Crawl Space Insulation- The Details
When it comes to crawl space insulation, there’s very little useful information written that will guide someone towards the results they seek. Agree? Well then, this article is for you. I will list nearly every way there is to install insulation in a crawl space and what you get for it. I will even discuss the wrong ways so that you will know why it will not work.
Let’s get started…..
Floor Joist Insulation
I want to discuss what’s wrong with insulating the floor joists (crawl space ceiling) first. Most homes in the U.S. have the floor joists insulated with a fiberglass insulation. This method was thought to be correct since the beginning of time, and still does to a lot of people. The biggest factor that brought homeowners to believing this was the correct way was the building code. The building code left little choice in the matter of insulating a crawl space since the 40’s. The code required R-19 fiberglass insulation installed in the floor joists with the kraft paper facing the conditioned side of the space. The conditioned space is your heated and cooled home, which means 80% of the floor joist insulation is installed wrong. It was most likely installed correctly at the time the home was built, but then replaced due to getting wet and/or falling out of the joist cavity. Installed correctly means to the code at the time it was installed not the way it should be. To clear the air, it really does not matter which way the kraft paper faces on the fiberglass insulation when it comes to performing better in a crawl space. The fiberglass insulation in an open crawl space had its days numbered right from day one.
The number one complaint about crawl spaces in the winter is cold floors. So, crawl space insulation is the number one topic in the colder months. And there are many websites out there that tell you to do what we have always done. One of the big problems with our building industry is there is no requirements to get continued education in order to stay working in this field. This causes a “always do what we have always done” construction blunder. Which then, if not entirely halts, implementing new construction technologies that were researched to improve our safety and health. Even the fiberglass insulation companies (in my opinion) won’t set the record straight because they sell so much fiberglass insulation to people installing it wrong. In short, you will search the internet for answers and end up more confused than you were before you started, so be prepared.
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