Homes in the Fargo, Bismarck, St. Paul, and Minneapolis areas must combat the heat and humidity of our region. What this means is outfitting a crawl space with proper insulation that will stand the test of time.
Maintaining a comfortable home in summer and winter relies on insulating a crawl space correctly. Old or inferior insulation can cause more problems as it degrades and absorbs moisture. Certain pests, like rats and cockroaches, will even be drawn to old fiberglass insulation.
Fiberglass insulation is known for terrible degradation. At a certain age, this type of insulation will absorb moisture and grow mold. Beyond creating an unsanitary situation below the house, this lowers the indoor air quality. Mold, mildew, and pests all release contaminants into the air that cause allergic reactions, headaches, and irritation.
Protect Your Home with ExTremeBloc™
Our ExTremeBloc™ crawl space insulation keeps your crawl space dry and free of moisture in many ways, and it’s all because of its superior design. It is this advanced design that allows crawl spaces to become energy-efficient powerhouses, even in deep winter.
ExTremeBloc™ has two major components: a durable foam body and a radiant barrier embedded with graphite particles. The foam body is strong enough to remain intact over time, meaning that it won’t tear during services and cleaning. The radiant barrier is also extremely durable, so you don’t have to worry about either piece of the ExTremeBloc™ barrier coming apart.
Retain and Resist Heat
In the winter, you want to keep heat in your home, while in the summer, you want to keep heat outside your home as much as possible. Is there a way to do that? It turns out, the radiant barrier of ExTremeBloc™ can do both. During the winter, your home will be protected from the cold, and during the summer, your home will retain the cold inside.
Moisture in your crawl space can lead to mold, mildew, wood rot, musty odors, and general issues with your home’s structure. However, ExTremeBloc™ can effectively repel moisture in the crawl space. That means you’re much less likely to deal with issues regarding your home’s moisture content, especially if you pair ExTremeBloc™ with CrawlSeal™ and CrawlDrain™ products.
If there’s one thing pests love, it’s water. Removing water with the ExTremeBloc™ product will be an extremely helpful way to avoid pests, but the product by itself can also help you deter pests. The ExTremeBloc™ crawl space insulation includes integrated termiticide, so you can worry about pests a little bit less.
Replace Poor-Quality Fiberglass Insulation
Most homes have fiberglass insulation in the crawl space if they have any foundation at all. While fiberglass insulation may be the right choice inside your home, it’s regularly a huge problem in your crawl space. Once it becomes wet from crawl space humidity, it can become a food source for mold, attract pests, and lose its insulative abilities, sometimes even becoming a conductive material.
Signs That Your Insulation Needs Replacing
There are five major signs that homeowners can watch to monitor the health of their crawl space insulation. Older homes especially need to conduct twice-yearly inspections, as many homes more than a few decades old contain inferior insulation.
If you aren’t sure what your insulation is, be aware that older homes can contain vermiculite insulation. This product is contaminated with asbestos and should only be handled by professionals with the necessary safety equipment. If you need help identifying your crawl space’s insulation, give us a call to book a free inspection.
One of the signs of failing crawl space insulation that commonly triggers homeowners to inspect this area is spiking humidity levels. Unfortunately, crawl spaces are perfect environments for trapping humid air and moisture. Eventually, this dampness escapes into the home itself, either everywhere or in isolated rooms.
If your crawl space has an open-earth floor, then vapor barriers are the ideal way to stop moisture from evaporating into the space.
High Energy Usage
Combating rising humidity levels usually means running your air conditioner for longer periods of time. A high energy bill at the end of each month is the result. Not only can the excessive bill be a blow to the wallet, but it’s also a sign that your home isn’t effectively keeping the heat outside.
The same can be said for trying to keep your home comfortably warm in winter. Keep a close eye on the temperature gradients in your home and when your energy usage peaks.
Experiencing unexplained musty odors in the home? Then it may be coming up from your crawl space. Dark, damp environments are where organisms like mold and mildew thrive. As an initial growth becomes a cluster and then a colony, a tangible smell may begin to spread into the home. This is due to how these organisms spread by releasing spores into the air. Warm currents catch these spores and carry them into the living spaces.
If you or your family have experienced respiratory distress, like breathing difficulties or irritation of the nose and throat, they may be having an allergic reaction.
Pests love finding dark, warm places to nest. Crawl spaces, both without insulation and with deteriorating insulation, are attractive homes for pests, including rats, snakes, cockroaches, raccoons, and other little critters.
Evidence that you’ve got a pest problem include unpleasant smells, sounds of movement (think skittering and scuttling), droppings, and chewed wires. This latter one is particularly dangerous, as damaged wiring is an electrical hazard that can cause injuries and house fires.
We recommend having an exterminator remove any pests from your crawl space before having it retrofitted with new insulation. ExTremeBloc™ insulation is effective at deterring pests too.
Wood rot is a fungus that rapidly develops in crawl spaces with moisture control problems. Any sign of wood rot is a concern, as it will eventually lessen the integrity of any infected wooden structures.
Alongside a damp, musty odor, you can look for a few visual signs of wood rot. These include decayed or crumbling sections of timber, patches of spore dust, and small mushroom bodies.
- Two-inch thick foam
- Compatible with CrawlSeal™ and CrawlDrain™ products
- R-11 value
- Radiant barrier
- Integrated termiticide deters termites and pests
Installing Crawl Space Insulation
Not only will we install ExTremeBloc™, but we will also remove your old insulation in the same job. We provide complete solutions and always aim to ensure that your crawl space is as protected as it can possibly be.
