The crawl space is a place that many homeowners don’t think about until it’s too late. Most people assume that this area of the home isn’t used, but they couldn’t be more wrong! This article will give you six ways to create an energy-efficient and safe crawl space for your house. Crawl space insulation is one of the most effective ways to cover the majority of the items, and we at AirGanic have crawl space insulation installation services to meet all budgets.
Remove All Water Sources from Your Crawl Space
The accumulation of water from your crawl space often is a result of many factors including rainwater, groundwater, and plumbing. If you are experiencing any of the below, it is likely that water infiltration has affected your crawl space, and can often raise a myriad of concerns such as:
- Musty Odors
- Mold Growth
- Insects or Signs of Infestation in Your Home
You need to eliminate all sources of moisture to have a healthy and safe home. You should start by looking for these potential areas where water may be entering your crawl space including cracks around windows, doors, plumbing vents along small holes drilled through foundations. Ensuring that there are no places for the liquid to enter will significantly reduce the amount of condensation within this area. This means less humidity which can lead to better air quality throughout your entire house as well!
Understand Your Home’s Climate
To keep your desired temperature from your home, it’s essential to understand the dynamics of your home and the climate of your area as well. To protect your home from the harsh winter air, you must ensure that the crawl space is properly insulated with crawl space insulation that has a higher R-value than your home’s exterior wall. However, if you live in a climate where the temperature is below freezing for the majority of the year, you must have insulation with an R-value over 30.
During the hot and dry season, installing insulation depends on your specific area but can usually range between an R-value of R30 and R60. The reason for this is because your crawl space has a direct impact on the temperature of your home.
When it’s hot outside, you want as much insulation as possible to keep that heat from seeping into your living space and helps maintain airflow within the crawl space so humidity doesn’t build up inside which can lead to mold growth and poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Installing an exhaust fan can also help provide proper ventilation, too!
Use a Vapor and Air Barrier
Whether the flooring of your crawl space is made with materials such as gravel, concrete, or wood, it still has the potential to release moisture. Installing plastic vapor barriers on your crawl space’s flooring is a great way to block airflow and make sure that any moisture won’t be able to get in or out of the crawl space.
In addition, you’ll also want to install a plastic vapor barrier on your foundation walls as well. The main purpose here would be keeping moist air outside which can contribute to mold growth inside your home’s living spaces. Even though insulation does help with preventing heat loss through the flooring surfaces, it should still not be installed under building paper or other materials used for waterproofing but over them instead.
Utilize Water-Resistant Insulation
Water-resistant insulating materials such as polyisocyanurate or phenolic foam are known to prevent mold growth, resist rotting and decay as well as provide insulation against cold surfaces.
Cellulose and fiberglass insulation are not meant for use in crawl spaces because of their moisture retention properties. Using them can cause mold growth, pest infestation & rotting that will damage the sub-flooring, or if your house is built on a concrete slab these problems may even penetrate it which will cost more to repair than using water-resistant material.
Consider Including Crawl Spaces in the conditioned portion of your house.
By including your crawl space in your home’s conditioned area, you eliminate cold air transfer into the house through your crawl space vents.
To accomplish this, install an HVAC duct that transfers conditioned air from inside the home to the area of the crawlspace. A sealed, insulated lid on top of your crawl space can also accomplish this goal if no other means are available or practical for you to implement.
Seal Vent Openings
When vents are not sealed enough, they allow cold air transfer and moisture entry.
Vent openings can be sealed with a combination of foam sealant, caulk or spray insulation to keep the area as energy-efficient as possible.
Some vent caps are designed specifically for sealing common types of vents you may find in your crawl space flooring system such as those for plumbing stacks and electrical wires which require service access. If not properly sealed, these areas also pose an increased risk of water damage since they cannot drain properly without proper ventilation during heavy rains.
At AirGanic, we do air duct sealing, duct cleaning, and insulation around your ducts where needed.
By creating a safe and energy-efficient crawl space using this guide, you can help reduce the cost of your energy bills and prevent potential water damage should a flood take place, or at least give yourself more time to get them out before they’re damaged beyond repair.
Homeowners can not only save money in the long run but remain safe while offering other benefits such as reducing the risk of mold growth, keeping pests out, and adding to its overall value.