Many homeowners don't give much thought to their insulation needs until the utility bills start rolling in. It is then that they begin an inspection of their home to determine where they can be losing hot air or cool air. One of the most overlooked places of heat and cold escape is the crawl space. Typically, builders don't insulate a crawl space, mostly because it will save them money. Savvy and smart homeowners can do better by reducing the loss of hot or cold air and lower their utility bills just by insulating the crawl space.
Crawl space insulation is just as important as insulation in the rest of your house. Insulation blocks both heat escape and cool escape. Regardless if you live in a cold climate area or a hot climate area, this will be a beneficial home improvement project. After properly insulating a house you will see a significant change in your heating and cooling costs. Insulating crawl spaces is a fairly easy job for a do it yourself type homeowner. If you are investing the time and money to insulate other parts of your home such as your basement walls, attic and exterior home walls, make insulating your crawl space a priority and you will be glad you did. Proper insulation installation needs to be done in dry areas, address all water and moisture problems before installing the insulation.
Insulating a Crawl Space
Measure the crawl space, both length and width to determine how much insulation you will need.
Buy fiberglass insulation batts in the correct "R" value for your area. An "R" value determines how much heat or cold the insulation protects against.Insulation sellers have a book to which they refer to determine the correct "R" value based on the climate in which teh insulation will be installed.
Do not use a fiberglass insulation with an attached foil or plastic vapor barrier because it can cause a collection of condensation which will lead to mold growth.
Batts of fiberglass insulation can be purchased at hardware store and home improvement stores.
Preparing for Insulation
Examine the ceiling, walls and floor of the crawl space to determine if their is leaking water.
Fix any water leaks in pipes or cracks in the wall that allows water to seep in.
Wrap water pipes to resolve condensation issues.
Installing the Insulation
Wear protective gloves, eye protection, dust mask, long sleeve shirt, long pants and boots or wear protective disposable coveralls. Fiberglass insulation is intensely irritating and itchy to the skin.
Place the batt of insulation in between the floor joists and hold it in place with your hand.
Make any cuts to the insulation as necessary with a utility knife.
Put thick wire mesh over the insulation and hold it in place. A helper would be a great asset when installing crawl space insulation.
Use a heavy duty stapler to staple the wire mesh to the floor joists. The stapled in wire mesh will hold the insulation in place and keep it from bowing and falling to the ground.
Continue to place insulation in between the floor joists and stapling wire mesh in over the top until the entire ceiling of the crawl space has been insulated.
Installing insulation in a crawl space is not a very difficult job at all, it is just fairly time consuming, but well worth the time and effort. Crawl spaces tend to be a forgotten area of the home when it comes to insulation, but it is also an important area. The money you will save on heating and cooling bills will be apparent right from the start.