Of fall and foam

Three things have recently made me realize that summer is indeed over.

Orion is back in the night sky.

The leaves are turning colours.

And these are back on store shelves:

It's odd - I'm not a big candy eater (Chocolate, yes, but chocolate isn't candy, it's a food group). But candy corn gets me every fall.

Since I've finally succumbed to the idea that fall is here, I really can't ignore the fact that winter is soon to follow. Last winter was COLD. Not outside, but inside - that's what you get when you live in an under-insulated house (or uninsulated) in Canada. But this year...

FOAM!! I got foam! Not the entire house, but at least the crawl space is finally done. I initially contracted the job out last November! But spray foam is applied with equipment that uses electricity, and a small wet crawlspace and electricity don't mix, so it had to wait until the crawl space dried out - which it should have done this summer. Except...

This summer was insanely wet. We finally got a run of dry weather, I repaired the cracks in the foundation, and wonder upon wonder, the company that was applying the foam was able to fit me in soon after I called to make the apointment and the weather stayed dry!!!

Why am I so happy? Well, all the plumbing is in the crawl space. Which means the crawl space needs to stay heated all winter. Which means a great deal of heat (and my $$) went into the crawl space last year. By simply insulating this area, I can reduce the amount of heat I divert to the crawl space, and either reduce my heating costs, or keep the house warmer this winter. One of these weekends, I also need to get my tallest, skinniest nephew over here with my dad to put plastic down under the crawl space as well - that should help keep the house drier (well, as dry as you can get when living within sight of one of largest lakes in the world).

So why spray foam? And not the standard Fiberglas batting (which I will be using in the walls of the house)? The only thing you can really do with fiberglass insulation in a crawl space is insulate the "ceiling" of the space (basically the floor of the house). This is a great and much, much, much cheaper option - as long as you don't need a heated crawl space. Additionally, spray foam provides a good vapor barrier (not really critical in this application, but it will help with the dampness). But spray foam is $$$, needs to be applied by professionals ($$$$), and off-gasses (UGH! That wasn't too bad with just the crawl space, but I can't imagine living here soon after the application if I was going to get the entire house done). So, it's foam for the crawl space, Fiberglass for the walls, and probably blown-in insulation of some sort for the attic.

It's fall. But I have foam and candy corn, so life is good!

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