Thursday, October 15th, 2015 by Jackie Jablecki
According to the Farmer's Almanac, the winter of 2015–2016 is looking like a repeat of last winter, at least in terms of temperatures with unseasonably cold conditions over the Atlantic Seaboard.“It’s like Winter Déjà vu,” states Farmers’ Almanac editor Peter Geiger, adding “last year our bitterly cold, shivery forecasts came true in many states including the 23 eastern states that experienced one of their top-ten coldest Februarys on record. This year many of these same states may want to get a jump start now and stock up on lots of winter survival gear: sweaters, long johns, and plenty of firewood.”
If you are having a hard time remembering what the temperatures were like last year, here is a little refresher. According to the NOAA National Center for Environmental Information, last winter the regional average was much below normal. Checking in at a frigid 22 degrees for the months of December 2014 through February 2015.
Understanding and knowing the forecast for this year, it is important to take the time to make the necessary preparations and think about you could be doing to prepare your whole home. Ensuring that your home stays warm and comfortable is priority #1. Your crawl space is notorious for bringing in cold air. Almost 15% of your home’s heat can be lost through the crawl space floor.
Many crawl spaces have vents to allow for airflow designed to mitigate moisture and humidity. Studies have indicated that in some climates, crawl space ventilation can actually contributes to the moisture in the crawl space. The ventilation also allows for that cold winter air free passage under the home. The cold air makes for cold floors and could travel into your home. You wouldn’t leave a window in your home open all winter long, your crawl space shouldn’t be treated differently. On top of causing cold and discomfort, this can add to the energy inefficiency in your home. Your crawl space is an important area in your home, it houses ductwork and plumbing and grants access to repair those areas. Allowing freezing air to enter your crawl space can effect the pipes and cool down your heating system, raising your heating cost.
When making the choice to encapsulate your crawl space make sure that you include insulation. Although encapsulating ensures that outside air and moisture won’t enter the space, it doesn’t doesn’t stop heat loss through the walls and floor of your crawl space. Not all insulation is created equal. Fiberglass batts typically used in insulation are not idea for our crawl space because they absorb moisture, compress, and can fall on the crawl space floor, encouraging the growth of mold. There are other options out there for specialty insulation designed specifically for your crawl space. Speaking with trained, experienced, professional contractors like DryZone, LLC can help design a solution that fits your home’s specific needs. We recommend installing SilverGlo® rigid foam insulation against the crawl space walls and TerraBlock® foam insulation over the floor. Both of these types of insulation offer high R-value, do not absorb moisture, support mold.
SilverGlo® is a special type of insulation, infused with graphite to improve insular ability by 24%. SliverGlo® insulation is versatile and effective; we can be customized for special projects or local code requirements. On the surface, the silver radiant heat barrier provides an insulation rating of R-11 on your crawl space walls. Ideal for cold winters and for hot summer. TerraBlock® is specifically designed and installed on the floor of your crawl space. This insulation is able to be installed on uneven crawl space floors. TerraBlock® has a white vapor barrier that keeps moisture from enter through the dirt, stone or concrete. Insulation is just one part to a complete the finishing of your crawl space. Finishing and protecting your crawl space give you additional storage under your home without fear that moisture and critters will destroy your belongings.
Insulation and finishing your crawl space also saves homeowners an average of 15-18% on their energy costs. And did you know that your local utility company may offer rebates for a professional insulation projects. Make sure to contact your utility company before beginning a project to see what incentives are available in your area. You may also be eligible for financial assistance to make improvements to your crawl space through your state's Weatherization Assistance Program.
Working with a qualified contractor like DryZone will insure your home is safe, healthy, and warm not just through the winter but for years and years. Call us to set up a free no obligation assessment of your home. We can recommend the best system to make sure you are prepared for this winter and winters to come.