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Home Maintenance Tip: Install Fallen Fiberglass Insulation in your Crawl Space

Posted on October 03, 2014

When inspecting your crawl space as part of routine home maintenance, it is important to check for fallen fiberglass insulation. Insulation keeps your floors warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Insulation also increases energy efficiency that will decrease your utility bills.

In crawl spaces, fiberglass batt insulation is often used to insulate the floors. It comes either in precut lengths or on a roll and is cut during installation. The way that fiberglass insulation is installed can positively or negatively affect the insulating value or R-value of the insulation. The insulation should be in direct contact with the surface to be insulated and should not be compressed.

There are many reasons why insulation batts may fall. They may not have been installed well when the house was built. There are often areas where the insulation may not fit well. In addition, building materials expand and contract with changes in temperature causing the wire fasteners and insulation to not hold.

When installing the fallen fiberglass insulation batts, follow these guidelines:

  • Wear a safety mask, eye goggles, clothing that covers the entire body, some type of hat or head covering and gloves. Without this protection, fibers can cause itchy eyes and a scratchy throat. When the job is done, wash your clothes separately from other clothes.
  • Fit the insulation batts in between the floor joists smoothing them out so that they don’t bunch and cover the entire subfloor space. If the insulation is paper-backed, the paper side should be adjacent to the subfloor.
  • Use stiff wire fasteners sometimes called “tiger teeth” to hold the insulation in place.
  • Bow the fasteners upward lightly compressing the insulation so that it remains in contact with the subfloor, but not compressed so much that the R-value is compromised.
  • Install fasteners 6” from the end of each batt and no more than 24” apart.
  • Cut the wire fasteners to fit if your floor joists are not evenly spaced apart, you may need to cut the wire fasteners to fit.
  • Purchase insulation and cut batts to the correct size if any batts are too small for the openings.

Sometimes insulation batts fall because there is too much moisture in the crawl space. If your insulation continues to fall over time and seems damp or wet, you may have a problem with moisture in your crawl space. In this case, you will need to call in the professionals to develop a strategy to reduce moisture in your crawl space.

 

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