Crawlspace Insulation

errodrJune 7, 2012

I made an offer on a house and it was accepted, I then had an inspection and then presented a request for repairs. Once of the items found during the inspection was a small bit of mold in the crawlspace so I asked the seller to have the mold mitigated.

The seller has received several quotes from mold mitigation companies, all of which propose to remove the fiber insulation from between the floor joists and NOT replace it.

Is this common or a good idea? I am in the southeast US where it gets very humid. I have not heard of this practice before.

Thanks...

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sylviatexas1

I don't know what the current thinking is on this, since nearly every house is now built on a slab foundation here.

When I grew up in north central Texas (Dallas/Ft Worth area), which is also hot & humid, all our houses were pier & beam, & none of the floors was insulated.

Part of this is no doubt due to the fact that many houses didn't have insulation at all, but when humid air isn't trapped under your house, you don't get mold.

Our houses had wire grids over the circulation ducts (open spaces in the underpinning, & that may not be the right name for them), & during the winter months, my father put metal covers over the wire grids to keep the cold air out.

He removed the metal covers when the weather warmed up.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 7:17PM
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sylviatexas1

You might post on the Old House Forum.

Best luck!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 6:13PM
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kirkhall

I'd ask an energy expert in your area what is recommended. It could be that crawl insulation isn't okay in your area.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:56AM
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word_doc

When we bought our current home, we had a lot of repairs done to the crawlspace. One of the first things to go was the nasty, disgusting insulation. It was full of mold and the thinking at the time (2006) was that it was unnecessary and unhelpful in terms of energy savings. We did not have it replaced. It was adding to the moisture problem that crawlspaces can inherently get. I think they put down a thick sheet of poly on the ground when they took out the gross insulation.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 4:38PM
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rrah

There is a company in this area, midwest, that conditions crawlspaces. We do have pretty humid summers. One of the reasons behind this work is mold. The company removes the insulation. Because this is the midwest, they do typically add vents to any HVAC ducts in the crawlspace so that the crawl space is heated/cooled. The additional heating/cooling costs are minimal and help keep the air moving, etc. A proper layer of pea gravel is laid down. Heavy duty poly sheets are also added. The work I've seen is "beautiful." I've seen nasty, moldy crawlspaces converted into clean, breathable crawlspaces. I've also seen crawlspaces with dehumidifiers to get rid of some of the moisture.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:58PM
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errodr

Thanks for all of the replies. I have consulted some experts and it seems that removing and NOT replacing is the new way to do things...

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 10:00AM
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ncrealestateguy

errodr... please elaborate as to what the experts told you. I can not believe that having crawlspace insulation contributes to any moisture problem.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 9:35PM
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ottawavalleygardener

I realize the OP is in a southern locale, but for much of the US, and Canada, insulation is necessary, and spray foam (polyurethane foam insulation) is great for a crawlspace. I recently had it done for a crawlspace under a master bedroom addition.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 7:52AM
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Marc12345

I think it depends on what else is being done. When I looked into crawl space encapsulation they similarly removed and would not replace insulation floor joist insulation. But they either used a vapor barrier with an R value and/or they insulated the walls instead of the floor joist. I'm also in the Southeast.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 11:13AM
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ncrealestateguy

I am in Charlotte, NC, and just built my home 4 years ago. It does have crawl space insulation, as do all the new homes here.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 8:22AM
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