Need a Reason to Install a Crawlspace Vapor Barrier?

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  • Author Brown Dave
  • Published March 10, 2011
  • Word count 546

So you’ve heard about crawlspace vapor barriers but you aren’t sure you should bother with them. Does it really matter if your crawlspace is wet? Sure it does. Here are a few reasons why you should strongly consider having a crawlspace vapor barrier installed underneath your home.

• It makes your home more attractive to those looking to buy. Picture this scenario. You’re looking to buy a house and you’ve narrowed it down to two homes. One has a crawlspace vapor barrier installed underneath it. The other does not. Which do you choose? The answer is obvious. You go with the one that has an encapsulated crawlspace. So if you ever decide to sell your home, think of a vapor retarder as an investment.

• It allows you to breathe higher quality air. Have you ever heard of the Stack Effect? Without getting to deep into a detailed explanation, it’s the idea that the air in your home is always cycling. More specifically, the air from your crawlspace is being sucked up into the top levels of your home where it eventually escapes. Why should you care? Well that musty air from your wet crawlspace is what you and your family are breathing inside your home. But if you have a crawlspace vapor barrier installed, the dry, clean air from your crawlspace will end up in your home and in your lungs.

• It makes accessing your crawlspace a much more of a pleasant experience. Let’s face it. Crawling under your house isn’t the most fun job in the world. It’s dark and scary. And if your crawlspace isn’t encapsulated, then it’s probably wet. That means you have to get dirty and face the possibility of crossing paths with spiders and roaches. However, if you have a crawlspace vapor barrier, then your experience will be much more pleasant. You’ll find yourself crawling into a controlled, clean environment. And bugs won’t bother hanging out in there because they need moisture—which they can’t find thanks to the vapor retarder.

• It helps protect your support system. See, if you let water sit under your home, you run the risk of damaging your support beams. If they get too wet, they could rot. If your support system rots, then you home will begin to shift. This causes all sorts of problems. First of all, a shifting support system means your home will suffer interior damage. Your sheetrock can crack. Your floor boards and tiles can pop up. Your doors and windows won’t open or close correctly. The bottom line isyou don’t want your home moving. You need stability.

In much worse cases, if your support systems rot out too much, you’re looking at possible complete support failure. Meaning, your home could collapse. No one needs to explain to you how dangerous that could be.

What it comes down to is this: if you don’t have a crawlspace vapor barrier installed, you’re putting your home at risk. You do not want to let your crawlspace breathe. You want to keep as much air out of it as possible. So find a contractor to install a crawlspace vapor barrier underneath your home as soon as possible.

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