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Why Should I Insulate My Crawlspace?

According to research reported by the NAHB, about 15% of new homes are built with a crawlspace. (In 2021 alone, that accounted for over 240,000 new homes in the United States!) Many homeowners, whether they’ve bought a new home or an existing one, are unaware of the importance of this air-gap space under their floors, or how many problems it can create if it isn’t well insulated and maintained.

With a little bit of knowledge and the right product for your home, you can save yourself money and energy by preventing those problems in the first place!

WHAT IS A CRAWL SPACE EVEN FOR, ANYWAY?

For starters, it provides a human-sized space underneath buildings from which you can work on the plumbing, but that’s a story for someone else’s blog! However, the main reason that engineers came up with the idea of a crawlspace was to cut down on the amount of heat that was lost through the floors of buildings.

According to AIVC.org, up to 15% of heat loss
in a building occurs through the floor in the wintertime.

Putting an open-air space underneath the building prevents the heat from being transferred into the ground, since air is the best provider of insulation for conductive heat transfer. (That’s what happens when two things that are touching begin sharing the heat between them, like touching a warm lightbulb makes your hand warm.)

WHY SHOULD I INSULATE IT, THOUGH?

So now lots of homes are saving a bit of money in the winter because of the crawlspace. That’s great! However, if the crawlspace is not properly insulated, you can run into even worse problems. Since the ground isn’t touching the building because of the air gap in the crawlspace, conduction isn’t happening. However, that means another type of energy transfer called convection starts occurring! Convection is where the air in the crawlspace starts warming up or cooling down based on the temperature of the ground (underneath it), the temperature of the building’s flooring (above it), and the air outside its walls.

Because of the temperature differences between those areas and the crawlspace, and the fact that moisture in the ground continually evaporates into the air inside the crawlspace, condensation starts to occur. That’s when the moisture that has evaporated into the air starts to turn back into liquid water on all surfaces of the crawlspace.

THIS CAN LEAVE THE WALLS SLIMY AND WET,
AND CAUSES MOLD AND MILDEW TO START FORMING!!

Everyone who owns a home should know that this type of moisture is the absolute enemy and should be prevented if it’s within your power to prevent it.

AND IT IS!!

HOW DO I KEEP CONDENSATION OUT OF MY CRAWLSPACE??!

That’s a great question! There is a solution that, if installed correctly, will last for close to 100 years! The solution is called “Triplex CrawlBarrier R10.” This stuff is incredible, and it’s so jam-packed with scientifically proven benefits, I just can’t imagine why anyone WOULDN’T put it in their crawlspace!

  • It is extremely durable. You can’t tear it, or even poke a hole through it. If you kicked a sheet of this stuff, the sheet would bend but your foot wouldn’t go through.
  • It is made of two sheets of large-diameter (1” wide, 2/5” thick) bubbles, XPE foam in the middle, and radiant barrier on both sides of the exterior!
  • The bubbles create even more of an insulating air-gap than the crawlspace alone! That’s their purpose. The air-gap in those bubbles creates at least an R-10 insulation value, which means that using this stuff in your crawlspace will ALSO satisfy your local Building Codes!
  • The radiant barrier on the outside reflects radiant heat from entering through the masonry walls in the summer and from leaving through the walls in the wintertime, saving you big bucks. As if that weren’t reason enough to install it:
  • The XPE foam in the center is short for ‘cross-linked polyethylene foam’. This material is sturdy, and, most importantly, hydrophobic.  (Yes, that does basically mean that water is afraid of it!) In fact, it actually stops the water from evaporating into your crawlspace. By preventing that condensation from ever forming, you can prevent the mold and mildew from ever growing.

WHY SHOULD I BUY IT FROM RADIANT BARRIER USA INSTEAD OF THE ONLINE JUNGLE?

Our Triplex CrawlBarrier is a much higher quality than most of what is available on the market. It takes longer to produce it at the quality we demand, but that quality difference is EXTREMELY important!

Cheap stuff is flimsy, difficult to handle (like walking around with a giant sheet of posterboard: not a simple task!), and the radiant barrier is thin, meaning that it IS NOT PUNCTURE-PROOF. That’s not what you want when you’re trying to keep moisture out!

We have a Radiant Barrier USA team member on standby, ready to chat with you about the unique properties of your home and the best products on the market for your needs. Give us a call today at 817-538-5222 and see how much money we can save you!!

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