Why You Need To Install A Crawl Space Vapor Barrier
Many people probably aren’t familiar with the term “vapor barrier,” and even if they had heard the term before, many probably couldn’t tell you what they did or why they were important. Many probably don’t know that vapor barriers play a key role in protecting their homes from major issues like mold infections, structural damage, rusting ducts, and other household problems. If you are one of those people who doesn’t know what vapor barriers do and why they are important, then don’t worry, because you aren’t alone.
What do vapor barriers do?
Water vapor naturally arises out of the ground. Simply put, a crawl space vapor barrier’s job is to keep the water vapor out of your crawl space. It may sound like a simple job, but it is actually very important.
Why is it important?
You may be wondering why it is important to keep water vapor out of your crawl space. There are a couple reasons why.
First off, when water vapor gets into your crawl space, it causes mold. Because of the stack effect (the process by which air travels up from the bottom of your house, out through the top), much of the air you and your family breathes starts out in the crawl space. If you have mold in the crawl space, then the air because infected with dangerous mold spores and will carry an extremely unpleasant scent. But, decreasing the air quality isn’t the only danger mold poses. Certain types of mold can get into wooden structures and start to cause rot. Structural damage caused by mold is a major issue that homeowners have to be on the lookout for.
Water vapor does more than just cause mold though. For example, water vapor can begin to collect and potentially cause issues with ducts or pipes contained in the crawl space. Plenty of people have ductwork or piping running through their crawl space, and this is all very susceptible to rust if you don’t take steps to prevent water vapor from seeping into the crawl space. The same logic applies for any wiring that you have going through the crawl space. Obviously, it goes without saying that you don’t want to have anything electric mixing with water.
One last point to mention is that excessive moisture caused by water vapor tends to attract various types of pests. Rats, mice, termites, etc., are attracted to dark, damp environments; so a crawl space that isn’t adequately protected is more prone to infestation.
How can you get one installed?
If, after reading this, you desperately want a crawl space vapor barrier you have two options. First off, if you have a good amount of skill when it comes to handiwork, you can try installing a vapor barrier yourself. There are plenty of do-it-yourself guides on the internet that can help you install the vapor barrier yourself. The second option (and the recommended one) is to simply call up a professional and have them install one. If a barrier isn’t installed correctly, it won’t work. So, it is important that the job is done correctly.