Vapor Barriers

A Good Vapor Barrier Is The Foundation Of Effective Crawl Space Protection!

The number one culprit for crawl space moisture from is the dirt floor. When you look at dirt, you can see there is a certain level of water content in it. When you don’t have anything protecting that crawl space from the floor, is that the natural water in the dirt is going to evaporate into the air of the crawl space. A crawl space vapor barrier stops this from happening. It acts as a rain jacket for your crawl space. In most Southeastern states like Georgia and Tennessee, it is code to have a 6-mil vapor barrier completely covering the floor of the crawl space. Clean Crawlspace recommends installing a 8-mil to 14-mil 100% woven reinforced vapor barrier, to create and extremely durable and long-lasting solution!

Crawl Space Vapor Barrier Requirements

Most state building codes in the Southeast require that the crawl space has a vapor barrier. In Georgia and Tennessee, the minimum thickness is 6 mils. This standard, although not the most durable option available, is a good budget option for any crawl space, especially if the home is going to be listed for sale. These two states also require that the vapor barrier is run up to the walls, completely covering any open dirt areas of the crawl space floor. County building codes sometimes add on to the existing state code by requiring that all the vapor barrier seams be taped. This means that wherever the barrier overlaps, it must be sealed, usually by a commercial-grade 4-inch waterproof tape. Make sure to check with your local professionals to see what is required for your home.

Vapor Barrier vs. Moisture Barrier

One of the questions homeowners frequently ask when doing research on what is required for their crawl space is the difference between a moisture barrier and a vapor barrier. Vapor barriers and moisture barriers both serve the same function; to stop water from evaporating out of the ground and into the crawl space. The only small difference is that the term “crawl space moisture barrier” can refer to material outside of the polyethylene vapor barrier family. Moisture barriers can be woven black fabric tarps or sometimes even a cardboard-based product. We always recommend doing a vapor barrier; since the material is polyethylene-based, it does not deteriorate or absorb water from the ground.

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Crawl Space Vapor Barrier Installers

Finding the right crawl space vapor barrier installation crew can be difficult. Always make sure the installation company is knowledgeable of what is needed for your crawl space by asking a few questions.

  • Are they aware of what local code requires?
  • Do the seams need to be taped and does the vapor barrier need to be run against all the perimeter walls?
  • Are they properly insured, and is there a quality control process?
  • What kind of warranty/guarantee do they provide?
  • Do they truly specialize in crawl space work?

Going through the questions above should help every homeowner make the right decision for their crawl space need. Another thing to keep in mind is that most of the larger companies only offer full encapsulation, which is sometimes cost-prohibitive. Having a vapor barrier is always better than not having one!

The Cost Of A Quality Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

The cost of a new vapor barrier can vary a good amount depending on several main factors. What type/quality of barrier is being used, does local code require the seams to be taped, what size is the crawl space, how accessible is the crawl space, and is there a debris cleanout required? Cost always depends on the answers to these questions. Give our friendly team a call at 706-222-6653(MOLD) today to get your vapor barrier estimate!