So my husband and I are trying to buy a 1829 Georgian Colonial (at least that's what I think it is.) The bones are great, lost of potential, and most of the work needed is cosmetic (and lots of it) but the scary bit is under the crawl space. The house is an L and half of it has a very usable full basement, while the other half, under the kitchen and laundry, is a 4'+/- crawlspace.
In this crawl space we found pipes with heat tape, wrapped batt insulation, space heaters, and a propane space heater with fire damage above it (just some singeing- no real damage), along with the water meter and *new* 200 amp electrical service. (Why new electrical in the crawl space, WHY?!). Obviously, we have a freezing pipe issue here. And I don't want to spend all my winter nights wondering if this is the night my pipes will burst. The foundation is a thick fieldstone foundation with a dirt floor and a solid fieldstone wall separates the two basement spaces. The boiler is in the full basement of course, like a reasonable person. There is some batt insulation in the floor above (ceiling?) But it's a very half hearted attempt.
So what is the solution? It seems that insulating the crawl space well might do it. But how best to do that? Some have suggested spray foam, but I have also heard that that might damage the foundation. Some have also suggested simply batt insulation, but that seems wholely inadequate. Some have said we have to go so far as putting a radiator in the crawl space to be sure.
Any adivce would be appreciated.