Once on site, our technicians will measure out your crawl space and cut ExTremeBloc™ panels to size and begin installation. In most cases, installation jobs take only a day from start to finish. Of course, should old insulation need to be removed prior to installation, this will extend the length of the job.
Why DIY Isn’t Actually Going to Save Money
It is always tempting to source DIY methods for installing insulation in a crawl space. ExTremeBloc™ installation may appear simple enough to become a DIY task. However, our technicians have valuable experience that makes for a world of difference and minimizes mistakes.
Here’s why hiring professionals is the right course. Our experts:
- Are experienced in insulation installation.
- Have the necessary safety equipment.
- Know exactly how to prepare ExTremeBloc™ for installation.
- Install insulation effectively so moisture and pests are kept out.
One thing we have seen repeatedly is when DIY goes wrong, fixing the mistake often costs more than the original job would have.
At Innovative Basement Authority, we provide obligation-free quotes upon request, and always aim to supply cost-effective solutions. Book your free inspection today to learn more.
Crawl Space Insulation
Unprotected crawl spaces cause several uncomfortable problems for residents. Crawl spaces without insulation are known to cause problems due to a phenomenon called the stack effect.
- The Stack Effect
The stack effect is when the air temperature inside the house is different from that outside the house. The differing air buoyancy between these two temperatures causes exterior air to be drawn inside through the crawl space.
To explain, warm air rises and cold air drops. In summer, the warm, humid air outside the home is drawn in through the crawl space. Once inside, the warmer air rises and forces the cooler air down. In winter, the colder air outside invades the crawl space and forces the warm interior air toward the ceiling.
This is the stack effect, where the different air temperatures stack on top of each other inside a living space. It may not sound like a problem, but the stack effect does trigger a few issues within the home.
- Higher Energy Bills
The Fargo, Bismarck, St. Paul, and Minneapolis areas see a drastic change in temperature throughout the year. Winters are cold and summers are hot. During these seasons, you will more than likely be using heating or cooling solutions, like furnaces and air conditioners.
The thing is, when your crawl space isn’t insulated or encapsulated properly, this temperature-controlled air gets pushed out of your living space. Cold air in summer is pushed down into the crawl space, and warm air in winter is pushed into the ceiling. To compensate for this, you burn more fuel and energy to keep the indoor temperature at comfortable levels.
What this results in is a much higher energy bill. From month to month, this can add up to hundreds of dollars added to your energy bills throughout the year.
- Polluted Indoor Air Quality
A significant percentage of the air in your home passes through the crawl space. Crawl spaces that are not protected from water and humidity rapidly develop problems with mold, mildew, and pests. These organisms thrive in damp conditions, and warm, dank crawl spaces are an ideal home for them.
Cockroaches are known for infesting unprotected crawl spaces.
What these organisms do is release spores and allergens into the air. These particles contaminate the air you and your family breathe, causing allergic reactions and triggering hay fever. Severe reactions, or heavy contaminations, can even spark headaches, breathing difficulties, or irritation of the eyes, mouth, nose, and throat.
These are just two ways that a crawl space without insulation can impact your home. Protecting your family from such contaminants means having your crawl space insulated and encapsulated.
The choice to insulate your crawl space is certainly a step in the right direction. But is it enough? It can be if you live in a dry area that rarely experiences humidity. Innovative Basement Authority uses ExTremeBloc™ for crawl space insulation, which can be a stand-alone solution. For complete protection, especially for areas with frequent rainfall and flooding issues, there are other solutions you can consider.
All the below solutions are compatible with both our own insulation services and your existing insulation.
- Drainage Matting and Interior Drains
Drainage mattering and an interior drainage system are great ways to combat water and prevent it from pooling in the crawl space. These systems capture water and funnel it toward your sump pump.
- Crawl Space Sump Pump
A crawl space sump pump can be a useful thing if your area or your crawl space often deals with flooding events, or if your plumbing often springs leaks. These pumps forcefully discharge water that has been gathered by your crawl space interior drainage system.
- Vent Covers
Vent covers are a necessity in many homes. This is because only a few decades ago, it was thought that an open ventilation system would be beneficial to a home. It would allow fresh air to circulate through the crawl space and keep it dry. Now we know that the opposite is true. Thankfully, fixing the problem is a quick, simple, and cost-effective job of placing airtight vent covers over these vents.
- Vapor Barriers
A vapor barrier is essential for a fully protected, insulated, and encapsulated crawl space. This barrier transforms a crawl space into a hygienic, energy-efficient area by keeping out water, pests, and humidity.
Our CrawlSeal™ barrier is a 20-mil thick poly-blend lining with a 25-year warranty against rips and tears. Innovative Basement Authority uses only long-lasting solutions that keep your crawl space clean and free of problems.
- A Sum of The Total
Installing ExTremeBloc™ insulation on its own may be the ideal way to protect your crawl space. But for the ultimate protection, Innovative Basement Authority is more than happy to create a custom complete crawl space repair solution.
Book Your Free Estimate Today
ExTremeBloc™ is the ultimate solution for crawl space insulation. This style of insulation protects your home, keeps pests and moisture out of your home and crawl space, lowers your energy usage, and helps maintain a comfortable living space.
Innovative Basement Authority is always ready to help homeowners in the Fargo, Bismarck, St. Paul, and Minneapolis areas. Get in touch with our experts for a free inspection and repair quote, and take the first step in protecting your crawl space today. It’s never too late to upgrade your home with Innovative Basement Authority’s crawl space experts.
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