Proper Crawl Space Insulation


Old 08-05-04, 08:34 AM
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Proper Crawl Space Insulation

Recently purchased a Home in N.E. Penn. and have in the crawl space no vapor barrier on floor and 1/4" foam attached to floor joist (crawl space ceiling) which isn't in great shape...holes, missing pieces. I do have vents and windows open in crawl space.
Ny question: What is the proper way to insulate this space?
Seems to be alot of different opinions on using vapor barrier over dirt floor and putting insulation between joist with vapor barrier side toward subflooring.
Some say this will trap moisture in crawl space????? How!
Please help in letting me know proper method of insulating and decreasing moisture.
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Old 08-06-04, 06:23 PM
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No Difference in Opinion

There is no difference of opinion in Pennsylvania regarding insulating basements or crawl spaces as of July 9th when our Statewide mandatory building code (2003 International Residential Code of the ICC) took effect and described in detail manadatory standards for energy efficiency for all homes in Pa including how to properly insulate a crawl space.

The fact is, that your dirt floor MUST be covered with at least a single layer of 6 mil plastic sheeting with at least 1 foot overlaps sealed and or taped....and since NE Pennsylvania has areas of high Radon infiltration, you should test your home for Radon and normally install at least 4 inches of concrete over the plastic to prevent Radon infiltration.

For crawlspaces, you need to have at least an R-38 in the crawlspace ceiling in Luzerne, Monroe, Carbon and Pike counties... or a minimum of R-49 in crawlspace ceilings in Wyoming, Tioga, Susquehanna, Bradford, or Wayne counties.

Crawlspace walls need to be at least R-20 in all of NE Pennsylvania with insulation beginning at the top of the floor above and continuing down the crawlspace wall at least 2 feet below grade or when the floor is above grade, continuing at least 2 feet in from the crawlspace wall laid directly on top of the 6 mil plastic or concrete floor.

Paper facing on the insulation should be up toward the living space above for the ceiling of the crawlspace.

Paper facing should be in toward the crawlspace if placed in the walls.

Since Pennsylvania energy codes have become standardized as of July 9, 2004, you can verify this informatiom with your local or any building code official within the State.

And for what it's worth, I am a Pennsylvania builder and also in the process of gaining certification as a Pennsylvania State licensed redidential building inspector...

If you need additional info or your county is not represented above, write me at [email protected]

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