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Which Way Should Insulation Face in a Crawl Space?

how to dispose old insulating material

Properly insulating your home ensures a barrier between interior and exterior temperatures, allowing you to weather out every season in comfort. Using the proper insulation keeps your home cool in the summer and prevents heat loss in the winter. When installing insulation, homeowners commonly ask, “Which way should insulation face in a crawl space?”

Most homeowners use faced insulation with a paper backing on one side. If you place the paper on the wrong side while installing your crawl space insulation in Woodstock, you could invite excess moisture into the insulation material. This extra moisture makes the perfect environment for mold growth, creating a health hazard in what should be a protective part of your home.

Why Use Faced Insulation?

Unfaced insulation has no backing, while faced insulation has a paper vapor barrier attached to one side. The vapor barrier prevents moisture from getting into your crawl space, a convenient detail considering the humid conditions here in Woodstock, GA. Without the vapor barrier, unfaced insulation allows more moisture to permeate your crawl space ceiling.

How to Install Insulation in Your Crawl Space

When installing new insulation, knowing the right steps ensures you feel the difference in the air and your wallet. Inexperienced homeowners may try to shove the strips into place and hope for the best, but you can use these steps to install your insulation correctly.

Cover the Crawl Space Floor

Your crawl space doesn’t get the same cleaning attention as your home above. Whether your crawl space has a concrete or packed dirt floor, cover it with tarps or a layer of plastic, so you don’t get your insulation material dirty. Besides the potential of tearing your insulation, getting it dirty also reduces the air quality and may introduce bacteria or mold spores.

Seal Your Crawl Space Ceiling

Your subfloor makes up your crawl space’s ceiling, and electrical wiring, pipes, or floor vents may have holes or gaps around them. Fill those in with spray foam to ensure that your insulation has a solid ceiling. The subfloor above helps your insulation keep your home’s temperature comfortable.

Insulate Your Crawl Space

At this point, you may ask, “Which way should insulation face in a crawl space?” Install faced insulation with the paper backing against the subfloor and the material side facing into the crawl space. Ensure complete encapsulation of your subfloor by pressing your insulation between floor joists and against the foundation walls.

Staple the insulation in place to prevent falling or drooping. You can staple the paper backing to the subfloor or use straps to create tight cradles between floor joists. However you choose to secure your insulation, remember that the material will gain weight over the years by collecting dirt and moisture.

What If I Install Faced Insulation Backward?

Crawl spaces accumulate humidity, so faced insulation’s paper vapor barrier keeps moisture away from your subfloor and floor joists. The material absorbs excess water if you install faced insulation with the paper backing facing the crawl space instead of your subfloor. The dark, humid area creates the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and fungi.

The soft, fluffy side of your insulation presses against your subfloor and floor joists while the vapor barrier holds moisture. As dangerous mold grows, spores attach to the structural parts of your home. Your home could also suffer from water damage, weakening your floor and contributing to structural problems over time.

Along with contributing to construction problems, mold and mildew can also cause health hazards within your home, including:

  • Worsened asthma symptoms
  • Allergic reactions
  • Headaches
  • Respiratory and sinus illnesses

Benefits of Newly Installed Insulation

Installing insulation in your crawl space offers many advantages besides a healthier family and home:

Better Temperature Control

With extra insulation, your home retains heat during the winter and air conditioning during the summer. As a result, you can have a comfortable home temperature regardless of the season.

Lower Utility Bills

Installing faced insulation helps you use less energy since your HVAC unit won’t have to work overtime to keep up with outside temperatures.

Increased Home Value

Considering selling your home? Update your crawl space with new insulation to increase its value.

Contact Anthem Insulation & Home for Crawl Space Insulation Installation

Installing insulation in your crawl space takes time, skill, and the will to work in tight, uncomfortable spaces. Instead of asking yourself, “Which way should insulation face in a crawl space?” trust your local Woodstock experts with insulation installation. Call (770) 354-5005 to learn more about insulation services from Anthem Insulation & Home.

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