One of the facts of constructing and renovating commercial structures is forever remaining aware of moisture risks. Rotting wood, mold, and cracked paint are all risks of water infiltrating the facility in areas where it’s not wanted. One good leak could create tens of thousands of dollars of destruction, and a previously susceptible site could cause multiple rounds of damage if not dealt with effectively. So stopping the infiltration of water is key to protecting buildings from the devastation moisture can wreak.
A rotted roof and a heavy storm aren’t the only ways condensation can enter a commercial building. It can also happen from the ground up, causing damage building owners may not even think to see until it’s too late.
Disaster That Crawl Space Moisture Can Create
Most people don’t think twice about the space below a building. They might stock tools, parts, and casual odds and ends down there, but other than when they have to recover those items, the crawl space is often a neglected area.
Unfortunately, crawl spaces typically have dirt basements, making them prime offenders for moisture penetrating the commercial building. That’s because dampness infiltration in the formation of water vapor from the soil, if not contained, can slowly erode your structure from the ground up. As a result, we’re discussing structural damage, electrical shorts, pipe corrosion, insulation degradation, and fiberglass. Not to consider the risk of heavy allergens.
Fortunately, a crawl space vapor barrier allows a comparatively simple resolution to all of this.
What is a crawl space vapor barrier?
Crawl space vapor barriers are robust membranes that stop the infiltration of water vapor into the crawl space. And when you connect a crawl space vapor barrier with a waterproofing arrangement, now you have the latest moisture security of the crawl space from both running water and water vapor before it has the opportunity to enter your building.
How do vapor barriers operate?
These barriers are typically thick plastic materials connected across the soil to prevent ground moisture from entering the space.
Now, it’s necessary to know these barriers only serve to prevent ground moisture from transferring into your crawl space and home. In addition, water runoff or leaking pipes could still result in vapor in the crawl space area, which is another reason to reconsider combining your barrier with a waterproofing system.
Is a vapor barrier necessary for your crawl space?
If you’re living in a drier climate, you might think you don’t have to worry much about crawl space vapor. After all, how much moisture could be remaining in the dirt underneath a building in North Carolina, for example?
The answer is a lot. Whether you’re building or have a crawl space, it can profit from a crawl space barrier.
How thick does the barrier require to be?
The barrier must maintain high puncture protection as it will be exposed rather than guarded by a concrete floor slab and can be sensitive to damage.
Steps to Arranging a Crawl Space Vapor Barrier:
Sealing your crawl space openings and vents stops the cycle of cold, moisture, and dampness entering from the outside air. But, water can, however, enter your crawlspace in many directions.
Eliminate Any Standing Water Sources: The subsequent step is to reduce any flooding causes in your crawl space by introducing a crawl space drain and sump pump system. It excludes flooding water from your crawl space, but moisture can still enter immediately through the cement and floor in the form of water vapor.
Improve the Structure: If your crawl space is weakened or damaged by increased mold and rot, the next step is to fix crawl space assistance jacks to help renovate your structure. That will help your floor stay even and prevent any structural sagging upstairs.
Encapsulate and Protect the Crawl Space: A crawl space liner should be introduced to stop moisture from moving through your floors and porous concrete walls. A permanent liner will allow service members to use the space without damage while converting your crawl space into a usable storage area. That is also the best time to fix crawl space insulation on your walls or platforms.
Install a Dehumidifier: Placing an energy-efficient, self-draining crawl space dehumidifier will hold your space dry. Our crawl space dehumidifier system comprises a filter that removes particles from the air as small as two microns. It guarantees that your crawl space is shielded from mold, dust mites, and mildew damage — enduringly!
Advantages of Vapor Barrier Installation
For ages, it was a building code provision that crawl spaces be vented. This blunder is why warm, humid air can enter your crawl space, occurring in condensation, moisture, and mold damage. Then, in the winter, frosty air fills the room, making your floors cold. The solution is to seal the vent caps, add proper insulation, encapsulate the space with a heavy-duty vapor barrier, and install an energy-efficient dehumidifier.
The crawl space is shielded from moisture by sealing the exposed vents and encapsulating the area with a heavy-duty vapor barrier. The crawl space insulation assists in keeping your floors warm. Attach an energy-efficient dehumidifier into the sealed space, and the corresponding humidity is controlled, limiting moisture and mold. You end up with more generous feet, lower energy bills, and no mold or moisture obstacles.
Mold and Moisture Control
Mold requires warm air, organic substance, and moisture to grow. Vented, dirt floor crawl spaces accommodate all three. Mold grows strong between 704-741-9737 degrees Fahrenheit. Confronting the temperature in the crawl space would require blowing treated air into the room. Why would you pay to heat or cool air only to drive it into an area no one lives in.? What a misuse of opportunity and money, so pushing the temperature is out.
Comfort and Energy-Efficiency
An open, vented crawl space will make your home awkward and raise your electricity bills. In extension, crawl spaces usually have poor fiberglass batt insulation fitted on the bottom of your floorboards. These batts weaken over time and get wet, damaging any benefit initially provided. Tack on the unrestricted flow of air into the space, and your house has no chance.
Decrease Odors and Pests' Interest in Your House
Open crawl spaces provide excellent homes for pests. If you are a rodent, pest, reptile, or larger animal, you need shelter to survive. Unfortunately, homeowners have inadvertently been very kind in presenting their open, warm, humid crawl spaces as habitats for these insects.
Barring the entrance and vents to the crawl space will make it challenging for pests to enter it. In addition, the vapor barrier and dehumidifier keep the condensation low, so it is not a suitable environment for termites, so your possibilities of having insects or rodents in the crawl space are significantly lower. That also means no smells growing into the house from feces, nests, or dead creatures.
Why Vapor Barrier Is Important
If you do not have a vapor barrier placed in your home and, more specifically, in your attic, the moisture will be clear to pass through the walls whenever it gets cold outside. Your attic covering will keep it from entering the walls to some extent, but when the temperature drops below freezing, it will be no match for the moisture. A vapor barrier is the best way to hinder humidity and to keep it from creating severe issues. The water will be forced to exit into attic vents, preferably through the walls.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the objective of a vapor barrier?
Following your crawl space is a damp place. It stops condensation from spontaneously rising from the soil into the home’s structural components. Unfortunately, moisture problems also create a conducive condition for mold to begin forming. A properly installed moisture barrier can prevent decay from developing.
What would happen if I did not own a vapor barrier?
It depends on how serious the moisture in your crawl space is. Many places have significant moisture concerns, and a lack of a vapor barrier could escalate possible damages to the construction. On the other hand, some homes can be comparatively dry in the crawl space, have good airing, and have less consequence if no vapor barrier is installed. Nevertheless, if you are contemplating selling your house, an inspector would be sure to point out that a vapor barrier is missing and generate a red flag for a prospective buyer.
What is the modern code for an accurately installed vapor barrier?
Depending on the jurisdiction, the specifications differ. However, the industry norm is to use a minimum of six mils black plastic (clear plastic is not code) with a twelve-inch overlap along the joints and the foundation. Many people want all the closures to be taped, but this is not needed or recommended. Instead, we recommend a vapor barrier to have seams so that if water gets on top, it can find a seam and drain naturally.
HydroHelp911 will do everything we can to guarantee your experience with us is fantastic. If you live in North Carolina and need a highly skilled foundation repair, basement waterproofing, or crawl space repair company, look no further! HydroHelp911 is ready to renew the life of your foundation or crawl space.
Call now for your free estimate at 704-741-9737.