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princelake 01-12-2013 05:31 PM

insulating crawl space
my house is on concrete piers and has a crappy plywood skirting going around it. the area under my kitchen and bathroom is insulated and pipes wrapped with heat lines. i want to get heating costs down and keep my place cooler in the summer. i want to find out what is the correct way of insulating my crawl space. the space is abut 2' high with dirt and plastic laid on top.
now i hear of people putting insulation inbetween the floor joists then adding chicken wire to keep out big critters. but theres no real way of putting vapour barrier on it because you cant put vapour barrier on the cold side. so not being able to put vapour barrier it then the batt insulation will get wet from moisture and that would just get nasty. or should i put house wrap on it so it can breathe and keep moisture out.
or do i just insulate floor joist spaces vapour barrier that and then attach ridgid foam to my skirting so its insulated like a basement with no insulation in the floor joists?
im planning on replacing my crappy skirting with pressure treated plywood then getting a stone looking vinyl siding so it looks like a stone skirting going around and since im down there insulate it to.

joecaption 01-12-2013 07:02 PM

Need to go back and add your location to your profile for better ansewers.

princelake 01-12-2013 09:05 PM

ontario canada

joecaption 01-12-2013 09:13 PM

If there's a vaper barrier why is there still a moisture issue?

First thing to do is air seal any holes where plumbing and wiring was run with expanding foam.
If there's a moisture issue this really needs to be addressed. It can cause all kinds of issues.
From rusted duct work, shortens the life of the plumbing, cause mold and fungus to form to name a few.
May have to go with blue foam instead of fiberglass.

princelake 01-12-2013 09:33 PM

ya i had a couple of mice this past spring went down there and spray foamed the crap out of any type of hole possible. nothing leaks, its sandy so theres never a standing water issue and theres no duct work under there. my heat is electric and a pellet stove. i figure with a warm floor and cold air you get moisture no? and i was always told vapour barrier goes on the warm side of a wall but we are talking floors so im assuming its the same thing. if i do put insulation in the joists what R rating is recommended? and i've thought about the "blue" foam(all the spray foam i've seen in houses here is orange, im sure its not different)

pro handyman 01-12-2013 10:42 PM

I would recommend putting blue foam around perimeter behind skirting. also if you have critter problem fill holes with steel wool then fill with spray foam.

princelake 01-13-2013 08:52 AM

thanks pro handyman thats what i figured was the correct way. it was the way i was planning on doing this spring but i was at a job on friday and the house was the same type as mine but they had a sewer back up and had to get their crawl space pumped and everything fixed down below. There was an engineer there and she was saying you have to insulate the floor joists then vapour barrier it but you always vapour barrier the warm side so i started questioning what planned to do.

jagans 01-13-2013 09:47 AM

Is this a typical way to build in Ontario? I am assuming that it gets very cold where you live. You have basically a bridge condition, where cold air can travel under your home and remove heat there.

Be that as it may, I think what I would do is put down a heavy poly sheet under the house on the dirt, Form at the base and flood a slurry coat of lightweight insulating concrete with EPS embeded to form a floor. I would then remove the forms, and use Dow Lightguard T&G insulation vertically around the perimeter, gunning sealant into the Groove. You could then use the basement space as a Plenum chamber.

Lightweight Insulating Concrete is a roofing product, but I think it would work well here.

princelake 01-13-2013 11:33 AM

its not really a typical way to build here in ontario but my place was originally a camp so its done a little cheaper and camp like. yes it does get cold here there are times it get down to -30F. There is already a heavy poly sheet on the dirt. and wouldnt any type of concrete be pretty pricey? and the light weight insulating concrete? is that a type of concrete they pour on flat roof on buildings? and the dow lightguard T&G is that just a different brand of dense styrofoam?

Gary in WA 01-13-2013 02:32 PM

If you f.b. the walls, you need to condition (air changes) the crawlspace;

OR; Which would stop the air infiltration, moisture to the joists and the radiation coupling.


princelake 01-14-2013 06:37 PM

thanks for the links gary

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