Winter’s on the way here in the Seattle area. You’ve made what you believe are adequate preparations for the cold winter months ahead, and are looking forward to settling into your warm, cozy home. The only problem is, the late fall weather has been colder than normal and you’ve recently discovered that your hardwood floors seem excessively cold to the touch. You’ve tried lowering the thermostat to kick on the heat sooner, but that’s not made much of a difference. One thing is certain: you’re not going to put up with cold floors!
Reasons Your Floors May Be Cold
The first thing you need to establish is the root cause of your cold floors. Hardwood floors can be cold to the touch during winter. Sure, you could throw area rugs on top of it, or you could keep turning the heat up, but, at some point, you’re just throwing good money after bad results. Your home’s foundation may have cracks, allowing cold air from the ground to penetrate your floors through the crawl space.
However, the most probable cause for cold floors in your home is inadequate insulation located in your crawl space. If your home was built before 1970 there’s a good chance that there was no insulation installed in your crawl space in the first place. Of course, even if your home was recently built, it may be that the insulation in the crawl space was the victim of poor workmanship, or maybe a low R-value insulation was installed.
The Hidden Cost of Cold Floors
Who wants to be in a cold home? Cold air rising through your hardwood floors don’t just make the floors cold. As the cold air rises it can make being in any room in the house an uncomfortable experience. Not only are cold floors uncomfortable, but they’ll cost you more as you pay higher electric bills to keep the heat up during winter. But, once summer comes, the humidity rising up through the floors can cause problems with keeping the home cool.
Solving the Problem of Cold Floors
Solving the problem of cold floors in your home requires taking a good look at your home’s crawl space and making the necessary repairs. Three steps should be taken to make your floors enjoyable to walk on again, and, while not an easy task, they will make huge improvements to the warmth of your house.
1. Sealing Crawl Space Vents
This is a no-brainer because you’re solving more than one problem with the same procedure. Not only has cold air from outside the home made its way inside from crawl space vents that were never sealed, but this is the likely access point for rodents and other pests. In addition to the vents being sealed, it’s important to also have an airtight door installed in the crawl space.
2. Insulating Crawl Space Walls
Choosing a high R-value insulation product to be installed in the crawl space walls is going to provide a more than adequate barrier to keep cold air from penetrating through the floors into your home. We recommend spray foam insulation, as it not only insulates your crawl space wall, but also seals cracks and crevices to keep cold air out of your crawl space.
3. Insulating the Crawl Space Floor
Once the crawl space walls are insulated and sealed, insulate the crawl space floor as well. This step will prevent cold air from entering the home via the cold ground, and prevent moisture build-up which might lead to problems with mold and mildew. As a bonus, it will also make it more feasible to allow the crawl space to hold storage containers safely.
Trusting a Professional Insulation Installer
Fortunately, if fixing your cold floors sounds like a lengthy and exhausting process, you have the choice of working with crawl space professionals. Here in the greater Seattle area, Clean Crawls is the premier source for all things regarding crawl spaces. Since 2001 we’ve been at the forefront of crawl spaces cleaning and insulation. If your floors are cold there’s no reason to continue suffering – contact Clean Crawls today for a free crawl space inspection!