When it comes to waterproofing the crawl space, many people focus on keeping moisture out using encapsulation and drainage measures. That’s a fantastic step, but without insulation, your crawl space will still feel cold in winter and hot in summer, and this might affect the internal conditions in your home.
During winter months, floors and walls may feel colder than usual, you may find yourself using the heater for longer than you’d anticipated. Similarly, all the hot and humid summertime air you’re trying to escape actually is underneath your house, and your AC will struggle to keep you comfortable.
If this sounds familiar, time is up for you to insulate the crawl space. And there’s more to it than padding your walls and floor with ¾” foam insulation. But first, let’s get started with the basics before we delve into important details.
What is thermal insulation?
Thermal insulation is a way of inhibiting the transfer of heat between two surfaces or objects. Heat usually gets lost in three ways: conduction, radiation and convection. To stop heat loss, thermal insulation uses special materials and processes to attain lower thermal conductivity. How successful the process is depends on the choice of insulator and installation method. When done correctly, thermal insulation can maintain temperatures in the below-ground area in your home.
People use different insulating materials to seal up the crawl space. Fiberglass, which blends glass strands and woven insulator, is a common material. While it’s non-flammable, it’s risky to handle and gets wet easily. Mineral wool is the other option, and it’s convenient for insulating vast crawl spaces. For the best outcome, combine this with other types of insulation. Eco-friendly cellulose, superlight polyurethane foam with a fantastic R-value, and expanded Polystyrene panels are other insulating options on the table.
Benefits of Crawl Space Insulation
When you insulate the crawl space, you get full insulation and moisture protection in one product. Your insulation also creates a cushioned surface that enables you and other home service professionals to move around with ease.
The insulation materials the crawl space contractor will use are compatible with existing plastic vapor barrier and drainage systems, ensuring the crawl space remains dry, clean, and comfortable.
Proper insulation can also contribute immensely to better indoor air quality. The material will help keep out allergens and other pollutants. By combining it with your dehumidification system, you will keep the indoor air cleaner. Your loved ones will breathe easy.
With insulation laid out, you’ll start seeing energy and heating costs go down. You won’t need to run your heater or air conditioner as long for conditions to normalize. You will also save money that would otherwise have been spent on repairing or maintaining your heating and cooling systems.
How Does Insulation Keep the Crawl Space Dry?
Your insulation impacts the degree of wetness and dryness within your home, specifically floors and walls. The insulating material reduces heat transfer. In doing so, it keeps the home warmer in colder months and cooler in the hot summer. Other than that, insulation curbs moisture intrusion. Your crawl space will remain relatively warmer than the exterior. As a result, it won’t accumulate moisture when temperatures on the outside drop.
What Does Thermal Insulation Process Entail?
Insulating the crawl space (with thermal insulator) is a four-step process that starts with measuring the crawl space to determine its total area. Next, your contractor will seal up gaps around the perimeter of the crawl space with foam insulation to prevent conductive heat loss. Usually, lots of heat gets lost through rim joists that rest on the foundation.
After that, they will insulate the walls using rigid foam. ExTremeBloc™ is the choice insulation material for walls. Unlike fiberglass, it stops air leaks and doesn’t lose its R-value. Most importantly, it stays dry even in humid conditions.
Lastly, the crawl space repair contractor will encapsulate the crawl space with a durable moisture and vapor barrier like CrawlSeal®, and install vent covers on the home’s exterior to conceal any open vents and prevent outside air, water, and pest intrusion. Your crawl space will now be completely isolated from external conditions. While you can insulate the crawl space yourself, it’s best you leave it to professionals who can guarantee the best outcome.
Is Thermal Insulation Different from Normal Insulation?
Well, both do the same thing, and that’s to protect the home and crawl space from heat loss. Where they differ is the R-value of the materials used — in other words, how well the insulator stops heat transfer, soundproofing abilities, flammability, costs, and the environmental impact. Because of their efficiency, thermal insulators will come in handy maintaining crawl space temperatures and energy conservation. If you’d like to insulate your crawl space in Moberly, MO, but don’t know where to start, get in touch with us for a free crawl space inspection and quote. We have the experience and tools to seal air leaks and install durable insulation that’ll keep your home comfortable, dry, and energy efficient.