Crawl Space Insulation Repair: ExtremeBlocTM
Proper insulation in your crawl space is essential for any home that experiences cold weather or warm temperatures. Quality wall insulation keeps your home warm in winter and cool in summer. More than that, insulation helps control excessive moisture, which prevents several problems commonly seen in crawl spaces, including mold, mildew, and pests.
Inferior insulation materials or aging insulation will eventually need to be repaired. Depending on the severity of any growing faults, a more cost-efficient option is to replace the insulation with superior material. Repairing your crawl space’s insulation also key in keeping pests and mold away, the presence of which can affect the air quality in your living space. This in turn can adversely impact your family’s health and well-being.
If you are concerned with your crawl space’s insulation situation, get in touch with our experts today for a free inspection and quote.
ExtremeBlocTM, A Superior Solution
ExtremeBloc turns a crawl space into an energy-efficient network that keeps your home at a consistent, comfortable temperature. More than that, ExtremeBlocTM effectively repels moisture, heat, mold, and pests, which preserves the indoor air quality.
An expanded polystyrene body, wrapped in graphite-riddled insulation, and radiant heat barrier coating means that ExtremeBlocTM has an incredible R-value of 11. Add to that simple installation, environmentally friendly components, and built-in termite and pest deterrents, and it’s difficult to argue why any other insulation material could be substituted for ExtremeBlocTM.
All of this means that Groundworks’s chosen material provides unmatched insulation for your crawl space.
Insulation And Energy Savings
Properly insulated crawl spaces play a major role in creating an energy-efficient home. Crawl spaces lacking effective insulation will create high energy bills and uncomfortable temperature fluctuations in the home. Not only this, but failing insulation can cause moisture to collect in the crawl space. This opens up your home to a wealth of problems with pests and mold, taking care of which can cost thousands.
Outfitted with effective insulation, a crawl space will keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. Whether you’re in an area known for dry or humid heat, ExtremeBlocTM provides crawl spaces with effective protection against the elements and moisture.
Signs That Insulation Needs Replacing
Not all insulation materials are created equal. Some do the job well in the short term but begin to lose their effectiveness after a few years. Older homes also often contain insulation that is well beyond its lifetime as well—that is, if the crawl space has been outfitted with insulation at all.
Thankfully, there are signs that homeowners can look for as indicators it’s time to talk with the insulation experts about having insulation repaired or replaced.
- Peeling Insulation
An obvious sign that insulation needs some serious repair work done is when it begins peeling or falling away from the walls and floors. At this point, the insulation needs to be replaced. If the insulation is riddled with mold or dampness, which may be what is causing it to fall, then it needs replacing.
Some insulation materials can be cleaned and repaired for reuse. This is not true of all insulation types.
Insulation’s main job is to control the temperature of the home interior and repel any influence from the weather. When it loses its ability to do this, you will begin to feel drafts. These drafts are caused by wind breaching through the insulation or by different air temperatures meeting each other.
These drafts may be felt inside the crawlspace or home. It can be hard to pinpoint exactly where the draft is coming from without inspecting the insulation for faults. An enterprise that we recommend seeking an expert, like our crawl space repair teams, to do this for you. Entering these spaces without protective equipment can be a hazard, especially if pests or mold have invaded the space.
- High Energy Bills
A sign of failing insulation that many feel the impact of but don’t recognize for what it is are high energy bills. When insulation isn’t maintaining the interior temperature properly, heating and cooling devices are usually operating for longer periods. Many areas see warm, humid summers and uncomfortably cold winters. Homes with poor insulation will see high energy bills during these seasons’ peaks.
In the long term, high-quality insulation like ExtremeBlocTM will pay for itself through lower energy bills. Insulated crawl spaces are known for building more cost-efficient and energy-saving homes, highlighting the value of investing in insulation.
- Damp Insulation
One of the major signs that insulation needs to be replaced is if the insulation is damp. Over time, some insulations lose the ability to repel water as they age and deteriorate. Others are impacted as vapor barriers and drainage matting fail. Regardless of how or why the insulation is laden with water, damp insulation should be replaced, especially if it is showing signs of wear or any other symptoms in this list appear.
Persistently damp insulation is also a sign that there is water pooling in your crawl space.
- Inconsistent Indoor Temperatures
Insulation may fail in batches due to exposure or other factors, or it may be damaged in a specific location. In this case, the indoor temperature of a home may fluctuate between rooms. For example, the kitchen may be cool and dry, but the dining room is heavy with humid air.
It can be helpful here to place a thermostat in each room and record the variance in temperature. These temperature changes can also be localized to a room that sees drastic temperature changes throughout the day.
- Pest Infestations
Pests like raccoons, rodents, and cockroaches love crawl spaces. Insulated crawl spaces are a haven for these creatures, and many will enjoy using insulation as nesting material. Other critters will even eat certain types of insulation, which creates many problems. Nowadays, there are several insulation materials available that do the job and aren’t attractive to pests. ExTremeBlocTM is one of them.
Finding evidence of increasing pest activity is a sign that your insulation needs repair. These signs could include finding droppings, hearing activity in vents and crawl spaces at night, unpleasant smells rising from the floor and coming from vents, and sightings of any pests.
Note that repairing insulation alone isn’t going to deter pests. Crawl spaces are attractive homes to pests, and more tools are needed to repel pests from living there.
FAQs About Crawl Space Insulation
One reason that people worry about adding insulation to their crawl space is that they worry that it’ll attract pests. Although this can be a potential problem, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of having insulation and to see whether you can change the pest issues if possible.
