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Insulation in crawlspace


mdenisem's Avatar
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01-23-03, 02:14 PM   #1  
mdenisem
Insulation in crawlspace

It's freezing in Maryland and I just learned my crawlspace has no or inadequate insulation. This crawlspace has less than three feet clearance. Should I:
1. 'weather' the cold snap and insulate this spring or summer? I was told prices will come down by then.
2. allow the contractor who is willing to work 'off the books' to perform the task? Otherwise I have to wait three weeks or more for a service call.
3. should I use R19 or R30 in this space?

I thought I could do this job myself but I admit I am not willing to risk doing a poor job under abysmal conditions.
By the by, this area does not usually experience sub-zero weather for this lenght of time.

 
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01-24-03, 07:10 AM   #2  
R-19 should be adequate for your area. The way insulation is installed in your area in a crawl space is the vapor barrier goes up against the 1st floor. Which means you cannot staple the insulation to the joists, which most people do, which is wrong. The easiest way to install crawl space insulation is to use joist hangers. The are metal bars that resemble coat hangers. They are a little bit longer than the width between the joist and have sharp ends. Push the insulation with the vapor barrier up towards the 1st floor and then push one of the joist hangers under the insulation to hold it in place every 3 to 4 feet.

If the crawl space floor is dirt, then cover it with a moisture barrier, like a 6 mil plastic sheet. This will prevent moisture in the dirt from evaporating under the home.

 
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01-24-03, 08:05 AM   #3  
mdenisem
Thanks for your quick response. I answered my own question about using the contractor off the books but what are your thoughts about a price differential in service now (in three+ weeks) and later in the year?

 
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01-24-03, 11:33 AM   #4  
As a contractor, my price for work changed depending on how busy I was. Scheduling work and keeping my people busy consumed the majority of my time. If a job did not interfere with other work I was doing or scheduled work that was to be performed and at the same time it kept my people busy, I was very accomodating when it came to price. On the other hand, if work was not forth coming and the work was in high demand, I charge what the market could bear. Every contractor goes through similar cycles. It's hot one day, cold the next. This is why it's good to get several estimates. Many of us bid on the same projects, but only one of us gets the contract.

 
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02-05-03, 02:44 PM   #5  
mdenisem
Thanks again for your helpful response. I'm not having great luck getting a contractor. There are just a handful of insulators in the phone book and they are either busy or not interested in this particular nightmare.

All the best to you.

 
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02-05-03, 08:12 PM   #6  
Check with your local gas and/or electric company, especially the energy conservation center. They might have a lists of contractors that do that type of work or know some one who can help you.

 
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