How to Replace Crawl Space Insulation

There are various reasons why you may need to replace crawl space insulation. Over time, crawl space insulation can start to fail and will need replacing. Crawl space insulation can become damaged due to moisture or the presence of rodents. There are other factors which can cause damage, though these are the most common. Replacing the insulation is not a particularly difficult job and there is nothing particularly advanced about it. However, it does require working in a tight space which you may not be comfortable with. Doing the job yourself will easily save you a ton of money.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Rolls of insulation
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Staples and staple gun
  • Wire hangers
  • Measuring tape
  • Utility knife
  • Gloves
  • Face mask
  • Safety glasses

Step 1 – Make Preparations

Determine the complete area of the crawl space so you will know how many square feet of insulation you will need to buy. Measure the length and width of the crawl space and multiply these two figures together to get the area of the crawl space. Determine the thickness of the insulation that you need. If the previous installation was adequate, then simply go for the same thickness as that of the insulation you are replacing.

Step 2 – Remove the Old Insulation

Insulating wool is made of irritable materials, so for comfort and safety, you should wear safety gear. Get into the crawl space and start removing the existing insulation. Try to take it up in long sections, rolling it up as you go. This will be much more convenient and make it easier to dispose of.

Step 3 – Install the New Insulation

You should already know the length of the crawl space from step 1. Apply this length to the new roll of insulation and cut the excess off. Ideally, the lengths of insulation will fit perfectly into the crawl space one they have been cut. It is best to have one section of insulation for the length of the crawl space if this is possible. Pack the insulation tightly into the crawl space, making sure that the edge is firmly against the joists at the end. Attach the roll of insulation in place using heavy duty half-inch staples and a staple gun. Finally, install the wire hangers, starting from one end and working your way towards the other. The wire hangers should span the section between the joists and be attached with staples. Installing them every couple of feet will help to keep the insulation in place.

Step 4 – Install the Plastic Sheeting

The plastic sheeting should be cut to the right size using a utility knife. It should cover the insulation entirely. It will then need to be stapled to the joists. Each section of the plastic sheeting should overlap the other by about eight inches. It should also drape down the sides of the walls by one foot. This plastic sheeting will act as a waterproof barrier, protecting your insulation much longer.