Crawl spaces help offer you a way to access your heating, plumbing, and air conditioning equipment. However, at the same time, it is a leading cause of energy leaks, which can raise your utility bills without you even knowing it. But, adding insulation to the crawl space in your home can help reduce energy leaks and make your home more energy efficient. Below, are the top six tips for insulating your crawl space to help you conserve the most energy.
1. Get Rid of Any Water Sources
The first step to insulating your crawl space is to get rid of any sources of water in your basement, or wherever the crawl space is located. You can do this by installing a sump pump or waterproofing system in your basement in case of a flood.
2. Identifying Where to Insulate
Prior to installing insulation, identify where you should add insulation to the crawl space. For example, if you have a crawl space with ventilation, you should only add insulation to the ceiling, rather than the moisture-prone walls. Generally speaking, insulation should only be added to walls that don’t have ventilation, according to Energy Savers. So, before you install any insulation to your crawl space, determine which type of installation you require to avoid moisture complications.
3. Seal Any Air Leaks
Before you start the insulation installation process, make sure that any air leaks are completely sealed to make your crawl space as energy efficient as possible. You can do this by first removing and sealing any grills and ventilation ducts you find in your crawl space since ventilation is only required when a home is being built. Next, feel around for any cracks which air may leak through, and seal it up with caulk or sealant.
4. Seal Sills and Rim Joists
Using rectangles cut from rigid board insulation, fill the ends of joist bays. Then, seal the joints with a foam sealant. You can use caulk or foam seal to seal the joint between the sill and the top of the crawl space as well.
5. Water-Resistant Insulation
When picking out your insulation, look for one that cannot be damaged by water. Avoid using fiberglass or cellulose insulation and instead choose a rigid board insulation. You should also consider polyisocyanurate as it offers the best R-value. Ask a commercial roof insulation manufacturer if they have any leftovers of this type of insulation.
6. Air and Vapor Barrier
You should also install a plastic air and vapor barrier over the floor of the crawl space. Tape this barrier to the insulation. These barriers are available in a range of thicknesses. Make sure you choose the right one. If you intend to use the space for storage, pick a barrier that can handle people walking on it.