering into your crawl space in the days and months to come. You may also, however, have to replace the seals that came with the house, as long-term exposure to moisture and standing water can cause the wood therein to warp.
Step 4: Invest in Additional Waterproofing Measures
If leaking or standing water is a concern, you’re going to want to employ other trusted waterproofing solutions. These include interior drainage – like the CrawlDrain™ system – and a sump pump. The perimeter CrawlDrain™ collects any seeping water and directs it to drain to a sump pump that will remove it from the crawl space.
Step 5: Insulate the Space
Once you’ve addressed the groundwater seepage, you can line the crawl space with the insulation of your choice. As mentioned, this insulation can serve as a secondary waterproofing barrier, as it can wick water away from the structural supports in your crawl space. Just as importantly, insulation will help you control the temperature in your crawl space more easily, lowering your bills and preventing any moisture in the air from damaging your belongings.
Use caution when reviewing your insulation options, as some methods are not as effective as others. Typical soft fiberglass insulation, for example, tends to get wet easily and fail, as well as become a home for pests and mold. Avoid these problems by having rigid ExTremeBloc™ insulation panels placed on the crawl space walls.
Step 6: Encapsulate Your Crawl Space
The final step of the process is to invest in a crawl space encapsulation. When you encapsulate your crawl space, you allow the area to be covered by a dense, plastic-like material that’s tightly-woven enough to keep moisture and most gases out of the crawl space and away from any of your belongings. This material, known as a vapor barrier, can encompass the whole of your crawl space, save for your utilities and doorway, to protect it against water damage. A full crawl space encapsulation will also help you protect the insulation that you’re able to install. To determine which waterproofing and other protective measures will best suit your crawl space and home, you can invite a contractor working in the St. Louis, MO, area to look at your crawl space. The experts at Foundation Recovery Systems will perform a thorough evaluation of your crawl space and then provide you with a free quote on applicable services that will best serve your home.