What is in a crawl space? What to see and not see
By Curt Viles
CEC Energy Specialist
Trekking into your home’s crawl space is not part of “The Grand Tour.” But finding a well-ventilated and insulated crawl space is FOUNDATIONAL for better energy savings and improved air quality for the home’s inhabitants.
Here are some highlights of the “Crawl Space Tour”:
Crawl Space Access
Access door, if the crawl space access is inside your home:
- Weather stripping around the door/hatch and around the frame
- Door/hatch is insulted on the crawl space side
Crawl Space ground
- Ground covered with approved ground cover
- Ground free of debris (construction and other materials)
- Ground is dry and there is NO standing water
- If the foundation has vents, they should be secured with no holes
- Open the vents in the spring and seal them up in the fall
Plumbing and electric lines
- Supply water pipes should be insulated with insulating wrap (R8 or better)
- No leaks allowed in any water line
- All water lines supported as needed to the framing
- Air seal all plumbing and electrical penetrations through the floor
- No exposed electrical connections
- All electrical lines supported to the framing
- Fiberglass batt insulation should fill the framing cavity, and be in contact with the bottom of the sub-floor
- If the fiberglass batt insulation has a facing, the paper or foil should face up to the floor
- Fiberglass batt insulation should be supported and held in place by appropriately spaced wood lathe
- Fiberglass batts cut as needed to fit around pipes and other obstructions—no gaps allowed
- All framing cavities filled with properly supported insulation
- Air sealing and insulation at the sill plate and rim joist (between conditioned space and the crawl space)
Dryer vents and down draft vents
- If your home has a dryer or down draft vent in the crawl space, they should be rigid metal and must terminate outdoors
This list is not a complete list with all possible stops for a crawl space tour. Ductwork in a crawl space, for example would take up at least an entire blog alone.
Homeowners can use this list to understand what to see in a crawl space and use it as step towards making their home warm, safe and cozy.
Did you know your home may qualify for a free home energy audit? If you have any questions about Central Electric Cooperative’s Energy Efficiency Incentives, or to see if you qualify for a free home energy audit please call 541-548-2144.