Homes that are built over a crawlspace often suffer from moisture related issues due to the crawlspace’s surroundings. Naturally, when moisture mixes with wood it creates a recipe for mold and other problems like termite infestation, which often lead to the deterioration of a home. Because indoor airflow naturally rises, using a vapor barrier and dehumidifier together in the crawl space can dramatically decrease the amount of moisture and soil gas present in the crawlspace. This can greatly reduce the risk for:
Decreased insulation R-values
Increased heating & cooling bills
Poor storage environment
Poor indoor air quality (IAQ)
Water can permeate the crawl space through the earth around your home, from any number of plumbing issues or through moisture entering the crawlspace vents. What results is a transformation from a crawl space to an actual breeding ground for mice, rats, snakes and other creatures that can thrive in this damp, dark habitat. Keep in mind that as warm air rises through your home and leaves through the upper levels, crawlspace air is pulled up into your home with it. As the warm air rises, there is nothing to stop the humidity, mold spores, dust mite waste, and odors coming up with it.
Insulating a crawlspace that is vented is a sticky situation. Insulation will not keep humid summer air or cold winter air away from a structure’s floorboards. Most standard insulation vapor barriers will allow moisture and mold to soak through the material, weighing it down and causing it to crumple onto the floor. And, as we all know, that is no good for a home.
Some contractors usually lay down a very thin, non-fire-retardant 4 or 6-mil plastic liner that does very little good since air can still enter from crawl space doors, vents, pipes or other permeable openings. Furthermore, most standard vapor barriers will either be attached by a seal tape or be stapled to the wall. The problem with this is that in one case it defeats the purpose of a liner by injecting holes into it. And the other creates a rumpled-looking effect in the crawl space. Utilizing an adhesive liner not only ensures longevity, but you will also appreciate the cleaner and tidier aesthetic. The vapor barrier must cover all areas, including the foundation walls and piers.
The bottom line is that a durable, 100% REINFORCED 15 MIL VAPOR BARRIER, adhesive strip, water-proof, anti-microbial, fire-retardant and puncture resistant vapor barrier can transform a moist, unhealthy crawlspace breeding ground into a clean, sanitary environment that no longer promotes mold, odors, pests and even potential infestation. You can rest assured that the crawlspace can even be used for storage purposes and ultimately fulfill its purpose of promoting healthy air circulation and reducing overall humidity in the house. And, of course, a vapor barrier just makes the crawlspace look a whole lot more attractive!
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