Crawl Space Insulation: The Ultimate Guide to Replacing Your Insulation

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    25 May, 2022

    Crawl space insulation is a protective function of the home that keeps outdoor air outside and indoor air inside. Older homes and houses with substantial neglect typically require crawl space insulation. Insulation Co. has compiled the ultimate guide to crawl space insulation.

    How Do I Know Whether My Home Insulation Needs to Be Replaced?

    Crawl space insulation is one way to gauge the overall function of your home’s livability. If your home has a musty odor, has moisture buildup, or is unrelenting to the thermostat, you should check the crawl space insulation. Likewise, if your energy bill won’t lower no matter how hard you try to conserve energy, a drafty crawl space is likely the culprit. 

    If someone living in your home frequently experiences sicknesses related to allergies or breathing issues, decompensated crawl space insulation might be the cause. In addition, recurring leaks and moisture issues are typically a result of insulation issues. Lastly, if rodents and other invasive pests have frequented your home, they are likely entering it through damaged crawl space insulation. 

    Types of Insulation

    There are endless options on the market for crawl space insulation. At Insulation Co., we have narrowed it down to the three that would best serve your crawl space:

    • Polystyrene foam board: Polystyrene foam board is an excellent contender for its price point and thermal resistance. It is a popular choice for insulating exterior walls. 
    • Faced with silver foil: Foam boards faced with silver foil are ideal for maintaining seasonal weather (warm in winter, cold in the summer). Additionally, they offer excellent acoustics and soundproofing.
    • Rigid foam insulation: Rigid foam insulation is a popular option for its cost and widespread availability. Rigid foam insulation is a standard form of crawl space insulation.

    Getting Rid of the Old Insulation

    Importance of Insulation Removal 

    Insulation removal is a good idea when making significant changes to your home or installing new insulation. Crawl space insulation should be removed to finish a basement or if inner home workings like piping and electrical systems have sustained damage. 

    Which Part to Remove First?

    Once the sheetrock has been appropriately removed, insulation can be extracted. Be aware of any animal droppings and mold. 

    Best Sheathing Removal Tools

    • Utility knife
    • Drywall saw
    • Pry bar
    • Hammer
    • Drill (if sheetrock was screwed into place)

    Quick Steps for Installing New Insulation in a Crawl Space

    Before installing new insulation in the crawl space, you’ll want to be prepared. Make sure you are wearing the right clothes and accessories. Gear to consider when making a crawl space insulation guide might include:

    • Old clothes (a long-sleeved shirt and long pants)
    • Gloves
    • Disposable coveralls
    • Facemask
    • Knee pads
    • Eye protection (safety glasses/goggles)
    • Hard hat (beneficial in tight spaces)

    Once you are wearing the right fittings, you are ready to remove the insulation. Follow this crawl space insulation guide:

    • Open insulation packages carefully and as needed. They expand when unsealed.
    • Folding and compressing the insulation can degrade the R-Value. Handle it with care.
    • Once you’ve filled the space with roll or batt insulation, fluff entirely by pulling it forward. 
    • Cut insulation on the unfaced side against a smooth backdrop like a floor or even surface.
    • Do not cut near wiring, and be mindful of surrounding areas when making cuts.
    • Ensure pipes are protected from cold air if your location experiences freezing temperatures.
    • Make sure ductwork is insulated to keep heating and cooling elements functioning optimally.

    When Should You Replace Insulation?

    Insulation should be replaced when it is deteriorating or compromised by mold, rodents, or other external factors. Significant renovations are an excellent time to replace crawl space insulation. 

    Final Thoughts

    Crawl space insulation is an integral part of the home. An insulated crawl space saves money on electrical bills, regulates interior temperatures, and offers a protective layer. Call Insulation Co. for a free same-day estimate!