There are so many reasons why you should ensure the health of your crawl space. This area houses the structural supports of your home and its utility lines and can also be used as additional storage space. Unfortunately, increased humidity levels in your crawl space can cause all sorts of problems and even disrupt your quality of life. More than half the air you breathe in your home comes from your foundation. Therefore, if you have mold and other allergens in your crawl space, they are surely present in your living Waterproofing solutions are important, with proper insulation in your crawl space you can keep it dry and healthy.
Most insulation materials on the market are not water-resistant, which increases the risk of mold growth in your crawl space. That is why, here at AFS, we offer a new generation of insulation that won’t let you down. If you wish to improve air quality in your home and save money on your utility bills, read on to learn how you can address your crawl space issues with insulation from AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists.
Common Crawl Space Insulation Types
The most important thing you need to pay attention to when choosing the best insulation for your home is its R-value. What does this mean? The R value is the measurement of an insulation’s power to resist heat flow. The higher the number, the better the resistance the insulation provides. There are three kinds of R values that are used to measure heat flow resistance. The Down R Value is the measurement of the insulation’s ability to keep the heat from coming into the house. The Up R Value is the extent of an insulation’s capability to keep the heat from escaping the house. Finally, there is the Total R value which is the combination of the mentioned two values. This term is most commonly used.
Homeowners use different types of insulation to insulate their homes. Here are some of the most common types of crawl space insulation:
- Fiberglass – One of the most common insulation materials, fiberglass is made of strands of glass that are woven onto insulation material. Thanks to those strands, this type of insulation can slow down heat transfer. However, fiberglass, although very popular, has a major flaw. It can become soaked and is very attractive to insects and other pests in that state. When it becomes wet, it turns into an ideal environment for mold growth. Also, the R-value for fiberglass is usually rather low and ranges from 2.2 to 3.8.
- Cellulose – While cellulose is an eco-friendly solution and is fire-resistant, it can be very tricky to install. Cellulose insulation is usually made from recycled paper, cardboard, and other similar materials. This type of insulation is rather compact, so it contains almost no oxygen. While the R-value for this insulation is slightly higher than fiberglass and ranges from 3.1 to 3.8, it is still quite low.
- Polyurethane foam – Areas such as rim joists can be problematic since they are difficult to insulate. However, because this foam has low density, it can easily reach even the most unapproachable places. It also has a fantastic R-value of approximately 6.3 per inch.
- Polystyrene (EPS) – Polystyrene is a waterproof insulation material that comes in blocks or panels. It has great thermal properties and features a much smoother surface than other types of insulation. When it comes to the R-value of this insulation, it usually ranges from 3.6 to slightly above 4.
Wet Insulation Problems
As you can see, most types of insulation are not water-resistant, which can cause a lot of problems. So, what happens if your insulation becomes wet and damaged? Let’s take a look.
- Compromised structural integrity: Since insulation is installed next to the steel structural elements in your home, when it gets wet it can cause them to rust over time. As you might assume, rusted steel studs, ties, and screws can become very loose and you can end up with a cracked or discolored wall surface. Worst case scenario, it can collapse completely.
- Lack of energy efficiency: With insulation, your crawl space can stay warmer during the winter months and cooler during the hot, summer months. That means that your HVAC system won’t have to work so hard to maintain the desired temperature in your living space. However, having wet insulation is just as bad as having no insulation at all. When it gets soaked, insulation starts to conduct energy and becomes useless.
- Mold growth: Mold needs moisture, food, and adequate temperatures in order to thrive. A damp or wet insulation checks all of these boxes. Therefore, if you do not inspect your foundation annually, it can turn your crawl space into a moldy disaster. Since mold uses airborne spores to spread all over the home, it will quickly contaminate the air in the upstairs area and make your home an extremely unhealthy place to live in.
New Generation of Insulation
At AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists, we use AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier panels to insulate crawl spaces. With these panels, we can turn a regular crawl space into a dry and energy-efficient area. When compared to other types of insulation, AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier has much better energy rates and it complies with building codes. It features a built-in radiant heat barrier surface and has R-11 value insulation to keep more heat in the crawl space and home.
Why Choose AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier?
