The crawl space in a home has a significant disadvantage if it is used to prevent rising dampness from the foundation; it results in heat loss and raises your energy expenditures.
Indeed, the floor of the house, regardless of its type, allows humidity and air to pass through because it is hung above the ground, similar to an uninsulated wall.
You can increase your home’s DPE (energy performance diagnosis) by insulating the crawl space while building or renovating the house.
We will go through the benefits of insulating the crawl space, how to do it, how much it will cost, and the funding options available to you.
A crawl space is what? What is his function?
The area between the natural ground and the bottom level of a house is known as the crawl space. It often stands 20 to 100 centimeters tall.
The latter is decided based on the peculiarities of the house as well as the kind and structure of the soil. It might be inaccessible as well as accessible on occasion. In order to prevent moisture from building up, it must be ventilated.
Since the dampness in the ground cannot reach it as a result, it maintains the floor’s rigidity and watertightness. By limiting the harm that can be done by slips or ground movements, it secures your floor.
Additionally, it allows for the passage of water lines and electrical cables, which are thus shielded from freezing during extremely cold winter temperatures. Sometimes it serves as a cellar or a place to keep things, but in order to do so, it needs to be accessible.
Because this space must maintain its original function as a buffer between the ground and the construction and stay aired, insulating the crawl space insulation does not involve filling the space left between the natural ground and the floor of the home with any material.
In reality, it is a matter of isolating the side walls and, in particular, the floor of the home, either from the inside by spreading insulation on the floor when the crawl space is not accessible, or from the bottom, i.e., from the outside, if the crawl space allows you to slip underneath.
The insulation of the home’s floor is done in a methodical manner in more modern buildings.
Why is isolating it crucial?
By insulating the crawl area, it is feasible to restrict heat loss and lessen the effects of climatic excesses (such as temperature or humidity) while safeguarding the home from rising wetness.
Your heating costs could be reduced by up to 15% with good insulation. Additionally, it increases comfort by maintaining a more comfortable temperature on your floor, and it generally slows down the rate at which the house cools. Finally, a well insulated crawl area reduces the risk of humidity, mold, and unpleasant aromas as well as the development of basement waterproofing.
Crawl space insulation techniques
The type of insulation used mostly relies on the soil’s composition and humidity. You can choose from a number of techniques:
· If the crawl area is accessible, insulation should be applied from the inside; if not, insulation should be applied from the outside.
· It is also possible to combine the two for an accessible crawl space.
1. Whether the crawl space is reachable
The many insulating materials are:
Extruded polystyrene insulation:Clip-on panels are the most practical since they easily fit together to prevent thermal bridging (spaces without insulation). They have the benefit of having high resistance to cold and dampness. They typically cost between 5 and 20 euros per square meter.
The most expensive are ones with a thickness of 10 cm, with prices varying depending on thickness. The protection could be doubled by purchasing two thin plates, however this option will be slightly less effective.
A thickness of 80 mm is recommended for optimal insulation when purchasing polyurethane in the form of insulating panels. Particularly in crawl tunnels with concrete floors, they are advised. They are generally worth 20 euros per square meter.
The benefit of PUR foam (polyurethane) is that it can precisely conform to the irregularities of the support and fix itself to them. It is incredibly heat- and humidity-resistant and projects in a single layer.
Because the foam fills every crevice, especially those beneath ducts and pipes, the hazards of thermal bridges are decreased. Its ability to attach to the majority of supports and to insulate is without a doubt its greatest benefit in the event of a crawl space.
PUR foam surpasses most other insulating materials and lowers your energy costs thanks to its lambda value of 0.026 W/mk.
In the event of a clean and well-ventilated crawl room, natural materials like cork, hemp wool, or cellulose wadding work nicely. However, unlike the other panels, the installation must be done by an expert.
Additionally, they cost more than conventional insulators, which we have already talked about. Cost to which installation labor must be tacked on.
Insulation for floors
The efficiency of the process is increased by insulating the interior floor before installing the finishing material (tiling, parquet, etc.).
Extruded polystyrene plates can be used or EPS (expanded polystyrene) insulating slabs can be used in their place; the latter are less expensive but less effective.
In this situation, PUR foam is also excellent because it can be applied straight to the home’s floor.
It enables the correction of incorrect levels, serves as a repair by encasing technical ducts (such as electrical and underfloor heating ducts) in the insulation, and acts as a screed for some floor coverings.
2. If there is no access to the crawl space
There is only one option if the crawl space cannot be accessed: insulate the floor on its top side from the inside of the house.
If it is parquet, you should take out the blades and put a sheet of insulation, such as polystyrene, extruded polystyrene (XPS), or polyurethane foam, underneath. All that remains to be done after the insulation has been installed is to reinstall the boards.
If the floor is a concrete slab, you must first thoroughly clean it before laying the board insulation on top of it. Then, in order to maintain the floor covering without deforming, it must provide high thermal and mechanical resistance.
It might be polyurethane, mineral wool, XPS, or polystyrene. After that, you cover the insulation with a plastic film and screed the surface. After that, all that remains is to apply the desired coating.
Natural insulation for floors
You won’t be able to place insulation on the ceiling if your crawl area has a low ceiling or is difficult to access. The floor must be insulated in this situation. Pick pellets of expanded polystyrene.
These balls are projected into the crawl space’s floor and blown there, partially filling it. Since the side walls can let in cold and steam, the thermal performance of this kind of insulation is a little less noteworthy.
Conclusion:By insulating your crawl space, you may reduce heat loss and growing moisture, which raises the overall comfort level of your home. Additionally, learn about the help options and requirements to qualify for them.