Insualting your Crawlspace
LESLIE: Cathy in Washington, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?CATHY: Yes, I had put in a laminate flooring in my kitchen and my dining room about four or five years ago and it’s ice cold in the winter. And I know that – we have a crawlspace under the house, so what do I put under the house maybe to keep the cold from coming up into my dining room and kitchen laminate flooring?LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you can get under there? You’ve got no problem? You’re not squeamish or afraid of what might be lurking under there? (Tom chuckles)CATHY: Oh, I am squeamish but I’m going to have my boyfriend do it. (Leslie chuckles)TOM: Ah, there you go.CATHY: We know where the crawlspace is. He’s going to do; I’m not doing it. (Tom chuckles)LESLIE: Good, good, good. You can easily insulate that floor by going into your crawlspace and getting those fiberglass batts; you know, get the appropriate width for the area in between those joists. And then what you would do is you need to get – are they wire hangers or like clips, Tom? What are they called officially?TOM: Yeah, they’re insulation hangers and you want to make sure you use unfaced fiberglass batts; no foil, no paper facing.CATHY: OK.LESLIE: So you would roll those batts in between those joists and then use those little clips to attach the insulation itself up to that floor surface from below. And then what you want to do is, to control moisture under there, is you want to get the biggest pieces you can of viscuine; it’s sort of like a plastic vapor barrier.CATHY: I’ve heard about that.LESLIE: And you want to get big pieces; lay that out on that dirt floor and when you get to a point where you need to do a joint, don’t butt them up to one another but overlap them by three feet, if you can. So get as wide of pieces as you can so that you’re dealing with limited joints there.And then you want to control the moisture on the outside of your house by looking at your gutters and your downspouts. You know, make sure that the downspouts are clean and that they’re depositing the water four feet away from your house; further if you can. You want to look at the grading and make sure that all the soil slopes away from the house; everything that you can do to control the moisture will keep that area dry and keep the insulation dry, which will keep it working.CATHY: Perfect. OK, we’re going to get that done hopefully then. Yeah.TOM: Alright, Cathy, that’ll keep your tootsies nice and warm this winter.LESLIE: Can ditch those heavy socks.CATHY: Thank you very much.TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.