Are you a contractor? Maybe you’re looking to hire a contractor to insulate your crawl space? Perhaps you’ve been wanting to do the project for a while and keep putting it off? Well, now is as good of a time as any to start your crawl space insulation ASAP.
Here’s a helpful guide for everything you need to know about crawl space insulation and the crawl space insulation cost.
What is Crawl Space Insulation?
Crawl space insulation is exactly what it sounds like. It insulates a wall or floor. It keeps cold air out and warm air in. While at the same time in the summer it can help keep your air-conditioning bills down. It also protects walls and floors from damage.
Why do I Need It?
You need to crawl space insulation when your floors make a lot of noise when someone walks on it. Also, if your heating and cooling bills are high you should get insulation put in.
Are your floors always cold when you touch them? Insulation will remedy this. Do you live in a humid or warmer climate? Humidity in your crawl space can condense and your floorboards or walls can get damaged.
Crawl spaces are a popular place for mold and moisture. Having your crawl space properly insulated will keep moisture and mold at bay.
How to Do it Right?
Following a few rules will ensure your crawl space insulation is done correctly. Make sure your contractor does these simple steps when installing insulation in your crawl space.
If the contractor does do it right you won’t have to see him again or have to call someone else to fix their mess.
There are many types of insulation but they all do pretty much the same thing. Insulation is there to reduce heat transfer and fill in gaps.
It’s measured as an R-value. R is what represents the heat flow resistance compared to the insulation’s thickness. Spray foam has a higher R-value than fiberglass batt insulation.
Spray foam has an R-value of about 5.9 and an inch of the fiberglass insulation would have about a 3.2 R-value. The higher the R-value the better the energy efficiency will be.
Also, R-value determines if the insulation is good for specific climates or not. A good contractor will know which climate you’re in and what R-value to use.
Remember some kinds of insulation are hazardous to your health. Specifically fiberglass batt insulation. Do not touch or inhale it. If you’re around the fiberglass or close to it, wear protective clothing and a face mask.
The contractor who’s installing the insulation should have the fiberglass batts make contact with the bottom of the subfloor and be unfaced.
The best type of support is having wood lath every 18 inches. Also, a criss-cross webbing will work. Don’t use tension, or stay rods. They can come loose and press the fiberglass which weakens the integrity of the insulation.
A proper insulation installation will have ventilation. Your contractor should figure out how much ventilation the crawl space requires and make new vents as needed.
The contractor needs to spray foam insulation where the electrical wiring holes are.
The HVAC ducts and plumbing pipes need to be insulated. This will prevent freezing and heavy heat loss. Using closed-cell spray will give added moisture and thermal protection.
This may be the only way you can fill in the web that’s in between the trust-type joists. This technique is expensive but worth it.
Make sure your contractor doesn’t use an open-cell spray. That will soak up a lot of moisture and the crawl space will be too dry.
What Does Crawl Space Insulation Cost?
The cost to insulate crawl space depends on where you live. Also, it depends on what type of insulation you use and how much you need. The basic price you’ll pay to have your crawl space insulated is $0.90 to $1.30 per square foot.
The average price you’ll pay is about $1.80 to $2.60. On the higher end, you’ll pay about $2.40 up to $3.80 per square foot.
For the basic, you’ll get roll and batt insulation with an R-value of 13. This type is easy to install for either you or your contractor.
With the average cost, you get rigid foam/spray in. You’ll have R-values of 13 to 19. A pro should only install with type.
For the high end of the cost scale you’ll get rigid foam/spray in with an R-value of 19. Only a professional can install this type of crawl space insulation.
The recommended R-value for crawl space insulation foam is R-19. However, some mild climates like California can get by with an R-value of 13 to 15.
Some local codes will allow you to use less insulation but if your contractor is good they’ll recommend R-19.
The Three Types
Here will break down the three different types of insulation you can use for your crawl space. They are; rigid foam insulation, batt insulation, and spray-in foam insulation.
This type of insulation comes as four by eight boards. Rigid foam insulation is used primarily on the interior or exterior wall of the crawl space. If the crawl space isn’t vented, rigid foam is the perfect fit.
Batt insulation is either rock wool or fiberglass. Rock wool is made from molten rock slag and fiberglass is made from molten glass.
Batts are more affordable and have different R-values and thickness levels. If the batts join the seams it needs to be taped or stuffed so you don’t get any air gaps.
This kind of foam insulation gives you a great deal of coverage. It’s wet when it’s applied and it turns into a rigid foam that doesn’t have any seems.
You can use open-cell or closed-cell but as mentioned above it’s best to only use closed-cell even though it’s more expensive. It will save you money in the long-term. This type of foam is sprayed on with a wand or hose.
Now you not only have a helpful guide for a crawl space insulation cost, but you’ll know what to look for in a contractor too. You’ll know what questions to ask and what answers you need to hear. You’re fully sealed and ready to go.
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