The crawl space beneath your home contains a dirt floor which is generally damp. This moisture in the dirt floor will evaporate and then seep into the air beneath your home. Unfortunately, the added moisture increases the risk of mildew, mold, insects, rust, and rot in your home.
Crawl space vapor barriers are a valuable addition to your home’s crawl space, but homeowners often don't have them installed. Vapor barrier installation should occur when you build the home, buy a house, or consider your maintenance checklist. Installing a vapor barrier underneath your home can be instrumental in preventing health problems and keeping your home in good shape. A crawl space vapor barrier is also the best way to prevent moisture from seeping into your home.
What Is a Crawlspace Vapor Barrier?
The actual barrier is usually comprised of a plastic material that prevents moisture from penetrating the crawl space air, from where it then enters into the structure of the home. Installing a vapor barrier in your crawl space prevents problems caused by excess moisture like mold, odors, insects, wood rot and other structural and environmental concerns.
There are several reasons why you need to install a crawl space vapor barrier:
1. Limit Dampness
Water and moisture can seep through walls and the dirt floor underneath your home. As moisture and humidity increases in a crawl space, the dark and damp environment spreads moisture and promotes the growth of mold and mildew. When you add a crawl space vapor barrier, it deters moisture from entering your home and prevents damage to the structure of your home caused by rotting wood, rusted metal, and damaged drywall. A correctly installed vapor barrier in your crawl space allows it to stay dry and keeps the hazardous fumes caused by mold away from your family’s lungs.
2. Vapor Barriers Affect the Value of Your Home
A mold infestation can impact the value of your home significantly. Mold is a fungus that can quickly grow in moisture-rich areas and cause illnesses among your family - only certified professionals can remove mold completely. Not only can mold cause health problems, but it also impacts the insurability of your home. A mold infestation can reduce the value of your home, which is why prevention is so important and worth every penny.
3. Reduce Wiring and Electrical Hazards
Moisture and electrical systems are a dangerous hazard. Moisture can lead to electrical shorts, rusted wires, and even a fire. Ensuring electrical components are free from moisture is important. Failing to do so could result in an increased risk of fire or electrocution.
4. Preserve Pipes
Your crawl space has multiple pipes for your water and sewer lines. Moisture that collects on pipes can cause them to break over time due to rust, especially if you have an older home. Applying a vapor barrier will help to preserve the life of your pipes while saving you money on repairs down the road.
5. Save Your Home’s Structure
As previously mentioned, moisture in your crawl space can lead to wood rot. Rotted wood among your joists may cause structural damage, and that damage creates a huge repair bill. Prevent this tragedy from happening with crawl space vapor barriers that keeps wood from rotting. We all know the Pacific Northwest gets plenty of rain all year long. Keep this water out of your crawl space with a vapor barrier installation underneath your home.
Watch for Warning Signs
The following are some common indications of moisture beneath your house. If you see these signs, you should have a crawl space vapor barrier professionally installed as soon as possible.
- Standing water in your crawl space
- Peeling exterior paint
- Infestations of insects or other animals
- HVAC ventilation shows evidence of rust
- Mold and mildew are present on the walls and flooring of your main floor
- A bad odor in and around your home
- High radon levels in your home
- Rotting wood in the ceiling of the crawl space
- Efflorescence on the walls of the crawl space
- Rusted pipes in the crawl space
- Frequent headaches, respiratory illnesses, allergies and asthma complications that could come from mold or mildew beneath your house
Crawl space vapor barriers can keep moisture out of your crawl space, prevent rusted pipes and ducts, protect your electrical, give you a dry home, and prevent mold as well as wood rot! If you have not done so already, contact us to schedule a free crawl space inspection today.