When it comes to waterproofing your crawl space, you have a lot of options on the table. One that you might not expect is insulation. When, though, can insulation protect your crawl space from dampness, and will it work on its own?
What is Thermal Insulation?
Thermal insulation, like normal insulation, is a material designed to sit inside the walls of your home or crawl space. This material acts as a barrier between the outside world and your home, trapping heat or making it easier for you to manage the climate or noise level inside your house.
Insulation is most often made out of:
- Mineral wool
- Polyurethane foam
What does thermal insulation do, though, that makes it different from normal insulation? First, let’s take a look at the idea of “normal” insulation. There is no standard insulation, but rather two separate types: sound insulation and thermal insulation.
Sound insulation is designed to help you keep your home quieter. This insulation will block out the noise of the bypass in your backyard or your son learning to play the drums. It does have some climate-control benefits, but that’s not its primary purpose.
Comparatively, thermal insulation is designed to keep your home dry and climate-controlled. This insulation will not limit the amount of noise you hear between rooms or coming from the outdoors, but it will help you cut through the chill in your home. Thermal insulation can also help you lower your heating bill, as it keeps hot air (or cooler air, in the summer) from getting outdoors.
Thermal Insulation and Your Crawl Space
Even so, why would you want to install thermal insulation in your crawl space?
Your crawl space is part of your home’s foundation. When your foundation is exposed to rapid changes in temperature, it can expand and contractor rapidly enough to crack. When rain comes to Virginia Beach, VA, and your foundation is cracked, your foundation and crawl space can both flood.
While thermal insulation won’t be able to directly protect your foundation from flooding, it can keep your foundation – and subsequently, the foundation of your crawl space – from cracking. How? Again, thermal insulation helps you control the temperature inside your home. If you can keep your crawl space’s temperature consistent, the foundation beneath it is going to be less likely to crack.
Does Thermal Insulation Keep Your Crawl Space Dry?
That said, thermal insulation won’t keep your crawl space dry on its own. While it’s true that you can invest in waterproof insulation, this insulation can be severely damaged by exposure to water. Once it’s been exposed, it can become a nesting ground for mold particles and for animals eager to get out of the cold.
If you want to waterproof your crawl space, it’s best to invest in thermal insulation, a vapor barrier, and other waterproofing solutions such as interior perimeter drainage and a sump pump. By combining these solutions, you eliminate dampness in your basement and work to protect your foundation from Virginia Beach’s variable weather.
What Does The Installation Process Look Like?
So are you interested in installing thermal insulation in your crawl space? The insulation process will take a bit of time, but once you get started, you’ll find that it’s a fairly straightforward process.
Do not attempt a DIY fix with insulation or any other crawl space repair or installation. It’s best to reach out to a trusted local contractor for assistance. A local contractor like JES Foundation Repair will be able to use the proper protective gear to access your crawl space. The installers will then place the unique JES insulation panels on the crawl space walls, using special fasteners to secure them.
When Should You Get Thermal Insulation?
As mentioned, thermal insulation does not serve as a waterproofing solution all on its own. If your crawl space experiences frequent, severe leaks, you’re going to want to talk to a local contractor about other waterproofing solutions before you reach for the insulation. However, if you only experience minor dampness or want to pre-emptively protect your foundation, this is one of the better ways to do so.
Don’t let the care and keeping of your crawl space get away from you. Reach out to a local contractor today for a free inspection and see if thermal insulation is right for you.