How to Insulate Your Crawlspace & Exterior Walls

by birtanpublished on September 8, 2020

Today we're insulating 150 year old building on a crawlspace and it's nasty stay with us ah wow you got to love really good quality safety here listen I get a lot of people asking me on their Channel

How come you don't use this where's your mask I got the Goering folks that's just that on camera is very difficult to talk well I'm wearing it so we're gonna put this one away today and I'm gonna introduce you to this this is my new

Favorite mask in the whole world it's from mold X it has a special built in nose piece here so when you wear it you don't have to pinch that metal it gets a great seal you can wear glasses with it as well and because it has a

Valve we checked it out I can wear this and talk at the same time so yes I'm going to put the diaper on my face and we are going to talk all things insolation today now listen we have a hundred and fifty year old house built

On a crawlspace and if that isn't enough challenge to get a good thermal break and insulation combining all these construction materials and techniques and all of the renovations it's just a nightmare so I'm going to take you

Through the process of how to identify what to do from the inside and what to do from the outside to make sure you get a good thermal break and a good air seal because both of these things are super important or you're gonna get this kind

Of disaster let me show you so here's the problem with this kind of house construction it's typical balloon construction which means that underneath here we've got a stack stone wall and we have these boards here traveling

Straight through down onto that stone and that's the point load okay that carries all the weight of the house these floorboards here is the subfloor and flooring all in one I want to do is they cut around these and slide it in

Come like finishing a deck now the other side of the house they've got these wonderful barn boards is solid one inch thick and they clad the entire home and these boards actually transfer all the weight and keep the house from sliding

Left and right so this is a stability it's part of the structure so remember when you're working on these old houses that stuff is structure if you're gonna remove it understand what you're doing and how you're gonna replace the

Structural component but here's what happens we have a stone wall downstairs underneath the crawlspace which means we don't have a thermal break so we have cold air and hot air mixing coming up through these gaps hitting

This wood gets incredibly soft what happens is mice from outside feel the heat coming out and they start eating and they eat a hole right through now that's the vinyl siding I'm touching on the other side and these holes are all

Over the place so what we're doing is before we worry about our thermal brick we need a rodent break so what we have to do is take this blocking stick it in here and create some nice solid dry wood to get a nice rodent break and then what

We're gonna do is after we're done the interior of the house we will then peel the skin off the outside of the house okay and we will install a moisture barrier on the outside of this wood like a type are so we have a new water

Deflection system there's no sense insulating the entire to your house if you're not going to keep the moisture up because it'll rot and the animals will come and they will eat through anything you build so first order of business is

To stick that in then we can insulate and then we have to do what the crawlspace itself and bring that thermo break up to the floor and then from the floor up to the roof remember no matter what you do in an old house you're gonna

Have this situation where this floor board is going to be the point of condensation okay nothing you can do to fix that so it's important that you have air moving on the inside of this wall always have the ability for moisture

That gets trapped in this floor to work its way through the rest of the frame and out of the building so don't seal it up too tight on the outside which is why type-r is perfect so we're gonna screw this in powder insulation and then I'm

Gonna show you how we're gonna seal from this part of the house which is an addition to the old exterior okay because what they've got done here they just jammed in a little bit of fiberglass and we know that's not gonna

Cut it so we're gonna open up this corner and have a little bit of fun okay now real quick mention anybody who's seen this show for a while this is not a yellow drill here's the reason

They came up with a new brushless drill system for rigid and this is about 150 170 dollars cheaper than the DeWalt so I bought these just to test them out on this project for the next three months because I kind of like rigid tools but

At the end of the day they weren't brushless before they would burn out they just didn't have the energy and the torque but if this tool works then this is gonna be a great recommendation for you and it'll save you a lot of money so

I'm thinking this might end up being the perfect homeowner tool I just want to go to test room before I go to too much of a recommendation all right now you'll see I've already been in the crawlspace on this side of the building and done

