Yes! We Install Crawl Space Insulation!
As with everything else, whether or not to have crawl space insulation is an ongoing debate but there are a few logical points to consider that apply to all crawl space foundation homes in Tidewater/South Hampton Roads.
Our Climate is quite moderate. Even when we have snow on the ground, the fill under your home, whether it is soil or sand, will remain about 50-55 degrees all year around. We have high water tables, hot, humid summers, and are subject to occasional flooding. It is critically important to include the conditions in the geographical area where you live when making a decision about crawl space insulation.
We have 2 kinds of crawl spaces in southeastern Virginia.
Some are vented to the exterior which provides air movement through the crawl to help keep it dry. These vents along with a vapor barrier covering 100% of the crawl floor, keeps moisture sufficiently controlled for many homes. However, you could have some conditioned-air loss or penetration of outdoor air through the floor though and if your crawl sees water from time to time, remember that moist air rises so it’s not a bad idea to have insulation protecting your subfloor. Remember to put the paper facing of the insulation against the wood. That “facing” acts as a vapor barrier. You should see the “fluffy side” if installed correctly.
We recommend R-19 Faced Fiberglass Batt Insulation. This R rating is an industry standard in our area for the space between floor joists in the crawl space.
Others are what we call “Closed Crawls” where the vents are sealed off, the crawl floor is covered 100% with a polyethylene vapor barrier and an alternate mechanical solution is utilized to keep the air dry such as installing a dehumidifier. With the crawl sealed, the vapor down to control ground moisture and the dehumidifier in place, the insulation is largely unnecessary and does not need to be reinstalled.
Nevertheless, both types need thorough termite inspections once a year because southeastern Virginia is designated as Zone 2 for termite pressure in the US, which is the second highest rating, and we can’t sufficiently provide that when there are obstructions such as foam and spray insulation on walls or piers.
DO NOT install spray foam or foam board on your foundation walls or piers!
Inspectors cannot see where termites may have entered the structure until serious damage is done. These homes cannot be warrantied for Termite Protection.
Spray foam is like diamonds. It’s forever! You will never be able to completely remove this foam from cinder blocks, brick, ductwork, pipes, wiring, etc. And termites will chew through it! A thorough termite inspection will never be possible which is why most companies will not offer a termite warranty. Spray foam between floor joists traps in moisture from above that would otherwise just bleed through the wood which will eventually lead to rot. This happens when you have a simple plumbing leak from inside such as a tub, sink, toilet, etc.
Foam board on the foundation walls serves no purpose here in southeastern Virginia. IT may be great in Minnesota or Michigan, but we have a moderate climate, nothing like the northern states. Here again, inspectors cannot see foundation walls and termites will be able to tube through it to the wood at an accelerated pace because they are protected inside the foam. Moreover, if we do have storms with some flooding, the excess ground water gets trapped in the hollow block of your foundation because it cannot move through. This will eventually cause rot along your foundation wall and intensifies the hydrostatic pressure between the outside and inside foundation wall which can damage footings.
Our company started as a general termite and pest control company in 1970. With termite control, visible foundation walls for inspection have always been critical. However, it’s true that moisture control in the crawl space goes hand-in-hand with termite control because moisture is what makes your home habitable to termites. Because of this, we spend a generous amount of time counseling homeowners about controlling moisture under and around their homes and offer many corrective services including insulation that serves all purposes.
Call us today or book an appointment online for a no obligation evaluation and estimate At 757-420-4800 or www.a1inc.com