Do I need a vapor barrier?
Installing a vapor barrier will be a great protection against water and moisture from entering into the crawl space. Most crawl spaces will utilize crawl spaces as they can help maintain the foundations and other electrical or plumbing systems that might be down there. One of the biggest threats to a crawl space is the exposure of water. Water in a crawl space means that something is wrong and that there may be a leak. Leaks in the vapor barrier will allow moisture to enter a crawl space as ground water or condensation. Humidity found in corners or underneath floorboards will create a breeding ground for different types of bacteria that will lead to mold, rot, and mildew. All of these water related issues will create an awful smell that will begin to dwell throughout a structure, and create an unhealthy environment for the people inside. If mold and mildew are allowed to build up, then the structural integrity may be at risk of being corroded away. Too much humidity in a crawl space will also corrode support beams and foundation, cause electrical short outs, create condensation, and promote insect infestations. Therefore, dehumidifying a crawl space and getting back to normal humidity levels will be necessary in preventing issues that can come from all of these side effects. Water may enter a home when the air inside the home is much cooler than the air outside, This may happen during hot summers when the air conditioning units are on frequently to cool down the building. Air conditioning will create moisture beneath the floorboards and air ducts of a structure, allowing air to become trapped under the floorboards. Ground water can seep up through the soil beneath a structure and begin to create puddles. The humidity of a climate can greatly affect the amount of humidity in a crawlspace. To prevent this, most humid climates will utilize non vented crawl spaces to keep it away from outside air. And the humidity level may fluctuate depending on the region and time of year it is. Water during rain and/or snow storms may creep its way beneath your foundation if the gutters and downspouts are not functioning properly. Even just a little bit of standing water and moisture can create a bad smell. Not only should the area be dehumidified, but a vapor barrier will be installed to stop water from coming in and seeping through the walls and/or ground. Therefore a vapor barrier should be installed to maintain an appropriate crawl space humidity. A vapor barrier will be installed on the floor and on to the walls of a crawl space to keep ground water and outside weather from seeping into the crawl space. To prevent groundwater from entering into your crawl space, the dirt floor area should be covered with a vapor barrier. And by installing vapor barrier on the walls, it will stop rain water or moisture from melting snow from penetrating the foundation walls. Vapor barrier will not need to be installed on the ceiling as it is not threatened by outside moisture. Vapor barriers are usually constructed of plastic, and sometimes aluminum, to add insulation to the foundation. Laying down a vapor barrier is one of the first steps in crawl space encapsulation. The encapsulation process will involve covering it with a vapor barrier and cutting it off from the ground and outside air which can allow humidity to enter and become trapped. This water vapor will then be covered with a mixture of high and low-density polyethylene with polyester-cord reinforcement that covers the dirt flooring and is spread and attached to the walls of the crawl space. This lining is also reinforced with an antimicrobial finish that resists the growth of mold and mildew under the liner. Furthermore, the liner will be strong enough to walk/crawl on and may be used to store things in afterwards. This will create more room in the house as an extra storage space is created. Along with the vapor barrier, one should also consider the installation of a high performance dehumidifier air filtration unit to maintain the humidity levels in the crawl space. This will maintain the moisture that happens to enter, and prevent it from becoming a serious problem.
This area underneath you house is where a lot of piping and air conditioning units are located in your home. The harm that can be done by not utilizing a vapor barrier and encapsulation can become very detrimental to the structure of your home. Therefore, sealing your crawl space will be a great method in protecting your home from moisture damage.
The process of installing a vapor barrier may be done on your own and many of the materials can be found at local home improvement stores. However, allowing professionals to do the work will ensure that the job is done right and that no future issues arise from faulty installment. This process can be very tedious and time consuming, so hiring someone with experience to make sure the job is done right. Contractors may also be able to brief you on the types of vapor barriers. Some barriers will last longer than others, but cost more. So calling a crawl space contractor will help you be more informed on what can be done. By encapsulating your home, you will increase the air quality of your house. It will reduce the chance of damage to your floors. Encapsulations may also lower your energy bills significantly. It will also allow heating and cooling vents and equipment to last and function much longer. Also if you should decide to sell your house in the future, a sealed crawl space
Where should the vapor barrier be installed?
Vapor barrier will help to keep moisture from out of your crawl space to help maintain the support of the home, and the plumbing and electrical systems that may lie beneath. Vapor barrier will be laid on the floor of the crawl space, and will run up the walls. This will help to keep groundwater from seeping into the crawl space through the ground and walls. A specialist will know exactly where to install a vapor barrier, so calling a crawl space repair company will greatly benefit you.