Is Crawl Space Insulation Worth it? (Costs, Types and Durability)

You may be living or just moved into a home with crawl space. While most homes with crawl space are insulated, you may wonder if attaching a crawl space insulation to your home is worth it. This article will answer your question and other helpful information you may need.

Attaching insulation to your crawl space stabilizes your home temperature, avoids damp floors, and saves energy. The thermal insulation crawl insulation provides is also a smart way to protect your crawl space from floods. The most befitting type of insulation for your crawl space depends on the type of crawl space: unventilated or ventilated.

There is more to know about the worthiness of embarking on a crawl insulation project. First, how much can you even budget for the project? Which type of insulation materials would you use? Lastly, how long will the insulation last?

These are some of the questions we thoroughly answered in this guide.

Is Crawl Space Insulation Necessary?

While you can live in a home that is not insulated, you should note that a crawl space without insulation can cause constant fluctuations in your room temperature due to how easily heat and cool air are lost through the uninsulated floor.

An insulated crawl space will preserve air quality and reduce the cost of energy spent on heating or air conditioning.

There are different forms of insulation depending on whether your crawl space is vented or unvented. Regardless of the type of crawl space you have, insulating it aims to thermally regulate your crawl space efficiently.

A vented crawl space typically has air spaces through which air penetrates. Insulating a vented crawl space can be done by covering the floor above the space.

On the other hand, an unvented or sealed crawl space doesn’t have any opening or air space. Insulating a sealed crawl space is done by covering the walls of the space.

How Much Does Crawl Space Insulation Cost?

The cost of insulating a crawl space depends on various factors. You’ll have to consider the size of the crawl space, the type of insulation that will be applied, and labor costs.

The location of the home also plays a significant role in determining the cost. You can expect to pay higher if you are insulating crawl spaces in regions of temperature extremes.

For example, if you live in relatively hotter areas like Florida, you may need more crawl space insulation than some in milder areas like Los Angeles in California.

The condition of your crawl space also matters. If your crawl space is clogged up with debris and rotting wood, you may need to pay someone to prepare it for an insulation project.

However, in the United States, you can expect the cost of installing insulation to range between $1,500 to $3,000 on average.

You don’t need to pay for a permit to insulate your crawl space. But you may need to hire a contractor if you don’t have the technical experience. This brings us to the next topic.

How Much is Labour for Crawl Space Insulation´╝č

We recommend going with a professional contractor for your crawl space insulation.

These professionals know their way around and are more likely to give you a proper and high-quality insulated crawl space unless you’re a professional installer yourself.

The average price for labor in the United States is about $0.5-$1.5 per square foot. If you want to DIY, the cost of labor will be lesser.

However, you’ll need to purchase the tools for it, like utility knives, safety glasses, gloves, a dust mask, and a stapler.

What is the Best Insulation to Use in a Crawl Space?

Selecting the best insulation to use in your crawl space depends on the value you want and the type of space you want to insulate.

Insulation types are useful for some specific courses. However, most crawl space projects may require more than one type of insulation. The most common type of insulation include:

Fiberglass Insulation

Also known to some as batt, blanket, or roll insulation, they are soft pink materials typically packaged and sold in rolls.

Fiberglass insulation can be applied to the floor joists at the crawl space’s top. It can also be used on rim joists. However, it tends to soak up excessive moisture.

The R-value of fiberglass insulation is about R-13 to R-30 or around R-2.7 to R-3.0 per inch.

Foam Board Insulation

This type of insulation is recommended for big crawl spaces and not for small spaces or cracks. The foam board insulation comes in three variants.

One of the foam board types is the Polyisocyanurate (poly-iso) which is the most expensive. However, this foam board has the highest R-value rating, with an R-6.8 per inch.

The second type is Extruded Polystyrene (XPS). This type has a lower rating than the poly-iso, with an R-5 value per inch.

The third and final foam board type is the Expanded Polystyrene (styrofoam). It is the cheapest among the three and has an R-value of around 3.8 per inch.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is another method of insulating your crawl space. It comes in two types; closed spray and open cell spray foams.

The close spray is a good fit for sealing around windows, vents, and other air spaces. It can also be sprayed on the walls of your crawl space. It is waterproof and does a good job with an R-value of 6.5 per inch.

The open cell spray foam variant has a lesser R-value of R-3.5. However, it is budget-friendly and a good fit if your crawl space isn’t damp.

How Long Does Crawl Space Last?

Under normal circumstances, a crawl space insulation can last up to 80-100 years before needing replacement.

However, crawl space insulation may start degrading after about 15 to 20 years. Moisture and rodent could cause the degradation may be a result of rodents of your crawl space insulation.

The lifespan of your crawl space insulation also depends on the material used. Insulation material like the spray foam may never need to be replaced as long as animals don’t tamper with it.

This is due to its mold and water-resistant nature.

Other materials like fiberglass insulation may begin to wither from 15 to 20 years after installation.

Conclusively, insulation will no longer be considered effective when it doesn’t provide the needed resistance to airflow.

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