- Specific Types of Insulation Material
Certain types of insulation can indeed attract pests. For example, fiberglass is a common insulation material because it’s non-flammable and cheaper than other insulation types. However, it’s also attractive to many pests, which may include rats, raccoons, and insects. There are also other insulations with the same problem.
This is because many insulation types – especially older or ‘eco-friendly’ insulation – are made of organic materials in part or as a whole. These materials can act as food for certain kinds of pests, or else allow for the formation of mold when they become damp.
- How to Avoid Pests From Insulation
Because insulation can have pest problems, some manufacturers will use unappealing synthetic materials to repel pests. Others will inject deterrents into the insulation material itself. One of the best ways to ensure that the insulation doesn’t attract pests is to make sure the material of the insulation isn’t a type that pests enjoy, which is what ExTremeBlocTM does.
These materials are still incredibly effective; some more so than traditional, organic insulation materials. This means that you don’t have to compromise at all to have a safe, dry, warm home that is free from pests. This insulation material is also water-resistant, so you can expect some protection from humidity and dampness, too.
- Other Methods of Avoiding Pests in the Crawl Space
There are also other methods that you can use to avoid pests in the crawl space. Insulation is just one of the things that can attract pests into your crawl space. If you have an encapsulated and overall healthy crawl space, your chances of getting pests in your crawl space will go down dramatically, regardless of what type of insulation you use.
Encapsulation includes things like vapor barrier installation, covering unsealed crawl space vents, and installing drainage and dehumidification options. Talk to your GroundWorks team member to ensure that you have the best advice (and that you get the best products) when it comes to encapsulation.
As you start to do some research into insulation, you might see the term “R-value.” The R-value of an insulation product is something that you’ll typically see in advertisements and product listings for a specific item. To the layman, this can be very confusing. Here’s what you need to know about an R-value and why it matters.
- An Overview of the R-Value
At a baseline, an R-value has to do with how well the insulation will work. These ratings are assigned based on how effective the insulation is at resisting heat. A low R-value means the insulation has a poor thermal resistance, whereas a high R-value means the insulation has excellent thermal resistance. R-values also vary based on how thick insulation is; you can add more insulation to increase the R-value of specific insulation.
R-values can still be very confusing even if you understand what they stand for, so you might want to take a look at the estimated R-values of various products. Drywall by itself, for example, has an R-value of .9 on average. Most fiberglass insulation has an R-value between 2.2-3.8, which is certainly higher than drywall, but it’s overall a poor rating, especially compared to ExTremeBloc’s™ R-value of 11. Generally, anything above an R-value of 5 is considered decent, but aiming for the higher R-value is always better.
- Why Should I Think About R-Value?
When you are considering insulating your home, there are so many factors at play that it can be a little confusing for those who lack specialist training and experience. However, when you are thinking about insulation you should be thinking about three main things; water-resistance, mold-resistance, and R-Value. Finding the right mix of these qualities is key.
Of course, it’s far easier and more effective to instead let a professional assess your home and its needs for you. An expert will find the right kind of insulation for your home and the climate it exists in, including the right R-value, as a matter of course when you hire them to insulate your crawl space. The results and benefits will start to make themselves known almost immediately.
You might have heard someone tell you that you need to replace your insulation regularly. In some ways, this is true; however, you definitely shouldn’t have to replace crawl space insulation every few years. Here’s a bit more to understand about crawl space insulation replacement.
- The Lifespan of Insulation
All insulation has a certain lifespan. Insulation of a certain quality will perform admirably for 15-20 years, depending on the material and the location of your house. Toward the end of its lifespan, it may lose its ability to repel moisture and mold, however. It may even begin to disintegrate, as can the solution used to affix the insulation to the walls. That means it is crucial to look at how long the insulation can perform before you need to replace it and to make note of this information.
If you have recently come into possession of an older home, either as a development project or through a windfall, you should assume that some work may be needed and book an inspection. This will help you to get an accurate understanding of the state of the property as well as an idea of the enormity of the work that needs to be done.
- Replacing Insulation
When it comes time to replace your insulation, you do want to replace it when it’s still marginally working. You don’t want to wait until it’s literally in pieces because that means it hasn’t been doing its job for a long time. An expert who installs the insulation will be able to tell you when, on average, you’ll have to replace the insulation. Additionally, if you get yearly inspections, that expert can let you know when the insulation is nearing the end of its lifespan.
This is less of a problem than it once was, but if there is any chance that your insulation has any asbestos at all in it, you shouldn’t try to deal with it yourself. You should also make any professionals aware of the potential so that they can take precautions. Asbestos was commonly put into homes built in the 1980s; if you have just bought an older home that has not been renovated yet, make your technician aware.
- The Main Reason to Use High-Quality Insulation from an Expert
Low-quality insulation made from inferior materials may need to be replaced sooner than high-quality materials. One of the reasons Groundworks uses ExTremeBloc™ is for its long lifespan and the fact that it provides stable and consistent insulation throughout its life. Only accept high-quality insulation so that you can get more from your insulation.
Here at Groundworks, we use only the best products in every job we do for just this reason. We pride ourselves in offering a long-term, high-quality solution to every single homeowner that comes to us. This is also why we offer long-term, transferable warranties on many of our products (as well as guarantees on our services).
Protect Your Crawl Space
Are you concerned about your crawl space’s insulation? ExTremeBlocTM is the ultimate solution for turning your home into an energy-efficient powerhouse. Get in contact with a local expert to see how they can help repair and renew your crawl space right away.