Crawl Space Insulation
Crawl space insulation is part of what makes a home more comfortable to live in. Insulation also increases its energy efficiency. If your home is built on a crawl space, there’s likely several feet of air between your toes and the ground. If the insulation in your crawl space has been affected by moisture or other issues, it can cause problems.
Symptoms of Crawl Space Insulation Problems
There are several indicators that your insulation is damaged. Here’s what to look for:
- Homeowners often first notice something’s wrong by how cold their floors feel. Without insulation in properly place, there’s nothing other than your floor between you and the damp ground underneath your home.
- Problems with mold or mildew are another symptom that moisture may be coming into your house from below. While fungi growth can be triggered by other issues, it’s frequently caused by moisture in the crawl space.
- Homes with damaged or missing crawl space insulation are more costly to heat and cool. If your heating and cooling bills are on the rise, faulty insulation could be the culprit.
The first step to determining the condition of a home’s crawl space insulation is to do an inspection.
What We Look for in Crawl Space Insulation
First, insulation has to dry in order to be effective. Often, we find that high levels of moisture have compromised the insulation over time. Traditional insulation works a bit like a sponge — it’s fluffy and absorbent. If there’s a source of moisture rising up from the ground, seeping in from outside, or coming down from a cracked pipe, it’s just a matter of time until the insulation becomes saturated. Once it’s wet, the only solution is replacement. It’s easy to spot damp insulation as it sags down from the floor joists.
There are a number of factors that can cause the sheets of fiberglass batting to dislodge. If the insulation wasn’t properly attached when it was originally installed, it’s likely to detach more easily over time. Rodents and other pests that make their homes in crawl spaces can also play a role in insulation becoming dislodged. Finally, no matter how well it was originally installed, older insulation can start to sag or drop off entirely over time.
How We Solve Crawl Space Insulation Issues
If an inspection shows that high levels of moisture have degraded your insulation, steps need to be taken to eliminate the source of the elevated readings. The course of action we take will depend on where the moisture’s coming from. If water is seeping in from outside, installing a French drain or system for diverting the water away from entering the crawl space can be effective. Installing or modifying an existing crawl space ventilation system can improve the flow of air inside the space to assist in removing excess moisture.
Once the crawl space has been dried out, the old, damaged insulation can be removed. When it’s replaced with new insulation, many customers request that we install a moisture barrier to keep the new insulation clean and dry.
The Results of a Remediated Crawl Space
With the new insulation at work, the results can be felt immediately. Floors feel less chilly, and you can expect improvements in energy bills. Lower levels of moisture also help prevent outbreaks of mold and mildew that thrive in high-humidity environments. Pests like insects, snakes, and rodents will find your crawl space uninhabitable. Taking the time now to correct high levels of moisture and remediate compromised insulation results in benefits for homeowners for years to come.
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