During my home inspections, I often come across insulation in the crawlspace. Usually, clients are trying to increase energy efficiency in their home, which is understandable. Sometimes this insulation causes more harm than good. It does help with energy when in good condition, but doesn’t stop or block the airflow.
Incorrectly installed insulation that has deteriorated over time could be trapping moisture against the subfloor(bottom of your floor). Mold can form there and you would never know it without removing the insulation to check!
Crawlspace vents should be opened during the spring, summer and into the fall and closed during the winter. In Virginia, we have high levels of humidity, so instead of providing a dry air ventilating that space, the humid air is introduced and trapped in the crawlspace. Overall, this negatively affects the crawlspace.
Be sure the insulation is in good condition and installed properly.
Ensure air isn’t leaking from the crawlspace into the home for better results.
Maintain a proper vapor barrier on the floor of the crawlspace to help prevent moisture from wicking up into the wood structure.
Remove all construction materials, especially wood products that draw termites or other wood-destroying insects(WDI).
If you don’t/can’t get in there yourself, have your crawlspace inspected annually by a professional.
While insulating different areas of your home can be great for energy efficiency, it must be installed properly for safety and effectiveness!
The insulation pictured above is in a crawlspace and is installed improperly. The paper backing should be facing the conditioned space. In this case, it’s on the floor above the crawlspace and facing the wrong direction.
The backing can easily catch and spread fire rapidly!
The same holds true in your attic when you see insulation above the ceiling, the paper backing should be against the drywall and not be seen. Of course, there is insulation that does not have the paperback and then it wouldn’t matter.
I hope you found the information helpful! To schedule your inspection with us, call 757.797.4240 or visit www.premierinspects.com