March 15

Why You Shouldn’t Only Use Vapor Barriers to Waterproof Your Home


home-waterproofing-raleighMoisture under your home or trapped within a crawl space can attract pests, cause mold to grow, speed heating and cooling loss, and even lead to structural damage caused by rotting wood. Waterproofing your basement or crawl space is essential to keeping your home healthy and energy efficient.

If you’re looking for a highly effective method to keep your home dry, you may be considering having a vapor barrier installed in your crawl space or basement. Before you do, our waterproofing company in Raleigh wants to share why you shouldn’t only use a vapor barrier to eliminate moisture under your home, and what steps you should take instead.

How Does a Vapor Barrier Work?

A vapor barrier is an impermeable or semi-permeable material used to block moisture from transferring through walls and flooring of a basement or from under the house if there’s a crawl space. Typically made from heavy-duty plastic or foil, it’s installed over the ground to stop water in the soil from evaporating and leading to high humidity and condensation that can lead to mold growth, pests, and wood rot.

In basements, a vapor barrier is generally installed along the walls and flooring to block moisture from seeping through the foundation and basement walls. A vapor barrier does not stop or eliminate standing water in your basement or crawl space.

Is a Vapor Barrier an Effective Waterproofing Solution?

The short answer is NO!

Vapor barriers are only installed over dirt in a crawl space or the walls and floor of a basement. It doesn’t create a sealed, waterproof or moisture-proof space, and they are rarely fitted tightly against the foundation walls of a crawl space or any columns or piers under the house.

Because of these gaps, water vapor is more likely to collect around areas where there is no effective coverage, and since there’s a reduction in air flow under the sheeting, moisture grows bacteria and mold more quickly. So, when you factor that the moisture that is escaping is primarily around your walls and structural elements, and it’s got a higher rate of mold spores, toxins, and bacteria in it, this can spell disaster for your home.

Additionally, in a hot, humid area like Raleigh, moisture under your home isn’t just coming in from moisture evaporating from the soil. It can penetrate through any vents, holes, and cracks in your home’s foundation, and the only place that moisture can go is up into your home.

A Better Way to Waterproof Your Home

Instead of choosing a vapor barrier that can only eliminate a fraction of moisture and can even speed mold and bacteria growth, consider basement or crawl space sealing. Encapsulation is a comprehensive solution to waterproofing your basement or crawl space by sealing the entire space with a thick, polyester-cored coating.

By providing a sealed space that covers everything from the small cracks and crevices in the foundation to the walls and floors, even where columns and supports meet, there is no opportunity for moisture, vapor, humidity, or even rain water to enter the area. It’s not only water-tight, your basement or crawl space is air-tight, so air isn’t transferring from under your house into your living spaces and vice versa. So if you’re running your furnace or air conditioning, you’re not losing any heated or cooled air under your home.

What does this mean for your home? With a waterproof crawlspace or basement, you can experience cleaner, healthier air within your home, improved energy efficiency, and reduce the chance of foundation and floor joist problems.

Contact Us for Home Waterproofing in Raleigh

If you want to learn more about how basement and crawl space waterproofing and encapsulation can end moisture problems in your home, reach out to us today at 919-847-7072 or fill out our contact form below. We will schedule a no-obligations consultation and quote to discuss your waterproofing options.


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