Insulating Vented Crawl Spaces
How to Insulate Vented Crawl Spaces
By: Mark J. Donovan
A vented crawl space is
effectively exposed to the outside air temperatures. Insulating vented crawl
spaces saves money on energy bills as well as keeps a home warmer during the
A vented crawl space typically
has at least two vents installed in it that are left open during hot, humid
times of the year and closed during cold, dry times of the year. This said,
vented crawl spaces are still cold even when the crawl space vents are
closed during winter months, and consequently they can cause lower level
floors within the home to be uncomfortable.
Insulating Vented Crawl Space
Insulating vented crawl spaces is an
easy DIY homeowner project and won’t break the bank in material costs. To
insulate a vented crawl space, you will need caulk, faced fiberglass rolled
insulation (R-19 value), pipe insulation, a vapor barrier (large sheets of 6
mil polyethylene plastic), duct tape, and some sand and gravel. Also make sure
to wear clothes that cover your entire body, goggles, gloves and a mask to
protect you from the insulation while installing it.
Insulating Vented Crawl Space
First, caulk around any holes in the
subfloor to prevent any air infiltration into the finished rooms of the home.
Next, install the fiberglass roll
insulation in-between the floor joists by tucking it up snuggly against the
subfloor and holding it into place with metal wire hangers or chicken wire.
Also, make sure to insulate in-between the floor joist bays near the band
|In most areas of the country the faced side of the
insulation should face upwards toward the subfloor, however in areas of the
country where the temperature and humidity are fairly high all year round,
the face side of the insulation should face downward away from the
subfloor. The general rule of thumb for installing faced insulation is to
have the faced side (vapor barrier side) face the warmest side of the wall
or ceiling. So for example, in the northern part of the country, the faced
side of the insulation should face the interior finished room as this space
will normally be warmer than the crawl space area.
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Next, wrap any exposed heating or
plumbing pipes with insulation.
Finally, apply a vapor barrier to
the floor to complete the insulation of the vented crawl space. The vapor barrier should go up the sides
of the crawl space walls by about 1 foot and should be taped with duct tape
along the length of the wall.
Cover the vapor barrier with sand
and then gravel to protect the vapor barrier from being damaged when you crawl
or walk on it.
By installing a vapor barrier on
the floor of the crawl space the humidity levels in the crawl space will be
dramatically reduced and thus prevent the insulation from becoming damp and
So save this year on home
heating bills and enjoy warmer and comfortable floors by insulating your
vented crawl space.
Photo by Mark Donovan
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