This exterior wall and we put a lot of foam in here because when you're tying together old stone wall with a new stone wall and then wood and wood you end up with a lot of air gaps and crevices secret to insulating an old house is to

Find all these things and fill them properly so let's let's bust into here and take a look at how they tied this building together wow that is actually a really good view I'm gonna pull this little piece off

Here all right okay kids here we go this is what I'm talking about all right this space right here this is nasty alright now that we've got this all explored let's understand what's going on here's the

Framing this is a 2 by 3 don't ask me why they didn't put a 2×4 in that corner but it's 2 by 3 somewhere along the way they cut away the old exterior okay which is this it's a it's like a tongue and groove overlap wood cedar Society

Okay and then I don't even know what they were thinking putting this back but whatever this gap right here my whole hand can go in there and you know on the outside they have a vinyl siding so if the inside isn't sealed off the

Outside isn't gonna be sealed off yep that would on the other side goes at the end of this as well so this whole gap exists right to the outside stuffing a little bit of this crap and there isn't going to work because as soon as you

Stuff it you compress it and the insulation only works when it's not compressed so the way we fill this gap is right here now I know everybody's seen the foam guns most di wires use a hood can he's got the little nozzle on

It right but this is the perfect DIY tool you renovate you want to get one of these foam guns okay now listen you close the handle before you use it take the lid off and you have to get one of these this is a cleaner this is somewhat

Dangerous and it just sprays teens all the crap and then you take that top off screw it on and you can clean the out the innards of the gun as well open up the little valve which is opening up in here and you just spray this out and

Then you just clean up the gun until all the goop is gone here we go clean out the old there we go okay so now I know the gun is clean I can close my valve up take that one off throw that one back on ah you buddy go

To shake and then we can foam this up no this one can here has the same amount of foam in it as I think four of the disposable camps okay so it's worth your investment to have this and then you can just shove this in here and have perfect

Control and then you just spray and you started nice and deep there we go and this will seal up the old and the new together and we're using a door and window foam so it doesn't grow out of the hole too much so it

Won't have to clean up too much of it when in doubt just max it out there we go now that's the process to seal up an old house and a new house so if your additions 150 years old or five years old same process you got to seal those

Gaps okay when you're done close your valve and this is good to go for the next time and maybe clean up all the crap on the end so then what we have to do because these cavities and balloon construction are not the same size as

Insulation you're going to have to cut it and install everything in horizontal all right and that's fine just a little bit extra work not a real big deal if you're wondering what the plan is here because that's only our 13 we're going

To frame inside of this wall and instantly it again before we put in our vapor barrier remember the foundation wall comes out to about here okay so if we try to do our thermal break back there we really aren't going to get a

Very good job continuing that thermal break from bottom to top so by adding the depth of another 2×4 we're bringing that wall in and it gets our thermal break much more consistent flow we're gonna solve all of our problem with heat

Loss after the fact is we're gonna put our plastic on we're gonna use acoustic sealant on the plastic right onto the floor and that'll keep our air from leaking through the wall at the floor level and out of the joints that's the

Perfect way to do this when you're insulating an old house there's no such thing as the best way to do it you've got to do it well and you want to limit the amount of air transfer and heat loss and try to control your moisture but

There's no perfect way to do it because the building techniques themselves are actually flood so it's kind of like we're gonna do a great job and somewhere in the next hundred years someone's gonna have to come back and do a lot of

Rebuilding but if you're not in the budget to reframe your whole house then this is the way to go okay so now that we've shown you how to seal up this part of the house we're gonna go into the

Crawlspace huh and we're gonna get all of that taken care of so now we're going to combine flash and bat which is a spray foam and then the bad insulation and then we're also going to seal up everything underneath with a vapor

Barrier and try to control moisture in this crawlspace if we can control moisture and the air and heat hole through the crawlspace up the ball and up through the building then we're going to achieve our goal which is to be able

