If you’re a new homeowner or you’ve never had to contend with water-based problems before, you might not be too concerned about the state of your crawl space. Unfortunately, homeowners who neglect these spaces can often come to regret their decisions.
When you insulate your crawl space, you invest against future damage. What does the process involve, and when is it really necessary to protect such a small space with insulation?
What Is the Benefit of Crawl Space Insulation?
The insulation around your home lowers your heating bills and makes it easier for you to protect your home from unnecessary damage. Insulation in your crawl space can work in much the same way. With this insulation in place, you can rest assured that, come an Indiana winter, your pipes won’t burst. The presence of insulation can also help lower your temperature-control bills all year round.
Why insulate your crawl space specifically? This space is more sensitive than you might think, and it can impact the overall value and health of the rest of your home. When you take care of it, you both retain your home’s market value and make sure your quality of life remains up to snuff.
How to Install Crawl Space Insulation
Sure, there are plenty of projects you can take care of around your home on your own. But crawl space repairs are not DIY projects. Because the installation process can be complex, it’s always best to reach out to a crawl space expert in Indianapolis, IN.
Here are steps your contractor will take to protect your crawl space:
Step 1: Drain Your Crawl Space
You can’t safely install insulation in a crawl space that’s actively damp. Before you start on anything, you’ll want to clear your crawl space of moisture as effectively as you can. This could be as simple as installing a dehumidifier or it could mean bailing out water by the bucketful.
If you do try to install crawl space insulation while there’s still water in your space, you may rapidly find this safety measure turning into a hazard of its own. Water-damaged insulation can be a haven for mold, and it often contributes to the presence of moisture in your crawl space more than it will protect against it if it is installed without the appropriate steps taken ahead of time.
Step 2: Repair Cracks or Other Damage
Speaking of the appropriate steps: you’ll also want to have any damage done to your crawl space repaired before installing your insulation. You’ll want to do so for the same reason you’ll want your crawl space to be relatively dry. If you don’t take steps to protect your crawl space, you may rapidly find that your insulation harbors mold instead of protecting you from moisture.
Step 3: Protect Your Vents and Doors
With damage to your crawl space repaired, it’s time to make sure your vents and doors fit into their appropriate slots effectively. If these objects have been exposed to excessive moisture for an extended period of time, it’s possible that they may have warped. Without a tight fit, it will be more difficult to use these objects to keep unwanted moisture out of your home.
When fitting vents and doorways, you can consider replacing the materials altogether or investing in accessories that will block off gaps between these objects and their frames. Make sure doors are airtight and secure, and that vents are closed off by vent covers.
Step 4: Install Waterproofing as Necessary
When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to explore the waterproofing options that may make your life easier. When you pair water-resistant or waterproof insulation with interior drains and sump pumps, you’re taking steps to eliminate the cost of future utilities or damage. Take further steps to eliminate moisture and high humidity with an energy-efficient dehumidifier.
Step 5: Insulate
Next up is the installation of your insulation. While you have many choices of material, it’s best to avoid ones like soft fiberglass that easily fail, hold water and moisture, harbor mold growth, and become homes to pests. Instead, you would be better off investing in a rigid expanded foam board that is securely placed on the crawl space walls. ExTremeBloc™ fits this bill nicely. These panels are waterproof and resist pests like termites.
Step 6: Encapsulate
It’s always best to pair insulation with other measures, so the final step of protecting your crawl space is isolating the crawl space from the earth with encapsulation. Encapsulating your crawl space protects the utilities therein as well as your insulation and belongings.
The encapsulation process involves vapor barriers, or thick plastic-like materials that are dense enough to keep both water and gas outside of your space. Contractors can cover the whole of your crawl space with this sort of material if you want to use it as a secondary waterproofing measure.
If you’re not sure where to start, when it comes to additional waterproofing measures, the contractors working in Indianapolis, IN, can help you out. After a home inspection from a professional with Indiana Foundation Service, you’ll benefit from a free quote on the services that will best suit your crawl space and other repair needs.