One of the easiest and most often overlooked ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home is to insulate your crawlspace. The volume of cold air that exists underneath your house can quickly penetrate the sub-flooring and make your tile or hardwood floors very cold.
The cold from your floor naturally dissipates into the rest of your house, causing your furnace to work even harder to try to keep up. As most people are finding out, an investment in additional insulation often pays for itself fairly quickly in reduced heating costs.
Fiberglass Crawlspace Insulation
You can go about insulating the crawlspace several ways. The best way, if you have the space to work, is to use fiberglass batting for your crawlspace insulation. Use a minimum of an R-19 for this application. There are two ways that you can fasten this insulation in between your floor joists. If you are using a paper-faced insulation, then it will come with tabs that you can fold out and staple right into the wooden joists using a handheld staple gun.
If you do not use a paper-faced product, then you will need to buy some thin wire supports that are designed to fit in between your floor joists. These are in place by tension and will provide all of the support that you need to hold the fiberglass batting into place. While this can be messy work, as with any job that takes place in your crawlspace, it is not technically demanding and can be done quickly.
Another method that is commonly used in crawlspaces is the use of rigid foam insulation. This foam is available in a variety of thicknesses. The thicker the insulation, the higher the R-value it holds. This style of insulation is purchased in 4’ x 8’ pieces and can be cut with a utility knife.
Cut the insulation boards to the required width and then nail them to the floor that will be over your head. Using this type of crawlspace insulation is also a great way to create a vapor barrier between your damp crawlspace and your expensive flooring that sits above it.
There are a few safety tips that you may want to keep in mind as you prepare to work with crawlspace insulation. The first is to make sure that you wear safety glasses. When you are working over your head, it is common for pieces of debris to fall in your face. If you’ve ever had fiberglass insulation in your eyes then you know that this is not a pleasant experience and that the annoyance of safely glasses is a small price to pay.
You will also want to have a pair of heavy work gloves. The fiberglass insulation can leave your skin itchy and irritated if you handle it. Additionally, the gloves are useful in protecting you from cuts that you may get from the utility knife slipping while cutting the foam board style of insulation. Using a sharp knife in close quarters such as a crawlspace can be a tricky proposition.
See Also: Heating a Crawlspace