- Home Performance Audit
- Insulation For Existing Homes
- Indoor Air Quality
- Air Sealing
- New Construction & Remodeling
Crawlspaces can cause multiple issues in the main living areas of your home. Oftentimes, these areas have insulation that has been neglected for too long. When not well-sealed, insulated and protected from moisture, crawlspaces can make your home feel cold, drafty and musty-smelling.
As part of our top-to-bottom inspection included in WHI's home performance audit, we take a look at the condition and insulation of your home's crawlspace. Insulating a crawlspace is often an "out of sight, out of mind" project, but most people find their homes are more energy efficient and comfortable when the crawlspace is encapsulated and insulated.
Since many crawlspaces have dirt floors, WHI usually recommends a 6 mil layer of plastic as a moisture barrier. Dow Thermax™ rigid insulation is a good choice because of its moisture barrier design. Another option once the moisture barrier is laid down is Icynene spray foam insulation, which creates an excellent thermal boundary that can stop home air loss through the floors. The combination of plastic sheeting and insulation is often referred to as "crawlspace encapsulation."
Because crawlspaces are not heated or cooled by the home's HVAC systems, they require slightly less insulation: R-10 to R-13 is required to meet federal efficiency codes for new construction, and is a good guideline for proactive insulation upgrade results in our area.
The walls of the foundation, the box sills (where the floor support joists meet the top of the foundation walls), and between the joists on the underside of the floor above are all areas that should be insulated for improved home comfort. If there is ductwork located in the crawlspace that connects to the furnace or central air, the WHI insulation specialist may recommend wrapping it with fiberglass insulation to prevent heat loss.
Your crawlspace or basement is an easy target for mice, rodents, and other pests that make their way into your home. Animals can chew through and ruin the existing insulation in your home, including the crawlspace, creating indoor air quality problems and reducing the effectiveness of your old insulation.
When it comes to proper pest control, any old insulation that’s been damaged by animals or found to contain animal waste needs to be removed and disposed of. Then, a pest treatment company will clean up the area and ensure that pests can’t return. Finally, new crawlspace or basement insulation, like spray foam, will be installed for maximum protection, comfort, and energy efficiency moving forward. Wisconsin Home Improvement partners with a local pest removal company to make this process easy for homeowners!
Crawlspaces have unique needs that are best handled by a seasoned professional. As Wisconsin’s only Pearl certified insulation contractor, we’re here to help you insulate your crawlspace properly for benefits like greater moisture control, increased energy efficiency, lower utility bills, and enhanced indoor comfort.