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What to do about freezing pipes in a crawl space

Winter is a great time to watch the snow come down and cover the yard and trees. It is also time to cozy up to the fireplace. However, you also need to be concerned about the pipes in the home in colder temperatures, especially those in the crawl space. How to keep pipes from freezing in the crawl space? Clean the crawl space, check that it is sealed, and insulate the pipes. When looking to insulate your crawl space to keep your pipes from freezing, there is a recommended step-by-step process.

1. The first step is to clean your crawl space. Get rid of any damaged insulation and debris. Also, look for pest droppings and rocks that could hinger the insulation from being effective.

2. Take a look at the wooden beams and joists foundation to ensure that they are in good working condition. Any damage to the beams means they need to be replaced.

3. The walls and floor of the crawl space should be insulated by using 2.5″ rigid foam as this provides the best climate control. Also, research the many insulation products that can keep outdoor air out. This will keep your crawl space warm during winter and cool during summer.

4. Install a 20-mil vapor barrier right on top of the crawl space floor and fasten it with duct tape. This will create a barrier that can stop moisture from building up from the ground and causing flooding, mold growth, wood rot, and musty odors. In order to keep rodents away and prevent air loss you should seal all subfloor openings. To prevent heat loss and freezing use heating tape to insulate the ductwork and pipes.

5. To ensure that your floor remains warm and cozy, you can seal the opening between floor joists and walls. Additionally, if you use a local contractor, he/she will use foam insulation. Lastly, using a fiberglass batt is not recommended as they typically absorb moisture and will attract mold.

6. Using low-expansion foam allows you to block all entry points and air vents between the crawl space and conditioned space.

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