The right insulation can increase your comfort level, decrease your utility expenses, and help prevent mold and moisture damage.
Crawl space insulation is important. A number of comfort and energy problems can be caused by inadequate or incorrect crawl space insulation.
Signs of crawl space insulation problems
- The floor above the crawl space is unpleasantly cold in wintertime.
- During cold weather, you have to keep the heat going nearly all the time to be comfortable in rooms directly above the crawl space.
- Mice or other pests have taken up residence in fiberglass insulation installed between joists in the crawl space.
- Fiberglass batt insulation has fallen out of place from between floor joists in the crawl space.
- The crawl space smells moldy or has visible signs of mold.
- The crawl space is damp all the time.
Benefits of Rigid Foam Crawl Space Insulation
- Stable and reliable. Unlike fiberglass insulation, rigid foam won’t compress, fall out of place or lose its R-value over time. It’s definitely a “once-and-done” improvement.
- Effective air sealing. When joints between foam panels are taped, rigid foam stops air leaks that can waste energy. Fiberglass insulation can’t stop air movement.
- Moisture-proof. Rigid foam won’t absorb moisture or be damaged by it.
- Unfriendly to mold. Mold can’t take hold on rigid foam because it contains no organic food source and it doesn’t hold moisture.
Better ductwork performance. Ducts located in the crawl space benefit from rigid foam installed against crawl space walls.
Crawl space insulation done right: rigid foam panels installed against crawl space walls
Rigid foam insulation performs much better than fiberglass in a crawl space. This type of insulation is manufactured in panels of different thicknesses. Installers cut the panels to fit against the interior face of crawl space foundation walls. Panels are secured with adhesive or mechanical fasteners.
Insulating a crawl space with rigid foam is often done as part of the crawl space encapsulation process –a treatment that building scientists recommend. Crawl space encapsulation effectively seals your crawl space off from the exterior, giving you control over the environment beneath your living space.
Although rigid foam insulation costs more than fiberglass insulation, it’s less expensive when you consider that you’ll never have to clean up or redo a mess of damaged, ineffective installation. Rigid foam will deliver the same performance and benefits in 15 years as it does on day #1.