Crawl spaces are a key part of the foundation of your home but they are often overlooked because they aren’t as easily accessible as a basement or other parts of the home. However, they can have a big impact on the part of your home that you live in. If you have ever wondered if you should insulate your crawl space, here is some information to consider.
- Save money and energy – Uninsulated basements and crawl spaces can account for up to one-third of heat loss during the colder months and similar numbers in the summer with cool air. You can save up to 20% on your heating and cooling bills throughout the year if you invest in insulating your crawl space. According to the Energy Information Administration, an average Virginian’s energy bill is $131 a month, and 50% of that goes to heating and cooling costs. That means you are paying about $65 a month, and you could save about $15 a month if you chose to insulate your crawl space. That doesn’t seem like much, but that is $180 a year, and over a few years, the insulation will end up paying for itself.
- Reduce humidity – By insulating your crawl space, you can have better control of the humidity in your home. Why is that important? Because high humidity can cause mold and mildew issues and it can also make you less comfortable. In the summer, high-humidity days make the air feel heavy and hotter than it is. In the winter cold, humid air feels colder and seems to seep into our bodies more than drier air of the same temperature. When insulating your crawl space, you should include a dehumidifier to help control the amount of humidity in your home.
- Improve air quality and cleanliness – Crawl spaces are often thought of as dirty and bug-infested, and many times they are. If you insulate your crawl space, it acts as a barrier and prevents pests from getting into the space. It also reduces the amount of dirt and dust that is in the area. A dry, clean crawl space means that your home is also more dry and more clean. Pests are not in the space, so they are also not entering your home. A dry space means there is less chance of mold or mildew growth, and all of these things lead to cleaner air for you and your loved ones to breathe.
Types of Crawl Space Insulation
What is an R-value?
The R-value of insulation tells you how well it can keep heat from entering or leaving a space. Something rated R-8 reduces heat flow by 90%, while R-32 reduces heat flow by 97%.
- Rigid Foam – panels of insulation are installed throughout the crawl space. This creates a vapor barrier and waterproof insulation. Vapor barriers reduce the chance of mold or mildew issues. The panels are easy to install and less expensive. They are also somewhat easy to remove if you ever needed to. Rigid foam has a high R-value. However, if you have an oddly-shaped crawl space, it may be difficult to use this product.
- Spray Foam
- Closed Cell – This type of insulation is sprayed into a space and it expands to create a vapor barrier. It is quick to install and waterproof. It can fill gaps so it is better for spaces that have a unique shape. It also has a high R-value. The downside is that it is more expensive than other types of insulation and it is permanent, so removal is difficult.
- Open Cell – It is similar to the closed cell insulation because it is also sprayed in. It is easy to install because it can be maneuvered around difficult areas and it can fill gaps. It also has a high R-value. However, it does not create a water barrier like the closed cell insulation, so you could have moisture issues. It is also expensive and hard to remove.
- Fiberglass Batt – This is an older type of insulation that can look like pink cotton candy. It is easy to install and pretty inexpensive. It does not create a vapor barrier and can actually promote growth of mold and mildew. Moisture can destroy the material. It also has a low R-value.
It is always a great time to insulate your crawl space. In the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic regions winters are cold and summers are hot. An insulated space will help you to stay cool this summer by keeping hot air out and reducing the humidity within your home. Call Tidewater Home Improvement today to schedule an appointment with our highly-trained team. We can discuss what type of insulation would work best for your space and your budget. Don’t wait, call today!