Trying to save money on utility bills in your Arkansas home as energy prices continue to soar? A great place to start is by properly sealing and insulating your crawl space. Vented crawl spaces are notoriously inefficient spaces, costing homeowners millions in collective energy bills each year. Two key things to look for when choosing crawl space insulation are the R-value and its resistance to water.
The R-Value is the measurement of resistance to heat transfer in a material. The higher the R-value, the greater the effectiveness of the insulation. The average recommended R-value for a basement or crawlspace in North American is R-12.
When looking for insulation, you want it to be as waterproof as possible (crawl spaces tend to be moist, humid places). You want to steer clear of types of insulation can retain water, support mold growth, and lose R-value due to the moisture. The best crawl space insulation provides a vapor barrier as it insulates and will not be damaged by humidity
Types of Crawl Space Insulation: Pros and Cons
- Fiberglass Batt Insulation – This insulation is created from very fine fibers of glass and is typically pink or yellow. This form of insulation is the oldest, most common, most inexpensive and most readily available insulation on the market. Unfortunately this insulation is ruined by exposure to moisture and humidity, which makes it very poor for installation in a crawl space. When it gets moist due to the humidity found in most crawl spaces, it can support mold and mildew growth. This further decreases its already low R-value.
- Closed-Cell Spray Foam Insulation – This insulation forms an expanding foam when sprayed and creates a vapor barrier as it is applied. This type of insulation has a high R-value, and is very good for filling gaps. It will protect your crawl space against water as it seals gaps and stops air leakage. However, this insulation is very expensive and is often messy and uneven when applied. Closed-cell spray foam is available in two forms: one-part and two-part. The one-part comes in pressurized cans that can be found at most hardware stores and home centers. The two-part is often used by insulation contractors and combines two compounds at an application nozzle.
- Open-Cell Spray Foam Insulation – This insulation forms an expanding foam as it is sprayed, similar to closed-cell spray foam. One physical difference between the two is that closed-cell spray foam is typically very dense and hard, while open-cell foam is soft. Open-cell foam insulation is expensive, has a low R-value, and like closed-cell spray foam insulation, is messy and uneven when applied. Open-cell spray foam should not be used in crawl spaces because it does not create a vapor barrier to protect your crawl space from water and moisture.
- Rigid Foam Insulation – This insulation is installed using foam panels rather than spray, making it cleaner to apply. These panels are mounted on the walls of a crawl space and use a closed-cell insulation design. The panels have a high R-value rating, and create a vapor barrier that is waterproof. The best news for most homeowners is that these foam panels tend to be less expensive than typical spray foam insulation.
For quality crawl space insulation in Arkansas call the experts at Crawl Space Solutions of Arkansas! Our crawl space moisture control company in Arkansas services Benton, North Little Rock, Little Rock, Jacksonville, Greenbrier, Maumelle, Sherwood, Alexander, Mabelvale, Bryant, Hensley, Perryville and other surrounding areas.