Applications » Basements And Crawlspaces

Basements And Crawlspaces

What is the best insulation material for basement and crawlspaces?

Generally basements and crawl spaces required different insulation requirements due to their underground environment. Moisture is the main considerations for such situation. Higher amount of moisture can stimulate mold, mildew, odors, decay, fungus growth and wood rot.

Know the different ways for moisture penetration inside the crawlspace and basement.

  • One must take care of construction materials must dry before the basement is sealed
  • Warm indoor air could cause interior diffusion from humidity.
  • Exterior diffusion can possible due to hydrostatic pressure against the foundation wall from rainfall, snow melt or irrigation creates
  • Air infiltration bringing moisture in with it
  • Capillary rise wicking moisture up from the soil below
  • Groundwater leakage through the foundation

It is difficult to get perfect insulation for the underground environments. The wall below grade material offers unique challenges. The moisture content in soil below three feet or more deep is always higher than the amount of moisture inside. This in actual differs in vapor pressure that stimulates moisture to be driven from the soil into the basement or underground crawl spaces. A higher amount of moisture from the soil below the slab will also wick the upward basement through the slab or direct crawl spaces. Another main issue that arise is the problem of condensation. This is mainly because of the temperature difference of the soil temperature and the inner atmosphere. The hot air of the basement room tends to expand constantly and result into condensation on the interior of the wall. Any interior insulation will be subject to potentially large amounts of moisture driven from both the exterior and the interior depending on the season..

Air infiltration is another reason for that affect the basement or crawl spaces. It is in reality a major source of moisture. It transfers the water vapor that can move through the very tiny holes where pressure is greater outside and less inside. Air-transported moisture can quickly lead to mold mildew and decay in interior wall assemblies. .

Another must have condition for any insulation material is it's capability of preventing warm air inside and stop it reaching out towards the colder foundation wall to prevent condensation. Reflective thermal insulation is an effective interior air barrier. The aluminum foil attached into the outer surface tolerant the moisture and works against capturing the mold and fungus when wet. The best way to install the reflective insulation is with the air space between the roof or any other surface and the insulation layer. It can also be use for insulating exterior basement walls as well. This is where some materials like fiberglass insulation or blanket insulation are less useful in a basement. Another failure of fiberglass insulation is that it cannot maintain it's thermal effectiveness in moist condition. Moisture on a longer run degrade the insulation and creates mildew in lower indoor air quality. Installing a vapor barrier over the interior of fiberglass insulation will stop the foundation walls from drying to interior. Basements can be insulated on either the interior or the exterior. Basements with water leakage, dripping and other moisture problems in a masonry, rubble or brick foundation must be insulated from the outside.

How AEROLAM Insulation is useful for basement Insulation?

AEROLAM Insulation can also be installed under the basement wall and slab. Reflective insulation property of this insulation material will be used to provide a thermal break, moisture barrier, random air leakages when applied under the slab or on the top of the gravel drainage bed. Insulation under the slab will also make the basement floor warmer that fight against the unwanted temperature loss. However, sealing insulation properly from the joints is important to get the layer work as a vapor barrier.

Reflective insulation material by AEROLAM is an effective barrier against the upward integration of random gas through the tiny gaps, joints, cracks and other openings in the building. It also stops the penetration of radioactive gas found in soils, rock and groundwater. Such gases are generally created by the natural decay or radium and uranium isotopes. Any home or basement area can act like a vacuum drawing as random up through the crawl space in two ways. First, the air pressure inside is generally less than the pressure of the foundation and soil around. Second, heated air will rise to transmit through the attic holes and vents consuming a small amount of pressure that can pull the gas upward through the crawl spaces.

Benefits of proper insulation for crawlspace.

  • One should Keep the floors above warmer
  • Reduce air infiltration and drafts from the crawl space.
  • Energy and Money can be saved by keeping heat and air conditioning inside
  • Problems could be lower with condensation, wood rot, mold and mildew
  • Provide waterproofing
  • Seal entry paths against termites
  • Control radon infiltration

Not so well implemented crawl space can create a heat and temperature loss of around 15% of a building's total heat loss. Reflective insulation provided by AEROLAM is the most effective against downward radiant heat transfer, thus it became the favorite choice of builder for radiant barrier. Heat transferring from the floor to the basement will be reflected back inside. And thus it saves energy and maintaining cost of the room temperature. The latest material in crawl space insulation by far is using reflective foil insulation as a vapor barrier, radon barrier and thermal insulation combined in one product.

Proper insulation is part of the overall moisture control strategy in a crawl spaces. Insulation procedures depends on whether the crawl space is vented or un-vented gaps in their structure. In most of the cases un-vented crawl spaces are more useful for new construction compare to the vented one for the energy savings. As the later on will allow the winter cold air into the tiny gaps often with dew-point that is lower than the space causing air condensation. The condensation procedure in crawl space is controlled by the intelligent use of vapor retarders or vapor barriers like aluminum foil that can reflect the most of the things. It reduce the rate at which moisture moves through a material and thus reduce the condensation. This way it satisfied the goal in a crawl space to keep the moisture in the soil from rising into the building where it can stimulate and creates odors, fungus and other problems. Using AEROLAM Insulation as vapor barrier under the floor and also on the floor of the crawl space in a vented crawl space can reduce most of the issues discussed above.

Crawlspace insulation with vapor barrier for ground.

It is recommended installing a vapor retarder such as AEROLAM thermal Insulation, as an underlayment between the crawl space and the first floor as a radon barrier. This layer of the aluminum foil will also function as a continuous air infiltration barrier. AEROLAM Insulation can also be used as a groundcover to create a radon barrier with the edges tightly sealed to the interior face of the crawl space wall.