To have a space that we can heat without a whole lot of energy loss a lot of effort and not a lot of rot that's the goal so if you're like me you bought yourself a home that's way too old for its own

Good and you're trying to restore it and bring it back to life and make it function in today's modern climate and modern construction techniques and so I've got 140 year old crawlspace here

And it's only a couple of feet deep and it gets worse as it goes along so today we're going to show you how to flash and bat now this is a little controversial so I'm sure we're going to have a lot of opinions in the comments section welcome

All of that conversation because it's hard to get really good information online so we're gonna break this down into steps for you step one of course was to vacuum up all of them the spiders wherever you got a damp cold space where

You going to have rodents soon we're gonna have lots of bugs and you're gonna get lots of spiders so I'm not much of a spider fan so I like to clean it all up step number two I want to not have to work in the dirt it's a little freaking

Me out so I'm gonna put down some vapor barrier and open that up on the floor so that I can crawl around on it and when I'm done I'm gonna tape all these joints together to create one continuous barrier but for now I'm just going to

Use this as something just stay out of the dirt it's amazing how fast this is clean okay that's actually a dead moose in there yeah I love my job alright so when

You're using spray foam in your how she got two options you can call the spray foam company and you can call them to come in here from with their truck and bring their hoses down and they can do your crawlspace for you that's going to

Cost you a couple thousand dollars or you can go to the store and you can get one of these kits in my case I needed to there are about three hundred and change depending where you live I'm sure so for me it's a little over six hundred

Dollars to spray plumb this whole crawlspace and it's a twenty by thirty space so that's pretty good deal now I think every company every building store in North America should carry this product line it seems to be the only one

That's in a box this is a closed cell not an open cell so for those of you who care to research the difference between that I'll let you do that on your own time I like the closed cell I think it's a

Superior product but you do have to be careful of course hmm yeah read the instructions those aren't instructions by the way that's just a notice telling you to read them here we go instructions this is a book don't eat it

Don't drink it don't be dumb he's you're dealing with some dangerous stuff kids let's make sure that we use all of our safety gear here including gloves because you don't want it on your skin or it'll take a few days to grow

Off definitely a mask in this situation and eye protection is a must there is a time and a place to be careful and this is definitely the place we're gonna need one of these they give you a whole bag of these things these are not syringes

These are just expansion foam spray nozzles you can replace it so system like this you can use you can close it up you can take off the nozzle throw it in the garbage you can store it in the cool dry place follow the instructions

And you can use it another day in another place so you can also buy bags of these nozzles as well so you can get good bang for your buck and have one of these handy we're gonna put on the gloves because we're gonna get right to

This the cans and the hoses themselves are designed to stay in the box all right cameras so here's your hands and your hoses and really what you're supposed to do to help protect the canister and

Everything that's going on here's your instructions all right do not overtighten do not over open all these types of things okay so you know the handle has a closed position and an open position

It's kind of like a safety okay that stops the flow of foam up to this point and then you can change your tips every time you turn it off this stuff sets up really quickly so you don't want to leave it for ten or fifteen minutes

With the gun in the open position and not using it it will dry right there then you're done and this whole kit is garbage all right the kit here oh yeah y-yeah it is counterclockwise when you can get to it open cylinder valve no

More than three turns if you are a he-man ah half one half to half three half one half to half three there we go now close it all back up and you can carry it in the box with the canisters I'm gonna set it down here right mine

And what we're gonna do is show you the both coats of the application so there you can see that this is a two coat application if you have a smooth wall like let's say you have let's say you have brick or a poured concrete then you

Can only go with one application you're just still trying to get that one and a half inch but here we go okay so very important make sure your vapor barrier is not going up the wall you don't want to cover anything off release the

Trigger and then I'm gonna shoot it right through the back of this cavity hit the outside rim joist first all it's a guarantee I'm getting the right kind of depth of spring we just want to get a light cocoa and

