The issue of how to insulate a crawl space effectively is one that has plagued homeowners and contractors for as long as there have been crawl spaces. It’s a completely different set of problems that faces a home with a crawl space, as opposed to a basement, and not everyone understands those problems, or why they exist. Let’s try to break that down.
What is a crawl space?
A crawl space is an area under the home that isn’t big enough to walk in, which makes its function quite different from a basement. What a crawl space can do that a basement or slab cannot is get your home off the ground. This is especially important in parts of the country that are extremely damp or humid, or if your home is in an area affected by termites.
It is also a place where your HVAC equipment and other mechanical units can be placed, in order to save space in your home.
If you happen to live in an older home with a crawl space, it may be vented and uninsulated. The dampness of bare ground, combined with moisture seeping through permeable concrete, can end up making a breeding ground for mildew, and possibly even mold. This becomes a recipe for all kinds of challenges you could face as a homeowner. If too much moisture finds its way into your home, many different problems can develop, which is the last thing you want.
Insulation options for your crawlspace
There are plenty of homeowners who choose to keep their crawl space vented and uninsulated, but as mentioned, this can result in a build-up of moisture both under the home and subsequently present issues in the home.
An alternative option is using fiberglass insulation on the ceiling of your crawlspace. This is one way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Fiberglass can sometimes be installed as a DIY project, thus saving you money upfront. The down side, however, is all of the other work you should be doing, to prevent that moisture build-up both in the insulation and inside the home. A vapor barrier should be installed, something that may require you to hire a contractor after all, to prevent moisture from building up in your insulation.
In contrast, when you insulate your crawlspace with spray foam insulation like Icynene, you are choosing a way to seal moisture-laden air out. This is due to the fact that Icynene spray foam expands after application to fill all of the hard-to-reach corners and crevices of your crawlspace. What results is an effective air barrier that creates a dry, sealed environment for your plumbing, HVAC unit and other mechanical units. This is ideal because it will help to control moisture in your home.
A more energy efficient home
Insulating your crawlspace with Icynene spray foam insulation can also help to decrease the load on your heating and cooling systems. Spray foam insulation allows your heating and cooling units to focus on what they were built for: controlling the temperature in the parts of your home that matter. Instead of working hard to heat or cool the space they reside in, like they would in an uninsulated and vented crawl space.
The result of this reduction in energy usage can mean that you’ll be able “right size” your HVAC equipment, which can result in an increase of overall energy efficiency and savings. Given the extreme weather conditions more and more parts of the country are facing, homeowners need to be vigilant in their path toward energy efficiency. Heating and cooling bills are only going to increase over time, as the cost of energy increases, too.
Hiring a licensed contractor
In the end, the type of insulation you choose (or lack thereof) will determine how it needs to be installed. If you choose Icynene spray foam insulation, you can rest assured that only contractors who have been through a rigorous training and licensing program can use our products. This is necessary in order to ensure our products are safely and properly handled and installed. Due to their comprehensive knowledge of our products, a licensed Icynene contractor understands exactly how to spot a problem with the installation process, and has a support team ready to offer assistance, should anything start to occur to ensure a proper and correction installation is completed.
Talk to a licensed Icynene spray foam insulation contractor in your area, to find out more reasons why Icynene is the best choice for your home, or your project.