Tacoma homes are regularly exposed to varying moisture levels in addition to the natural summer and winter weather conditions. Without adequate or appropriate crawl space insulation, air and heat can be allowed to travel through the walls, reducing a home’s energy efficiency. In addition, crawl spaces that are not properly cleaned out and insulated allow moisture and water to enter the crawl space, increasing the chances for mold and mildew growth that can damage the integrity of the house’s structure and affect the home’s air quality.
In order for homeowners to ensure that they have optimal energy efficiency, safe air to breathe, and a sturdy structure, a thorough cleaning and insulation of the crawl space is required. There are a variety of insulating materials available on the market today, three of which are best to insulate crawl spaces in the Tacoma area.
3. Fiberglass Insulation
Fiberglass insulation is normally installed in large segments of insulation called batts. These large pieces are rolled out to create a giant blanket of insulation against walls, ceilings, or flooring. When installed in crawl spaces, fiberglass insulation is normally installed in the ceiling to provide a protective layer between the house and the crawl space.
Fiberglass insulation is a great way to cover large sections of space. It is also among one of the more inexpensive insulation options on the market today.
Fiberglass insulation is a soft, spongy material. When placed in unsealed, moist crawl spaces, the insulation will quickly absorb the surrounding moisture and loose its ability to insulate. If Tacoma homeowners are considering the use of fiberglass insulation in their crawl space, it is recommended that they first find a crawl space expert that can inspect, clean, and seal their crawl space thoroughly.
2. Foam Board Insulation
Foam board insulation is comprised of polystyrene, a transparent thermoplastic material similar to styrofoam. These boards can be cut and shaped into different sizes and placed in just about any part of a house. Normally, they are used to prevent the transfer of heat through structural elements like wood or steel.
Unlike fiberglass insulation, these foam boards generally deter water and are relatively effective at blocking the transfer of heat. Foam board insulation is also among the less expensive insulation options, and it is somewhat water resistant, blocks heat transfer well, and is marginally inexpensive.
Even though foam boards are water resistant, water can still get trapped between large sheets of foam board and wooden walls. When this happens, there is no air circulation to prevent the growth of mold or mildew that can result in wood rot. In addition, these large chunks of foam are not designed to fit in and seal small cracks or holes, leaving these areas free to continue transferring heat and energy.
1. Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is an organic compound made from two composite materials. When these two materials are combined, they create an expansive substance that fills cracks, nooks, and crannies before curing.
Spray foam insulation has an an unusually high R-value, making it one of the most powerful insulators available on the market today. Once the substance has been sprayed and allowed to harden, it seals any cracks or holes, provides structural reinforcement, and can keep a crawl space thoroughly insulated for over 10 years.
Spray foam insulation is known for its water resistance, making it an excellent candidate for Tacoma homes that must endure extensive rain and moisture exposure. The materials that make up spray foam insulation provides no sustenance for mold spores, and the spray foam material is universally unattractive to pests and other critters that might try to nest in the crawl space.
While incredibly powerful and durable, spray foam can be expensive to install. However, studies have shown that the installation of the insulation will eventually pay itself off with the incredible energy savings that homeowners enjoy, year after year.
At Clean Crawls, we offer crawl space inspections, cleaning, restoration and insulation services so that Tacoma families can enjoy a comfortable home environment, higher air quality, and great energy savings. For more information about our services, feel free to give us a call, or fill out our contact form.