I’ve got some bad news for you: your crawl space insulation isn’t really working for you. Sure, we’ve all seen fiberglass insulation in our attics, in our basements, in our walls (if you happen to punch walls often) and of course, in our crawl spaces. Conventional practices have said that you needed a layer of insulation between the crawl space or basement and the living space but I’m here to tell you that this is old and outdated method. There’s also a big issue with using fiberglass insulation as far as health hazards go and in order to properly protect your household, you need to use the right kind of insulation. There are much better options on the market but before we talk about those, let’s look at why the placement of the insulation is such an issue.
The WRONG Location
Most people put a layer of insulation of fiberglass insulation in the floor joists. Based on our experience, we believe that this is a bad idea because heat rises! When you have insulation in the joists, it prevents the heat from the crawl space from coming up through the floor. Don’t confuse this with moisture coming up – there is no moisture in a crawl space when we’re done with it – this is simply HEAT, hot air that can warm your floors so you’re not wearing three pairs of wool socks (a common problem where I live in Connecticut). If you have a layer of insulation there, the heat can’t rise up and we’ve found that this added heat will actually REDUCE your heating bills!
If you don’t know how Neutocrete works, you can read more here to discover how Neutocrete is actually an insulator on its own. But basically, once we’ve treated the dirt craw space with our patented solution, we don’t need insulation on the floor joist. We move the insulation to the exterior walls and any heat in the crawl space, heating ducts or hot water pipes can safely rise through the floor to help heat your household.
The RIGHT Location
When we’re working on a crawl space, we put insulation in the exterior walls and the Neutocrete itself goes on the dirt floor surfaces. We will put insulation in the beam ends (if you were to look at the floor structure of the box, there is an outside perimeter where we put beam end insulation in the exterior framing of the floor structure) and the exterior foundation walls. We’re not removing insulation, we’re simply moving it to the outside walls and to the floor to allow for better airflow.
Foam Board: The Right and Wrong Stuff
Most companies don’t do any insulation but if they do, they use styrofoam boards which are attached right to the concrete wall or put it in the floor joists if they do it at all. The issue with these companies is that they almost ALWAYS use the wrong kind of foam board insulation – they use the flat stuff. When they put it against the wall, it’s simply a flat surface against a flat surface so it doesn’t allow any moisture to move around if it permeates the concrete or block foundation. There’s no place for the moisture to go and as a result, condensation builds up on the inside of the foam board.
But don’t get down on foam board just yet – it has its uses and we will use it in very specific situations but when we do, we use the RIGHT kind – flex roll. Our insulation is dimpled which creates a place for that moisture to go if it does get through the foundation – with the dimples, it simply drips down behind the insulation and under the Neutocrete.
Fiberglass Insulation Hazards
Traditional fiberglass insulation is absolutely a hazard to your health and the little fibers floating around can get in your lungs and cause issues very similar to asbestos. Unfortunately, the companies that do use insulation will many times install unencapsulated fiberglass insulation which creates health hazards for home owners. Fiberglass insulation can be very effective and great for your household but only if you use the right kind.
At Neutocrete, we use something called flex roll, a different type of insulation that is formaldehyde free. While this IS fiberglass insulation, it is 100% encapsulated so there are no fibers floating around in the crawl space and no chance of any health issues.. Ninety-five percent of the time, we will use flex roll especially on concrete and block exterior walls. However, if it is a stone or brick wall, Neutocrete does the trick on its own because it is an insulator itself once it finishes the curing process!