You'll see it foams up on you that there is only like about a quarter to half an inch and I wanted to let it set up first before I come back again so that it fills up those gaps you can see when I spray foam the area that was done last

Week that it'll fill up all those gaps real easy this is definitely a two-stage process if you need to do three you need to do three some of this area here I might have to do more now I'm done for now

Where I'm sitting I'm going to close the gun off okay and then I can reposition this is a painstaking process it's all the work is getting in the right position once you're here the job itself it's pretty simple

I'm just making sure my rim choices are coded properly all right now we're gonna do the second coat here emphasizing closing up all the gap remember the directions said not to spray more than two inches a twenty one

Time this is why this is a multiple code application because they're gonna be places here that are more than two inches just because of the nature of the stone and the way the application goes now the amazing thing is when you're

This close to the foam you really feel the heat pouring off that's why they suggest you don't have it too thick when you put it on I can't emphasize this enough read your instructions you can feel how warm this is it's like sitting

Next to an electric baseboard heater so we're going to get out of here we're going to let this cure for about ten minutes and then we're going to come back and we'll put on the batt insulation so when you're working in the

Crawlspace if you're working in a situation like I am a stack stone or anywhere else where you've got a gap that you have to fill one of the ways you can do that is by using this rigid insulation you just kind of eyeball this

Bad boy tear it apart shove it in the hole all right no that's not to do the insulating that's to create a backer so that when I'm spray foaming I can have something that holds the insulation spray foam and that way I can can be

Consistent with my one and a half inches depth all right this sometimes is a great way to keep you from over spraying and wasting your money just fill up these little gaps I'll demonstrate how this works

This one's been foamed but it needs the second coat to get that inch and a half that we're looking for here we go you can see that holds the foam really well here we go necklaces up the hole and now I'm good to get that the rest of my inch

And a half on so we're gonna install our batt insulation now now this is an insulation blanket so it comes with the installations already kind of adhered to the backside of a vapor barrier this is

A three foot by 50 foot roll look a billion story in my area also carried a four foot which is good because our minimum code here is four feet from the frost line all right so obviously in unraveling this and that in the crawl

Space would be insane it's way too much product so we're going to open this up well cut down a piece that's manageable and then we'll go into the hole and tape install this roll this back up okay so it's been about 15 minutes since we

Sprayed our wall you can see the installation is nice and hard now remember it's not finish the curing process for a full 24 hours but you can definitely continue insulating overtop of it now okay it's gonna be a little

Awkward to work with I've cut it down but even with that there's a lot of product fuss around with my hole isn't exactly three feet tall everywhere yet so what I'm gonna do is try to lay this into position

what I want to do here this metal strap that comes on it is traditionally used for basement installation you want to just cut that out of the way so that we can lift this insulation up and over our

Wall into our room joist cavity onto our pleat example okay so here's our example here so now I have my three put blanket up against the wall I'll put over top of my room plate really what I wanted to show was this

Blanket wrap comes down here and it has this plastic extension if you install this on your wall in the basement this is designed to cover the rim joist insulation but in a crawl space you want to do is tape this the plastic vapor

Barrier you have on your floor to create a continuous vapor barrier okay wow it's really heating up in there that's spray foam while that's occurring and all this insulation is really worm that's encouraging so on this video we

Demonstrated I guess we did about 15 linear feet okay and it took us about 15 minutes so you get an idea of how quick this project can move along then how much time and material you're gonna have to invest in it definitely worth it

Because once we're done in here the space down here all we need is one supply of heat run for every 300 square feet of crawl space about a five inch pipe and this will be just as comfortable as it is up in the living

Space now remember guys a great in halation project really is for things you got a good thermal break you got to have a good vapor barrier you got to seal it so you have an air barrier and you got to control the water

On the outside of the house and we're going to do that here on a later date now if you want I want you to click this link to see how this project turns out and just a quick shout out to all our subscribers thanks a lot for hitting

That button and watching our videos without you none of this is possible

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