Energy often leaks out of a home’s crawlspace in the form of heat, which can lead to significant costs over time. Insulation can greatly reduce the rate of energy loss, which makes it a great investment for many homes. The installation is fairly simple, but you should never hesitate to get help if you need it while you are working on the project.
Choose Your Insulation
The first step is picking out the insulation that you are going to use. People who live in warm climates that rarely get below freezing can use fiberglass batts, sometimes supplemented with closed-cell spray foam to fill in the gaps. People who live in significantly colder climates may need to use rigid insulation. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask your supplier or a professional contractor for advice. It is worth taking the time to make sure that you make the right choice.
Seal the Gaps
The next step is sealing all of the gaps that let cold air into the crawlspace in the first place. This is the most important stage for most homes. You should examine the entire space in detail, but a few places deserve special attention. The areas around windows, wiring holes, and pipes are particularly prone to leaks. The area around a door can also be vulnerable if the space has one, as can the area surrounding the sill plate.
Be sure to wear appropriate safety gear when you are working in the crawlspace. Wear gloves, eye protection, a dust mask, and clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. This will make sure that you are exposed to as few irritants as possible and help to prevent injuries if you have an accident while you are working on the project.
You can install your insulation once the gaps are sealed. This can be tricky, so you should take your time and study the method for installing your insulation of choice. Each one will be a little bit different, but the same general rules apply to all of them.
It is usually most effective to focus on insulating the exterior walls of the crawlspace. Those are the walls that allow energy to leave the home, so the insulation will do more good on them than it will at any other point in the structure. Other areas may benefit from insulation in some climates, but they are a secondary concern.
Cut the insulation to size, which should be the distance between the mudsill the floor. Attach it firmly to the wall, usually with nails into the edge of the mudsill. Make sure that it is securely in place, and reinforce it with a length of wood along the bottom of the insulation if necessary.