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R-value

The higher the R-value, the better! Read on to understand how to differentiate insulation materials depending on R-value.

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As you know by now, owning a home comes at the price of regular maintenance and upkeep, and even problems related to construction can pop up from time to time. No matter how old or new your place is, it’s prone to causing you numerous headaches. 

Since many homes in Tennessee and Alabama have crawl spaces beneath them, they can suffer from unwanted temperature changes. When winter comes and cold weather sets in, you’re going to experience heat loss since there’s no slab foundation under your home. 

But that’s not all. An open crawl space is practically inviting mold and mildew to run wild, which can lead to costly repairs. Yet, what if we say that you can solve a lot of your problems by installing proper insulation? With adequate R-value protection, you’ll no longer worry about heat loss, mold, and mildew. 

crawl space insulation

What Is R-Value? 

In the building industry, R-value is a term for thermal resistance. It shows how well some barriers will resist heat flow. These barriers are usually windows, doors, walls, and ceilings. Builders measure the R-value per unit of area, such as kilogram per square meter. 

Nevertheless, you don’t need to be an engineer to know that the higher the value, the better protection it will provide. But this doesn’t make thermal insulation something that you should experiment with if you have no previous experience. It’s best to leave it to professionals who’ll know what materials to use when insulating your crawl space. 

Types of Crawl Space Insulation 

Different materials will have different R-values. Hence, when you’re insulating your crawl space, it will be key to understand which product to choose. Here are four insulation materials to keep an eye out for. 

  • Fiberglass: If you’re looking to thermally insulate your crawl space, you’re likely to come across fiberglass. However, it’s not a perfect solution. It can have trouble restricting air movement through cracks and holes beneath your home. On the other hand, it can absorb moisture and compress, allowing mold and mildew to spread across your crawl space. 
  • Closed-cell spray foam: Expanding and creating a barrier, closed-cell spray foam is another common choice for homeowners. It’s fast and effective with a high R-value per inch. But, on the other hand, it’s somewhat permanent since it’s hard to remove. Also, it’s more costly than the previously mentioned fiberglass insulation material. 
  • Open-cell spray foam: If you’re looking for a fast way to insulate your crawl space, you can choose open-cell spray foam. It expands around obstacles, easily filling gaps and cracks. Still, it’s costly and doesn’t have a high R-value. 
  • Rigid foam: Using a closed-cell insulation design, you can shape rigid foam into stiff panels and mount them onto cracks in your crawl space. It has a high R-value and creates a barrier. Unfortunately, it might be hard for a layperson to install around obstacles as it doesn’t expand well. 

So, Which Product Should I Choose? 

When deciding on what type of insulation to use in your crawl space, you should consider a couple of things. The product you choose should be non-flammable. On the other hand, it should also be compact and resilient, while discouraging pests and being mold-resistant. And since the whole point of insulation is to reduce heat loss, you should choose the one that’s most effective in that regard. 

Nevertheless, it’s best if you contact professionals to make this decision. They’ll know the requirements of R-value in your area, applying the best possible solution to your crawl space. In our eyes, you should pick expanded polystyrene foam insulation panels. It mixes expanded polystyrene, graphite-improving insulation, and a radiant heat barrier. This combination provides impressive insulation to your crawl space walls with a high R-value. 

How to Identify and Cover an Under-Insulated Area? 

Unfortunately, your crawl space isn’t the only area you’ll need to worry about when it comes to insulation. Aside from it, there are a couple of other places around your home that either have no insulation or are under-insulated. Together, they allow cold air to flow through your home, dropping the temperature levels. You will, therefore, need to use more energy to bring the temperature to an adequate level. 

Here are four areas you’ll need to keep an eye out for: 

  • Crawl space: If you have a crawl space without vents, professionals should insulate the perimeter walls. And if you don’t, the team should insulate the space between the floor joists. 
  • Basement: If you have an unfinished basement, you should inspect it. Use the R-value map for your area to determine what amount of insulation you’ll need. Be sure to cover the floor joists of the room above it.  
  • Attic: Your attic needs better insulation than a crawl space or a basement. Hence, you should use a tape measure to determine its depth. It should be at least 19 inches deep. If it’s not, insulate over it with a high R-value product. 
  • Knee walls: Generally speaking, the older your home is, the worse insulation it has. So, check the area between your attic/garage and living space. A professional should know how to handle heat loss. 
  • Floors: A badly insulated basement or crawl space is the reason why your rooms are colder than they should be. The professionals should measure your floor depth before they use insulation panels. This will make your home much more comfortable and cozy. 

Why Should You Insulate Your Home? 

Properly insulating your home has numerous benefits. It can help bring down your utility costs by lowering the amount of power you’ll need to heat and cool your place both in the summer and winter. Insulation will also reduce noise, making your home a safe haven to relax in without hearing every sound coming from the outside. 

Also, you’ll be able to control the moisture in your crawl space. All your daily chores, like bathing and cooking, release moisture which ends up in the lower level of your home. This moisture allows mold and mildew to run rampant down there. 

If you’re looking to insulate your crawl space or basement, you can always count on professional help from AFS. Our team in Tennessee and Alabama will provide you with a free inspection and repair estimate. With their help, you’ll quickly enjoy a safe and secure home just as you should.

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