Should i use faced or unfaced insulation in crawl space


Choosing the right insulation for your crawl space is essential for maintaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home. One common dilemma homeowners face is whether to use faced or unfaced insulation in their crawl space. In this guide, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of each type, offering expert advice to assist you in making an informed decision that aligns with your specific requirements.

Exploring Faced and Unfaced Insulation for Crawl Spaces

Understanding Faced Insulation

What Is Faced Insulation?

Faced insulation is a type of insulation that features a vapor barrier, usually made of paper or foil, on one side of the insulation material.

Pros of Using Faced Insulation

  • Moisture Control: The vapor barrier in faced insulation helps prevent moisture from entering the crawl space, reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth.
  • Enhanced Energy Efficiency: Faced insulation with proper installation can effectively seal air leaks, improving your home’s energy efficiency.

Cons of Using Faced Insulation

  • Installation Challenges: Proper installation of faced insulation requires careful attention to ensure the vapor barrier is facing the correct direction.
  • Vulnerable to Damage: If the vapor barrier is damaged during installation or over time, its effectiveness in moisture control can be compromised.

Understanding Unfaced Insulation

What Is Unfaced Insulation?

Unfaced insulation does not have a vapor barrier attached to it and is often used in areas where moisture control is not a primary concern.

Pros of Using Unfaced Insulation

  • Versatility: Unfaced insulation is versatile and can be used in various areas, making it suitable for crawl spaces where moisture is not a major issue.
  • Simplicity: Installation of unfaced insulation is generally straightforward, without the need to worry about vapor barrier orientation.

Cons of Using Unfaced Insulation

  • Limited Moisture Control: Unfaced insulation does not offer the same level of moisture control as faced insulation, which can be a concern in damp crawl spaces.
  • Potential for Air Leaks: Without a vapor barrier, unfaced insulation may not provide the same level of air sealing as faced insulation.

Choosing the Right Insulation for Your Crawl Space

Factors to Consider

  • Moisture Levels: If your crawl space is prone to moisture issues, faced insulation might be the better choice to prevent mold and mildew.
  • Energy Efficiency Goals: For improved energy efficiency and air sealing, faced insulation can be more effective in reducing heat loss.

Expert Tips for Installation

  • Proper Vapor Barrier Placement: If opting for faced insulation, ensure the vapor barrier faces the warm side of the crawl space.
  • Sealing Air Leaks: Properly seal gaps and air leaks before installing insulation to enhance its effectiveness.

Useful Resources Links

  1. Energy Star – Insulation: Learn more about insulation types, benefits, and how to make energy-efficient choices for your home.
  2. The Family Handyman – Crawl Space Insulation: A comprehensive guide to insulating your crawl space, including detailed steps and tips.

FAQs About Faced and Unfaced Insulation in Crawl Spaces

Is Faced Insulation Necessary for Crawl Spaces?

Faced insulation is beneficial for crawl spaces prone to moisture issues, as it helps prevent moisture infiltration.

Can I Use Unfaced Insulation in Moist Crawl Spaces?

While possible, using unfaced insulation in moist crawl spaces might not provide adequate moisture control, potentially leading to mold growth.

How Do I Determine the Warm Side of the Crawl Space?

The warm side of the crawl space is typically the side closest to the living space of your home.

Which Type of Insulation Offers Better Energy Savings?

Faced insulation is generally more effective in providing enhanced energy efficiency due to its air sealing properties.

Can I Combine Faced and Unfaced Insulation?

It’s not recommended to combine faced and unfaced insulation in the same area, as it can disrupt the vapor barrier’s effectiveness.

Is Professional Installation Recommended?

For optimal results, professional installation is recommended to ensure proper placement and sealing of insulation materials.


Deciding whether to use faced or unfaced insulation in your crawl space depends on factors such as moisture levels and energy efficiency goals. By considering the benefits and drawbacks of each type and following expert tips, you can make an informed choice that contributes to a comfortable and well-insulated home.

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