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Thermal Insulation 101 – Learn the Basics Before You Apply It

What’s the Benefit of Thermal Insulation?

Is your furnace running full blast, but you still have cold floors during the winter? And do you have a similar problem with constantly running your AC in the summertime to try to stay comfortable? The problem could be your crawl space. Most energy problems in Columbia, SC, homes emanate from the crawl space. While waterproofing is a viable solution, thermal insulation is the key to a comfortable and energy-efficient home.

A properly designed and installed insulation system provides immediate and lasting benefits to your home. Not only does it protect the structural integrity of your home, but it also creates optimal indoor temperatures while potentially slashing energy costs by 25-50%.

What is Thermal Insulation?

Thermal insulation is the process endorsed to prevent heat transfer between the inside and outside of your home. The most common types of materials used for thermal insulation include fiberglass, cellulose, and mineral wool. Another type applied by many contractors is a rigid panel made of expanded polystyrene. These insulation materials sit on the walls of your home or crawl space and act as barriers between outdoor and indoor temperatures. They trap the heat inside and block external conditions from affecting your indoors. By doing so, these barriers manage temperature levels inside your home and reduce your dependence on your HVAC system to harmonize temperatures.

How is it Different from Normal Insulation?

Unlike normal insulation material, thermal insulation is designed to keep your home dry, weatherproof, and fire-resistant, all the while keeping out noise. It reflects heat back into the crawl space, thereby conserving it.

How Thermal Insulation Works

When left exposed to rapid temperature changes, the walls of your crawl space expand and contract, leading to cracks. When cracks form, your crawl space becomes prone to high moisture levels, which makes this area damp. This creates a perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow as well as pests to breed.

Although thermal insulation doesn’t directly protect your crawl space from flooding, it can keep the walls, and subsequently your foundation, from cracking. Wondering how?

Thermal insulation creates a thick barrier on your walls, helping you control temperatures inside your home. This barrier shields your walls from consistent temperature changes that cause cracks in walls. Water, moisture and heat cannot seep through the walls and into your crawl space.

If you are wondering how you will gain from using thermal insulation in your crawl space, here is how.

Benefits of Thermal Insulation

Prevents Condensation

When condensation occurs, you will start seeing grey spots on the walls, which are usually a sign of mold and dust particles. External thermal insulation prevents condensation by ensuring temperatures inside the crawl space do not fall below the critical condensation point.

Reduces Moisture Levels

When your crawl space walls are not insulated, cold vapor from outside seeps in and condenses on the walls. The high moisture content in your crawl space can lead to warping, peeling wall paints, and mold growth. Thermal insulation provides an appropriate prevention measure against this phenomenon. It protects the exterior of your home from temperature stress, reducing the possibility of cracks that allow water to seep into your crawl space.

Durable and Longer-Lasting Buildings

Since thermal insulation reduces heat movement and vapor condensation, it helps prevent the weakening of your crawl space and foundation walls. It also helps prevent mold, humidity, freezing, and structural problems like bowing and buckling of walls. Your building automatically enjoys an extended life and increased stability, thanks to the thermal insulation.

Reduces Energy Consumption

The HVAC system is designed to maintain a steady indoor temperature that is desirable to the inhabitants. It does this by preventing heat loss to the environment. Thermal insulation reduces the loss of temperature to external areas. So, your HVAC system doesn’t have to work overtime to maintain optimal indoor temperatures, significantly reducing your energy bill.

So, Does Thermal Insulation Keep My Crawl Space Dry?

Unfortunately, thermal insulation alone will not keep your space dry. Therefore, we highly recommend that you invest in additional waterproofing solutions like a vapor barrier, sump pump installation, and interior drainage systems. Combining these solutions helps you eliminate dampness in your crawl space and works to protect your foundation from outdoor weather.

We Can Seal and Insulate Your Crawl Space!

At Mount Valley Foundation Services, we have qualified crawl space professionals who provide custom thermal insulation for crawl spaces. We’ve been helping Columbia, SC, residents keep their homes and crawl spaces warm and dry since 1986.   To get started, contact us to request a free crawl space inspection and quote today!