Monday, November 26, 2018

Are Vapor Barriers Worth It?

Vapor Barriers - The Pros and the Cons

What Do Vapor Barriers Do?

If you are building a home or other structure on your property you will be faced with whether or not to add a vapor barrier during the construction. Another name for a vapor barrier is 'moisture barrier' and this name might make more sense to some people. We all understand that moisture in a home is bad, right? These barriers protect against moisture, but where are they applied and how do they work exactly?

When and Where A Vapor Barrier Is Necessary

Barriers work in crawl spaces generally. There are specialized moisture barriers that wrap the exterior walls of homes as well. If your home is two story or has very high vaulted ceilings that allow warm air to rise, you should strongly consider using a vapor barrier. Some area building codes require them.

As warm air is drawn upwards in your home, cooler air is pulled from below. The air flow in your home will be drawing in mold, bacteria, and spores. These are drawn into your house through crawl spaces or basement walls that are not airtight.

Mold spores can be drawn indoors. Not only can these spores be problematic for those with allergies, but they can also be very bad and cause illnesses in otherwise healthy people.

What Does a Vapor Barrier Look Like?

A typical barrier is placed on the inside walls of your basement before they are finished off with drywall or paneling. If you have a crawl space below your floor. The barrier is placed all around this space underneath your home. The barrier itself is a sheet of specialized plastic that is designed to last many years.

The reality is that everyone should want to have a moisture barrier because the pros far outweigh the cons. The only real con is that it will be more upfront cost to constructing your home. The costs are minimal and will quickly pay for themselves in the saved heating and cooling. There is no way to gauge how much healthier your family will stay, but your allergy sufferers will definitely thank you.

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