Does My Crawl Space Need a Vapor Barrier?
At first impression you may think that the layer of flooring and insulation between you and the crawl space is enough. But unfortunately oftentimes this is not the case.
A vapor barrier, also known as a moisture barrier, is actually the minimum amount of protection you should have in your crawl space. Read on to learn why your crawl space needs a vapor barrier.
SO WHAT IS A VAPOR BARRIER, AND WHY DO I NEED ONE?
A vapor barrier is a plastic liner that covers the ground of your crawl space. Its purpose is to block vapors and moisture in the soil from getting into your crawl space.
Your house is made of materials that are porous, so the air in your crawl space gets into your home. Additionally, the air that your HVAC unit circulates is pulled -at least in part- from the crawl space.
Porous materials also let moisture into your home. Damp air allows mold to grow, forces your HVAC system to work harder, contributes to the decay of your wooden flooring structure, and draws the interest of damaging insects.
WHAT IF I FIND AN ISSUE IN MY CRAWL SPACE?
When you install or replace the vapor barrier in your crawl space, you’ll start to notice a significant improvement in air quality. The air in your home should become less humid, odors should dissipate, and your HVAC bill may even lower.
But if this doesn’t happen, or if you find signs of a developing problem, you will probably have more questions. Here are the most likely issues:
- Water in your crawl space: if you have more than just dampness in your crawl space, a vapor barrier may not be sufficient. It’s only meant to stop moisture, not water. If you have puddles of water under your home when it rains, you will need crawl space waterproofing. As rainwater collects in your crawl space, it will cause the vapor barrier to float around and render it ineffective.
- Dehumidifier Needed? If you install a vapor barrier, but the air still feels clammy, it may be time for a dehumidifier.
- If you find mold, please do not try to remove it yourself. For your safety, please have it evaluated by a professional, first. We explain how mold removal and remediation is done, provide pricing, and describe options on this page.
DOES YOUR CRAWL SPACE NEED REPAIRS?
You will want to find an experienced local company, and request a quote. Most contractors and waterproofing companies provide free estimates; make sure they provide the quote in writing, and clarify how long the pricing is valid.
If you live in Charlotte or the surrounding states, contact Fresh Air Companies. We specialize in waterproofing and provide free estimates. Our quotes are valid for a year after issue, and we offer the best warranties in the business. We will schedule an appointment for you with one of our experienced project managers; they will evaluate your home and recommend the best course of action for you, to keep your home strong and healthy for years to come.