Crawl Space Insulation - Moisture and Cold Are Primary Considerations
Due to the underground environment, moisture and cold are the primary considerations in developing a crawlspace insulation strategy. Excess moisture can cause mold, mildew, odors, decay, fungus growth and wood rot. Cold temperatures below will increase your energy costs and make it less comfortable to walk on your floor.
The underground environment of a crawl space presents unique challenges. The moisture content in soil below three feet deep is almost always higher than the moisture content of the air inside. This difference in vapor pressure causes moisture to be driven from the soil into the crawl space interior by diffusion through the wall. A significant amount of moisture from the soil below the slab will wick upward into the crawl space. Prodex Total, vapor barrier crawl space insulation, solves your moisture and thermal protection needs.
Recommended insulation for crawl spaces: Prodex Total 48 Inch
Where does the Moisture Penetrating the Crawl space come from?
- The Soil below your home
- Hydrostatic pressure against the foundation wall from rainfall, snow melt or irrigation creates exterior diffusion
- Air infiltration bringing moisture in.
- Groundwater leakage through the foundation
- Interior diffusion from humidity in warm indoor air
- Condensation formed due to temperature differences between ground and wall
Underground soil temperatures can be much colder than either the outside air or the indoor air. The warmer the air of the basement constantly expands. When this warm air reaches the cooler surface of a wall next to the ground, condensation will occur on the interior of the wall. Any insulation in your crawl space will be subject to potentially large amounts of moisture driven from both the exterior and the interior depending on the season.
Air infiltration can be a major source of moisture entering your crawl space. A lot more water vapor can move through a very small opening where the vapor pressure is greater on the exterior than can move through the wall surface by diffusion. Air-transported moisture can quickly lead to mold, mildew and decay in interior wall assemblies.
Fiberglass insulation should not be used in a crawl space! To maintain its thermal effectiveness, fiberglass insulation cannot be exposed to moisture. Moisture will degrade the insulation R-value of fiberglass batts and promote mold and mildew. Installing a vapor barrier over the interior of fiberglass insulation will not prevent the foundation walls from drying to the interior, migrating capillary rise and ground water leakage. Batts with no vapor barrier will not be effective either as interior humidity will still cause loss of insulation R-value. Is R-value meaningless?
Prodex Total insulation Prodex does not support mold, mild or fungus growth. It does not lose thermal effectiveness when wet.
Your home can act like a vacuum drawing radon up through the crawlspace in two ways. First, the air pressure inside is usually lower than pressure in the soil around the foundation. Second, warm air will rise to leak out through attic vents creating a small amount of suction that can pull radon gas up through the crawlspace. A poorly insulated crawlspace can account for 15 percent or more of a building's total heat loss. Prodex is most effective against downward radiant heat transfer making it a builder's choice for crawlspaces as a radiant barrier. Heat radiating downward from your floor into the crawlspace will be reflected back inside, saving energy and maintaining constant room temperatures. The most recent advance in crawlspace insulation is Prodex Total as a vapor barrier, radon barrier and insulation combined in one product.
Benefits of Prodex Total Insulation In Your Crawl Space:
- Keep your floors noticeably warmer
- Reduce air infiltration and drafts
- Save energy and money by keeping heat and air conditioning inside
- Minimize problems with condensation, wood rot, mold and mildew
- Provide waterproofing
- Seal entry paths against termites
- Control radon infiltration
Installing Crawl Space Insulation
Today's building codes call for un-vented crawlspaces. Crawlspace walls are typically only be insulated if the crawlspace is un-vented and the floor above the crawlspace is un-insulated. While walls can be insulated on either the interior or the exterior, interior insulation is the preferred approach if you want the insulation to double as a vapor and radon barrier. Crawl spaces are most commonly insulated on the ceilings and the floor and less frequently on the walls. Use Prodex Total 72 Inch, 48 Inch, 24 Inch, 16 Inch or Fast Action on the crawl space ceiling or walls. Use Prodex Total Under Concrete Insulation on floor (white side facing down toward the dirt). Crawlspace installation Instructions
Recommended insulation for crawl spaces: Prodex Total 72 Inch, 48 Inch, 24 Inch, 16 Inch or Fast Action on the crawl space ceiling or walls. Use Prodex Total Under Concrete Insulation on floor (white side facing down toward the dirt).
February 22, 2014