The Blog

When to Install Vapor Barriers in the Crawl Space

By Chuck Henrichsen on September 3, 2015

Finding water and moisture in your crawl space is very bad news, for both your home and family. Without a proper vapor barrier, crawl space humidity levels can rise to dangerous levels and cause damage to the structural integrity of your home.

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It’s vital to install a vapor barrier in your crawl space in order to ensure that your Seattle home is well protected against threats of moisture.Here are some signs of when it’s time to install a vapor barrier in the crawl space of your home.

1. Odor

It’s easy for water to evaporate and fill a crawl space when homes have dirt, gravel, or sand floors. High moisture levels can encourage mold growth and mildew on the walls and ceiling, leaving the crawl space full of foul odors. The stack effect then pulls this smelly air up into the living spaces, exposing you and your family to unpleasant aromas.

Mold and mildew colonies also release spores into the air, lowering the air quality of the air you breathe. A vapor barrier installation prevents humidity levels from rising to the degree that enables mold and mildew growth in the crawl space.

2. Wood Rot

Wood rot begins to occur when your home’s beams, supports, subfloors, and structure are exposed to intense humidity levels. This damage can compromise the integrity of your home and substantially decrease its value. After repairing the damage and restoring the diseased wood, it is important to take steps to ensure that the problem will not reoccur. A crawl space vapor barrier helps to block water from evaporating into the crawl space,protecting the wooden structure of your home from damage.

3. High Humidity

With Seattle’s incessant rain, , it’s not uncommon for the outdoors to feel a bit muggy. When this humidity follows you back into your home, it can compromise your crawl space by creating continually wet ground. Many Seattle families have found that after installing a crawl space vapor barrier, their homes do not feel as damp and are much more comfortable.

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4. Pests

Many pests, including rodents, termites, and ants, are attracted to sheltered areas that offer easy access to moisture and food sources. Seattle families that have a wet crawl space are ideal targets for critters looking to find a home before the winter.  

If you’re experiencing a pest infestation, it may very well be a result of not having a vapor barrier in your crawl space. It is important to locate Seattle pest control services for help with removing pests, and laying down a crawl space vapor barrier to prevent the problem from occurring again.

5. Flooding

When Seattle homes experience frequent flooding in their crawl space, it’s often because the space is not properly sealed or protected against the flow of water. A crawl space cleaning professional can help families to diagnose the cause of the flooding and take the necessary steps to prevent it. Often times, this includes thoroughly air sealing the space and installing a vapor barrier to protect the home against exposure to moisture.

Contact Us

While vapor barriers can do a lot to prevent water in the crawl space, a barrier alone may not completely eliminate the moisture. It’s important to properly seal and insulate the area to prevent air leakage and moisture buildup in the crawl space. To learn more about how a crawl space vapor barrier helps to increase the health and safety of your home, contact us today by giving us a call, or filling out our contact form.

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Chuck Henrichsen
President and CEO of Clean Crawls, Treasurer of E3 World Wide, proud husband and father.