A crawl space vapor barrier is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your house, even though you are only likely to see it when it comes time to actually change it for a new one.
When it comes to keeping your house in good order, one of the most neglected places in your house is likely to be your crawl space. Thanks to the humidity of so many regions, your crawl space may be filled with water, mildew, mold, rodents, insects, and other things that can put your health at risk.
What is a crawl space vapor barrier?
A crawl space vapor barrier is a barrier that will prevent air from entering your crawl space, but will still allow you to remove the barrier to gain access to the crawl space. The vapor barrier is a vital part of keeping your crawl space from becoming soaked with water, and you will find that your crawl space vapor barrier is as important as a crawl space fan or dehumidifier.
Why do I need a crawl space vapor barrier?
Water is a constant threat to your house, and it has three means of entering your crawl space:
- The groundwater could rise up and cause a flood your home
- The air around your home contains moisture, and that humidity tends to remain as close to the ground as possible.
- You have a number of pipes and tubes in your home, and these can often break and leak into your crawl space.
This moisture can pose a serious health risk to anyone in your household. You will sometimes find things like, bugs, insects, rats, and other health risks tend to live in a damp or wet crawl space. If the infestation of your crawl space continues, you may find that you are facing serious health problems thanks to the many germs and creatures that are growing in your crawl space.
There are many materials that are used for constructing a home, and a lot of these materials can be damaged by the moisture in your crawl space. The wood used for framing your house is just one of these materials, and wood that gets damp from the moisture in your crawl space will end up rotting, which could seriously compromise the structural integrity of your floors and walls. This rotten wood also attracts termites and other bugs that would love to make their home beneath your home.
Another problem caused by moisture in your crawl space is the health risks that you will face. The warm air rising from your house exits your crawl space vents, and it rises into your home. All of the mildew, mild, dust spores, the waste from dust mites, and the foul smells of stagnant and rotting water end up floating around your house, and you could end up with those spores getting into your lungs and making you seriously ill.
Tell me more about the crawl space vapor barrier…
As your hot water heater system heats the water, it runs that hot water through the pipes in your crawl space. During cold weather, the cold air could condense on the water heater and pipes, which not only forms moisture and condensation on the outside of the pipes and heater, but could actually cause them to break or leak.
However, when it comes to keeping your crawl space dry, it is hard to know what to do. In order to keep air from flowing into your crawl space, you have to block off all of the vents leading in and out of your house. There are a couple of problems that arise when you do so:
The material used to insulate the vents will end up getting saturated and soaked with water, which will cause them to fall apart and break.
When you need to do any work in your crawl space, you have a hard time removing the insulation material and gaining access to your crawl space.
This is where the crawl space vapor barrier comes in…
A crawl space vapor barrier is a solution that will allow you to insulate your vents and block air from coming in, yet it allows you to gain access to your crawl space. Thanks to the crawl space vapor barrier, you can easily move the insulation to allow exterminators or hot water heater repairmen to access the crawl space.
Another advantage of using a crawl space vapor barrier is the fact that these vapor barriers are less likely to fall apart when they get saturated. The crawl space vapor barrier is designed to block as much moisture as possible, and it will not deteriorate by absorbing most of the moisture floating around your crawl space. It simply stops it from entering your crawl space, using materials that are impervious to water.
By finding a thick crawl space vapor barrier of at least 20 or 25 millimeters, you will be purchasing a crawl space vapor barrier that will be durable and long lasting. It will not only remain in one piece, but it will also be resistant to mold and mildew. It will protect your crawl space while still allowing it access, and it will help keep the area dry and free of moisture. A crawl space vapor barrier will work hand in hand with your crawl space dehumidifier, and it will be the perfect solution to help you protect your house from moisture.
Using the above tips, you will find that finding, purchasing, and installing your own crawl space vapor barrier can actually be fairly easy. If you take all of the above factors into account, you will be able to find the right crawl space vapor barrier that will keep your crawl space from becoming a health hazard thanks to all of the humidity and water that it will absorb.