Your Guide to Insulating Crawl Space With Dirt Floor
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Studies show that 90% of homes in the United States are under-insulated, which leads to energy wastage, higher energy bills, and decreased comfort for homeowners. One common cause of under insulation is a dirt floor crawlspace.
This is because dirt floors are a major source of moisture and can lead to a humid, wet crawl space.
If this isn’t insulated, you may be wasting energy throughout your home. One solution for this is insulating a crawl space with a dirt floor. This will prevent condensation, pest problems, and other issues in your home.
Why You Need to Insulate Your Crawl Space
There are many reasons why homeowners should insulate the crawl space beneath their homes. Most crawl spaces beneath a house are made with dirt floors and have open vents and uninsulated walls.
Because of this, it is easy for moisture and air from the outdoors to enter your house through your crawlspace. The humidity from the outside air can quickly turn to moisture when it contacts colder surfaces and may cause your home to have mold growth, wood rot, and even pest problems.
In the colder winter months, an uninsulated crawl space will allow cold air to seep into your home and will make it more difficult to regulate the temperature of your house.
Insulating a crawl space will help you prevent each of these issues and will make your home more energy efficient.
Steps for Dirt Floor Insulation for a Crawl Space
When you are insulating a dirt floor crawlspace, it is best when left to the professionals. This will provide you with the best results from your insulation and can help you avoid making mistakes during the process.
Professionals following the best practices will ensure that your home stays clean, dry, and more comfortable.
Here are some of the most common steps and best practices a company will take when insulating the dirt floor crawl space beneath your home.
Clear Out the Crawl Space
Before you can start the insulation process, you need to clear out and prepare the crawlspace for the vapor barriers and insulation. This will make it easier for you or a professional insulation company to move around.
If you store anything in the crawl space, make sure you take it out and find a new place to store it.
You also need to remove sharp rocks or other obtrusions from the ground. Otherwise, it could tear through the plastic vapor barrier and make the insulation less effective.
Consider Water Accumulation and Flooding
Next, you need to ensure that your crawl space will stay dry. This is especially important if your crawl space is prone to flooding, water accumulation, or groundwater leaks. If you notice that your crawl space develops pools of water in certain areas, you need to identify the source of this leak.
The water may be entering the crawl space under the foundation, through the walls, or through other openings in your crawl space.
To prevent water accumulation after you have insulated your dirt floor crawl space, you can extend your downspouts from your gutters to direct the water away from your home. You can also improve your landscaping grading so water runoff naturally flows down and away from your home.
If you have a groundwater problem, you may have to install a drainage system or a sump pump.
Seal Vents and Air Leaks
To ensure that your crawl space is insulated, you need to be sure that no air gets into the crawl space from outside. To do this, you can start sealing any vents, openings, or air leaks in your dirt floor crawl space.
While air vents in a crawl space were added to prevent moisture buildup, it actually can lead to more moisture in the air during the summer months.
Make sure you install vent covers on any openings in an insulated crawl space. You can use foam sealant to seal any additional air leaks or use weather stripping to make a seal around the door of your crawl space!
Use Water-Resistant Materials to Insulate
There are many different types of insulation that you can use to insulate a crawl space. To get the best results, you must use a water-resistant material to insulate your crawl space.
While some companies use fiberglass batts to insulate a crawlspace ceiling, the condensation in a crawl space can make the insulation damp and saggy, making it ineffective.
Instead, you can use something like foam board or cellulose insulation on the walls of the crawlspace. This will not be affected by the moisture in the air and will provide a more durable, long-lasting way to insulate your crawl space.
Use a Vapor Barrier
Once you have installed the insulation on the walls of your crawl space, you can use a vapor barrier to cover the dirt floor. This is a necessary step because the moisture in the dirt can evaporate and the condensation will cling to your home.
The water on the floor joists can lead to rotted wood, mold growth, and many other issues.
Using a vapor barrier will separate the crawl space from the dirt floor and will keep the water from the dirt out of your crawl space. Most types of vapor barriers are thick plastic and can withstand heavy traffic.
You can also install a vapor barrier on the walls and ceiling of the crawlspace to offer additional insulation and protection. Make sure you also tape or seal the areas where the vapor barrier meets to reduce the most amount of moisture in the air.
Benefits of Crawl Space Insulation
There are many reasons why you should insulate your crawl space.
First and foremost, it will save energy! Insulating a dirt floor will prevent hot air from getting into your home in the summer and cold air from getting into your home in the winter. This way, it will be much easier to regulate the temperature of your home and you will not have to rely on your heater or air conditioner as heavily.
This will save you money and can also protect the environment by conserving energy. It will also help you stay more comfortable when you are at home and will keep you from getting cold in the winter or hot in the summer.
It is also important to insulate your crawl space because it can improve your health. As was mentioned before, the humidity in an uninsulated crawl space can contribute to mold growth in your home and will lower your indoor air quality.
Insulating your crawl space and preventing the humidity from causing mold growth will improve the quality of the air you breathe. This can keep you from getting sick as often and can improve your overall health. It can even help you reduce musty odors in your wall that come from a humid, dank space.
Finally, insulating a crawl space with a dirt floor will protect your home. It will keep it dry and free of rot, which can lead to expensive repairs in the future. It will also prevent pests from getting into your home and wreaking havoc.
Exposed Crawl Space with Dirt FloorPreparing for Cellulose InsulationBlown In Cellulose In Crawls Space With Dirt FloorExposed Crawl Space With Block Foundation
Types of Crawl Space Insulation
There are a few different ways to insulate a crawl space with different types of insulation.
As was mentioned before, some homeowners will use fiberglass insulation for their crawl space. However, this is not water resistant and will not provide the same results as other crawl space insulation materials.
Another material that people use is spray foam insulation. While it is done quickly and fills all the tiny holes in your crawl space, it isn’t an eco-friendly option. Plus, it is always necessary for a professional company to install spray foam insulation.
The best option is to use cellulose insulation for your insulation material. It is made from recycled material and can be blown into your crawl space without leaving any air pockets.
Need Help Insulating a Crawl Space With a Dirt Floor?
When you have a dirt floor crawl space, it can lead to many issues with your health, pests, and even wasted energy. By learning more about insulating a crawl space with a dirt floor, you can keep your home insulated and protected from the elements.
If you need help insulating the crawl space in your home, Ardor Construction can help! We help homeowners conserve energy through insulation and air-sealing.
Contact our team today to learn more about our services or to get an energy audit.