Homes are all over the United States, as compared to prefabricated trailers or apartment buildings. These single-family, detached homes — with detached referring to its physical build, not family issues — make up for about 60% of living spaces in the great United States of America.
There is absolutely no telling how many man hours were pumped into the construction of these homes, let alone just one home by itself. Making sure homes trap heating and cooling well is an integral part of the home building process. Insulation is responsible for these functions, not to mention maintaining a low electricity bill from month to month.
Insulation often wears out, resulting in unwanted moisture, higher electricity bills, in-home chilling drafts, and overall lower quality of life. Installing insulation is actually a relatively easy means of home improvement, compared to other “basic” tasks like replacing ceiling fans, painting the exterior of home, and other menial-yet-difficult home improvement jobs. One thing you can do with a little bit of studying, contemplation, and buying materials is to insulate your home’s crawlspace. Doing so properly is associated with a wealth of benefits, not to mention the meaningful experience you will gain from fixing your own home.
1- Don’t skimp on rolls of fiberglass insulation.
When insulating your crawlspace — which does include the underside of the ground floor — you need to make sure you have plenty of insulation to be spread among every single surfaced in the subfloor area.
2- Trash existing insulation when putting new stuff up.
The power of insulation is in its “puffiness,” or how thick it is. After years of old insulation hanging up, gravity and moisture compresses it into pieces that aren’t energy efficient. When hanging new insulation along the underside of the ground floor and the cinderblock foundation — it can’t hurt — don’t even think about saving old insulation for reuse on your home or others.
3- Use an oversized slap or squeeze-handle stapler to make sure insulation stays put.
Crawlspaces are often packed full of dust, making it difficult for adhesives to hold things together. While some insulation installers use adhesive to hang their insulation, doing so is simply a shortcut and will undoubtedly result in short-lived crawlspace insulation.
Make use of a slap stapler or industrial stapler — obviously not those used in school settings, but I’m sure you knew that already — to hold insulation in place and prevent it from moving around. When just one small section of insulation becomes unattached, it’s highly likely to have even more insulation fall over generally-short periods of time.
4- If you have time, create a means for excess water to drain.
Visit your local home improvement store and find — or make — perforated sections of pipe. Dig a small trench on the walls of your crawlspace’s foundation. Next, install the perforated pieces of pipe or underground gutter between two and four inches deep. This will help rid your crawlspace of moisture, provide more strength to your foundation in general, and help you spend less — if not absolutely zero dollars — on mold, mildew, and soggy insulation fixes.
5- Invest in a quality vapor barrier.
Vapor barriers are typically made of plastic or foil and prevent moisture from finding its way through the barriers. These are most help in working in homes nestled in the middle of multiple lakes, rivers, creeks, or a watershed.
6- Seal all cracks and openings with caulk, weather-strips, or both.
This goes without saying, but every potential escape hole, crack, or sliver will result in lower efficiency in your crawlspace’s insulation. Don’t skimp on sealing all these potential leaks shut.
7- Create hinged crawlspace doors with gaskets to keep outside air out.
Affix a thick piece of plywood slightly larger than your crawlspace opening with hinges to the outside wall. Next, place weather-strips on each border. You’re welcome.
Implement these steps in insulating your crawlspace and feel safe in knowing it’s secure for years to come. Many homeowners don’t emphasize their crawlspaces enough — don’t be one of them.