There are many ways to protect a home against water damage. Your first safety measure may involve a vapor barrier.
A vapor barrier is just what it sounds like. It is a sheet of material, usually plastic or metal foil, which is put over the insulation inside your homes wall.
Water, even as a vapor, seeks out drier environments. Similarly, warm, moist air inside your home will move toward the walls in order to find colder/drier air that is outside. Without a vapor barrier in place, moist air can move freely through insulation and even accumulate in concrete walls. This is why a vapor barrier is so important. When moist air passes through the insulation, the water vapor collects inside the walls of your home. Warm temperatures and damp places are the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Water also eliminates insulation’s ability to, well, insulate! The vapor will also be sucked up by the wooden studs inside the wall. Wet wood is bad wood; it loses its strength and will begin to rot.
The different types of climates effect the type of materials that should be used for vapor barriers. For example, in cooler regions of the United States, a thicker, less permeable barrier is needed to ensure water doesn’t enter into walls.
Call Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing today if you are interested in a vapor barrier for your basement or crawl space.