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Tmurphy

09:42AM | 12/31/03
Member Since: 12/25/02
18 lifetime posts
Bvhvac
Just got my first gas bill for the house I just bought- holy mole'!!!
I am now frantically trying to winterize, and figure out what kind of insulation I have where, and what I can upgrade easily in the middle of winter on a limited budget.

The coldest part of the house is the area directly over the crawl space. There is no insulation under the flooring, between the floor joists. I am considring putting in some type of insulation there, but am concerned that it my harbor pests and/or mositure. Some of the posts I have read here indicate thart this can be a problem. The house has some evidence for termite damage in years past, and don't want to create a new improved enviroment for them and other critters. Would some type of hard "plank" insluation be best, as opposed to batting?
what insulation is best for a crawl space to avoid moisture and critter issues?

Thanks!
Tracy in CO

Piffin

04:25PM | 01/03/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1284 lifetime posts
There are other issues involved than just insulation such as vapour barriers and possibly ventilation. What kinbd of foundation you have would influence my recommendation too. How damp is the space?

Unfortunately, a house is a system, not just a bunch of parts. All the separte items must work together to keep working.

That said, my favorite insulation is a sprayewd in foam product that deals with the vapour barrier too. It is treated with Borates to control insects and molds. Mice can make a home in any insulation.

Tmurphy

05:31AM | 01/05/04
Member Since: 12/25/02
18 lifetime posts
The original foundation is post and beam. This is also the area with the largest crawlspace. In the mid-70s a front and back addition were added. The front is concrete slab, and the back is concrete block foundation. As far as I can tell, and based on the inspection done in November there is no insulation in the crawl space.
So far the crawl space area appears dry.

I did give the attic a look over and it is insulated with about a foot of blown cellulous, with R-19 insulation in the walls.

At this point I am concentrating on caulking gaps (there are many), and getting seals behind electrcal plates on exterior walls, replacing weather srtiping on doors, plastic on windows and so on. this may be all I'll need to do.... but any additional advice you all may have is much appreciated!

Tracy in cold SW Colorado

k2

05:41AM | 01/05/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hello Tracy,

We are also experiencing the outrageous natural gas bills and a freezing house, ouch!

We put on clear "shrink wrap" film over many of the windows. I'd recommend this as it's a cheap (though temporary) solution. You can get them for just about any size window, even patio doors. The problem is that they only stay up till you're ready to open a window, then you have to take them down. So you want to do windows you won't open this winter.

The idea is to trap an airspace. These films (available at Tar-get and just about anywhere) can be shrunk to the point of near invisibility using a hair dryer. We've found that shrinking them too far causes them to work loose; so we don't shrink them much.

Every little bit helps!

Stay warm,
-k2 in CO

Tmurphy

07:47AM | 01/05/04
Member Since: 12/25/02
18 lifetime posts
Thanks K2-
Yeah, plastic on most of the windows was the first thing I did, and it really made it obvious how drafty a lot of the windows are. They are all double-paned, but that doesn't do much if there are still gaps around the windows!!! I am amazed that years of people have spent years of winters in this house and never sealed the place up better! Ah well.

I also suspect that our gas comapny (Atmos in SW CO) raised rates, as others I know in very efficient houses are complaining.


My other challenge is the master bdrm. It is essentially a south facing solarium... very neat space, but it has eleven floor to ceiling windows on three sides. And vertical blinds for window covering. Looking into getting cellular blinds, both for winter warmth and cooling in the summers. But pricey! Ouch!

I also need to pick up a new thermostat for one gas heater... it is acting up (not shutting off, inaccurate temp reading) but that is a topic for another forum!
I remember once upon a time wheh I was a renter and had free time and $... ah the memories.

Tracy (one month into home ownership!)

k2

07:59AM | 01/05/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi again Tracy,

I remember your posts when you were closing. Congratulations again, and welcome to home ownership! It has its tribulations, but it's USUALLY worth it

I think the cellular blinds are a good idea. We put some in (maybe 6 years ago) and they've been well worth what we spent. And on days like this (got to zero last night), I just leave them down all day...not much power in the sun today. I think we got ours at Costco. If there's one near you, it's definitely worth a look. They are pricey, but I think they're a good investment--and they sure do look good. Don't forget you should get many years out of them.

I know what you mean about double-paned windows not being enough. They sure seem to radiate cold to me. Even with the window film...

Definitely ask that thermostat question on the Heating forum; I bet HK will have an answer for you.

-k2.

rpxlpx

05:07AM | 01/06/04
Member Since: 03/13/00
1678 lifetime posts
To avoid moisture problems in the crawl space be sure to put down a layer of plastic on the ground. It makes a huge difference and costs little.
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