Because of tiny graphite particles that permeate foam insulation, these panels have an elegant silver shine. We use graphite particles to reflect heat and lower the material’s conductivity. This is why our panels have a superb R-value per inch.
AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier can also help you save money. Want to know how? It features a radiant barrier that reflects heat into your crawl space. This way, it contributes to energy savings. We understand that the area around rim joists can be tricky to insulate. Luckily, our panels can be installed on the perimeter of your floor framing system for maximum energy savings.
Want to learn what makes our panels stand out from the crowd and how they can benefit your home and improve your quality of life? Let’s check that out.
Benefits of AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier
Here are some of the perks of contacting professionals at AFS and installing our AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier.
Increased Energy Savings
The AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier consists of an expanded polystyrene foam that was infused with graphite during the creation process. This step improves its insular ability by 24%. It features a silver radiant heat barrier on the visible surface and its R-value is 11. Since it can be customized for special projects or local code requirements, it is a versatile solution that will benefit any crawl space.
No Moisture Absorption
As we mentioned, a wet or even damp insulation barrier can become a mold hotspot. In addition, moisture present in the crawl space can cause pest infestation as well as wood decay. However, with our closed-cell insulation, you won’t have to worry about having wet insulation below your living space. Unlike other options, our barrier will not soak up moisture and it can also be used together with our other waterproofing solutions to protect your foundation against any kind of water damage.
Its Insulating Value Won’t Change Over Time
The R-value of the AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier will not change over time. In fact, the thermal performance of this barrier is very stable. It is a durable solution that won’t get damaged by typical site handling such as transport, storage, and installation.
Easy to Install and Clean
If you decide that our AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier is the best option for your home, our contractors can quickly install it thanks to its special fasteners. In addition, this insulation is low-maintenance and you can keep it clean just by wiping its surface.
Just like cellulose, the AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier is eco-friendly but has a much higher R-value. It does not contain harmful gases, only air, which makes it an eco-friendly crawl space solution.
If you are looking for insulation that can resist moisture and stand the test of time, you have come to the right place. With our reliable system, you can rest assured that your crawl space is properly insulated.
At AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists, we have everything you need to improve your home’s energy efficiency. With our state-of-the-art products, you can keep your home protected against water damage while making it more energy-efficient than ever before.
We offer a free, no-obligation crawl space inspection and quote, so call us today and schedule an on-site appointment. Regardless of whether you live in Huntsville, Birmingham, Nashville, Chattanooga, Columbus, Biloxi, or a nearby area, we are at your service.
Crawl Space Insulation
If you have decided to install insulation in your crawl space, you might be wondering whether there are some things you should do beforehand. Here are several steps you should take before your new insulation arrives.
Remove the Water and Repair the Damage
Is there standing water in your crawl space? If so, you will need to dry out this area before you move onto the next step. Otherwise, you will only trap moisture in your crawl space, allowing it to wreak havoc all over the place. Keep in mind that this can be an easy task or it could involve collecting buckets of water. You can also use a dry/wet vacuum to remove the water.
When the crawl space is dry, call a contractor who will inspect the place and see whether it has been damaged in any way. It is recommended to fix any cracks or other problems before moving on with the project.
Check the Vents and Doors
If standing water was present in your crawl space for a long time, your doors and vents may have been damaged. Check whether they can be properly closed, otherwise, moisture-laden air will easily infiltrate your crawl space. If moisture has damaged them, they won’t have their original form anymore and, as a result, won’t be able to fit into their appropriate slots the way they should. In case they have warped, you will need to replace them or use accessories to block off gaps between them and the frames.
Before the contractors install your new insulation make sure that the crawl space doors are airtight and secure and that vents are closed off. While crawl space vents seemed like a good idea back in the ‘50s when it was thought that they prevent mold growth and other issues, nowadays contractors recommend sealing them off.
Install Waterproofing Measures
Protecting your crawl space against water damage is never a waste of money. Your foundation is the heart of your home, and without a healthy crawl space, you cannot have a healthy house. Before you install insulation, check with your contractor and see which waterproofing solutions they recommend for your home.
