How to Choose Crawl Space Vapor Barrier
One of the most significant components of crawl space encapsulation is a vapor barrier. This high-density polyethylene film is vital to the success of the job. Choosing your barrier should be the subject of careful consideration and comparison shopping. First, however, you have to understand what a vapor barrier is, what it does, and the thickness that your vapor barrier should be.
What Is It?
Vapor barrier is a building component that prevents water and moisture intrusion but at the same time lets any trapped water evaporate. This characteristic prevents water and moisture from having an effect on unsealed concrete and masonry or making conditions ideal for rot, mold, and fungus that can compromise would building materials and drywall.
Vapor barrier comes in multiple thicknesses called “mil” and picking the correct thickness for your project can make a big difference. To understand mil, think of one mil thick as your typical sheet of copier paper, and the standard thickness of a plastic grocery bag is .5 mil. The thicker your vapor barrier, the better and longer lasting your encapsulation will be.
A 12 mil crawl space vapor barrier is a comfortable median thickness that will get the job done without busting the budget. Think of it this way – a three mil thick vapor barrier is the thickness of six grocery bags, while a 12 mil barrier is as thick as 24 grocery bags. Moreover, a 12 mil thick barrier is used for heavy durability requirements such as cargo covering and landfill covers.
Working with Professionals
Even if you are doing your encapsulation job, it pays to get an assessment from a professional encapsulation company. Even a highly experienced DIYer may not be able to see foundation issues and drainage problems on the site. Get in touch with a professional encapsulation company and build your project on a sound foundation.