Insulating a crawl space can present a problem due to lack of space in which to work. You will likely want to install up to three types of insulation in this space---insulation tape around pipes, insulated foam tubing around the pipes and rolls of insulation installed in front of and behind those pipes. If you follow a logical thought process to simplify your experience, you can minimize space issues.
Prepare The Work Area
Prepare first by crawling into all areas and making sure you have a relative amount of comfort: remove any sharp objects in your work area such as garden tools or jagged rocks. If necessary, run an extension cord to provide an adequate light source.
Take Tools and Materials to First Location
Be methodical in your approach by taking all tools and materials with you to the first location you are going to work.
Install Tape and Foam Tubes First
Begin by placing insulation tape and foam tubes on the pipes. This installation logically should come first because the pipes will be hard to reach once you place wall insulation around them for extra insurance against freezing. Additionally, when insulating pipes you should use tape prior to foam tubing, again for ease of installation.
Measure and Cut Tape and Foam Tubes Inside Crawl Space
Take the tools needed, which include a roll of plastic insulation tape, foam insulation tubes, a tradesman's knife and tape measure, with you when entering the crawl space. It will be easier to measure, cut and install while you're in the crawl space, rather than doing it outside, then crawling back in with the material for installation.
Applying Wall Insulation
Check with your local permit office to ensure that you have the correct "R" value for your area before installing the wall insulation in your crawl space. You can save time if you keep in mind that you will cut two pieces of insulation to the same size if planning to apply insulation both in front of and behind the pipes.
Be Patient, Take Breaks
Throughout the entire process, remember that working in crawl spaces takes more time than usual work, and consider the job to be a marathon rather than a sprint. Be patient with yourself, and don't be afraid to take breaks.
- "Home Improvement 1-2-3"; Benjamin W. Allen, Christopher Cavanaugh; 1995
- Photo Credit green insulation tape image by green308 from Fotolia.com
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