Our AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier is part of our repair system that also includes the AquaStopTM Vapor Barrier. We also have several waterproofing solutions that could benefit your home. While our Sump Pump system can prevent flooding incidents, our AquaStopTM Drainage System will direct any excess water away from the crawl space. We also offer AquaStopTM Drainage Matting. Our waterproofing options can make your life easier. By combining water-resistant insulation with waterproofing measures you can sleep better knowing that your home is protected against common water damage.
Whether your crawl space doesn’t have any insulation or has one that has been severely damaged, you should invest in a new thermal barrier.
Insulating Your Crawl Space
If you do not have any kind of insulation in your crawl space, outside temperatures can easily come into your home. That means that your heater will have to work overtime during the winter, just as your AC will have to work overtime during the summer. This will reflect on your monthly energy bills and cause you to spend more money.
When talking about insulation, most homeowners think about the insulation in the walls or even in the attic. However, insulating your crawl space is just as important. The air that is in the crawl space comes through the floor into your home, impacting the indoor temperatures. With high-quality insulation, you can easily maintain a consistent temperature in your home. Also, insulating your crawl space will make the rooms above it feel more comfortable. There will be fewer drafts and the temperature will be better regulated.
Replacing Damaged Insulation
In a way having old and damaged insulation is worse than having no insulation at all. Rodents such as mice love old insulation since it is a perfect breeding ground for them. Also, snakes, spiders, and other pests can enter your home if you have degraded insulation. Once they are in your crawl space it won’t take them long to enter your living space as well.
Wet and damaged insulation can also trigger mold growth. If you notice that your old insulation has a musty smell or is hanging from the ceiling, you will need to replace it. Keep in mind that properly installed insulation should be airtight against the surface on which it is installed. If it is not, it won’t do its job properly.
Nowadays there are several types of insulation available on the market. Each of those has its upsides and downsides.
Popular Insulation Types
Fiberglass will slow down heat transfer, but if exposed to water, it will become completely soaked. Since it is not waterproof, it can attract insects, pests as well as mold. Also, it has a low R-value.
On the other hand, cellulose has a slightly higher R-value but is complicated to install. There is also polyurethane foam that is ideal for insulating hardly reachable places such as rim joists. Polystyrene comes in the form of blocks and panels and has an R-value that ranges from 3.6 to above 4.
AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier
At AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists we proudly offer our AquaStopTM Thermal Barrier to our customers. This is an expanded polystyrene foam insulation, but unlike the regular kind, this barrier that’s been infused with graphite. That is why it has a much better insular ability. It also has an impressive insulation rating of R-11 and can be customized to suit different needs and projects.
Having increased humidity levels in your crawl space is usually a recipe for disaster. If you wish to keep your foundation dry and prevent mold, rot, and musty odors, AquaStopTM Thermal Protection is your best option. Not only does it provide a thermal barrier, but it also creates a vapor barrier on your crawl space walls. In other words, it keeps moisture out of your crawl space, keeping it dry and mold-free. If you want to waterproof your foundation, keep in mind that this barrier pairs perfectly with our Sump Pump system, our AquaStopTM Drainage System, as well as AquaStopTM Drainage Matting.
Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners tend to neglect their crawl space. Of course, this is a big mistake since a crawl space is a type of foundation prone to moisture issues. If you are not careful, it can easily become a hotbed for various problems.
Checking Your Crawl Space Insulation
Going down to your crawl space on your own can be unsafe and risky. Therefore, if you are worried that something is wrong with your insulation, it is best to call a professional contractor. They will inspect your crawl space and determine what needs to be repaired. With that said, damaged insulation can be easily spotted. It smells musty and moldy, since it creates an ideal environment for mold growth. Therefore, it is important to have your crawl space expert replace it as soon as possible.
To check your old insulation, your contractor will need to locate it first. If you are not the first owner of your home or you have never been down to your crawl space, you likely have no idea where your insulation is located. After they find it, they will determine what material was used to insulate the foundation. Understanding which type of insulation is in question will help them find signs of damage.
When they put on their safety gear, your contractor will inspect the insulation in your crawl space and look for damp spots. They will determine whether your insulation needs to be partially or completely replaced. They will also check your entire crawl space for signs of water damage.