09:04AM | 07/31/18
Member Since: 07/31/18
2 lifetime posts

I live in the Northeast and have a crawlspace on the side of the house below a bathroom and small family room. Both rooms have a steam radiator to keep the rooms warm, but they cool off much more quickly in the winter. During the winter, the floors of the bathroom get very cold and the water is cold even though the pipes are insulated in the crawlspace. The crawlspace is completely enclosed with cinder blocks and no vents. There is a vapor barrier on the floor. It is fully dry, but does have a slight musty smell in the summer.

The contractor that did the bathroom added additional R-19 insulation to the ceiling of the crawlspace, but it did not make much of a difference this past winter. I'm trying to get this fixed before winter arrives.

I have contacted two contractors who have totally different suggestions on how to proceed:

CONTRACTOR #1: Add spray foam to the outside walls to fill in the cracks and prevent the cold air from entering the crawl space.

CONTRACTOR #2: Initially suggested removing the R-11 and R/19 batt insulation in the crawl space ceiling and replace it with new batt R-19 batt insulation on rods. Currently, there is both the original layer (R-11) and the new layer (R-19) and the cold air is being trapped which is why my floors are cold and can lead to mold. After I suggested foam boards on the wall, he called his supervisor and suggested foam boards as well. No spray foam because it contains toxins and is not recommended. The price was nearly 4 times the cost of contractor #1.

Any advice on how to proceed. My goal is to make the floors warmer in the winter. If I missed anything in my post, let me know.

Thank you for any assistance.


07:35PM | 07/31/18
There is only one proper way to insulate a crawl space and that is a conditioned crawl. Insulate the joist ends and walls. The foam board option isn’t the best, but if done super meticulously, can work. A closed cell spray foam conditioned crawl, is by far, your best option.


10:41AM | 08/02/18
Thank you for your reply. I am actually going the close spray foam route. I have it down to two vendors.

Is there a major difference in the spray forms. One is recommended Lapolla Foam-Lok and the other is Handi-Foam. The would do 2 inches on all walls and 2-4 inches on the ceiling of the crawl space.

Thank you


11:15PM | 08/04/18
Not the handi foam guy. Handi foam comes in portable kits and is primarily used for touch ups. It also doesn’t have the same vapor barrier properties as the lapolla.
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