Leaving a crawl space or unfinished basement untreated and exposed to the elements can put your health and the structure of your home in jeopardy. Though that may sound dramatic, the near-constant dampness, minimal air flow, and narrow space between the dirt below your home and your home’s structure is a breeding ground for wood rot, insects, and mold.
As air evaporates from the moisture in the earth, it can enter through the cracks and gaps under your house. The moisture attacks the wood while mold spores, mildew, and other toxins are free to circulate through your home. In fact, some estimates show that up to 40 percent of the air on your home’s first floor is coming from your vented crawl space.
Fortunately, we can provide you with a solution to make your home safer and healthier.
What Is a Vapor Barrier?
A vapor barrier is a type of plastic sheeting that can be installed under your crawl space under your home or to block moisture from seeping into your basement from the walls or floor. Any evaporation that occurs is blocked by the plastic, preventing that moisture from entering your home.
While evaporation from damp earth does play a role in the amount of moisture under your home, it’s important to know that it’s not the sole culprit. In fact, if you have a vented crawl space or basement, a vapor barrier won’t stop the warm, humid air from outdoors from entering through small cracks, crevices, or vents. Due to minimal to no air flow, the air will stagnate, causing the same problems.
Is a Vapor Barrier Right for Your Creedmoor Home?
For people living in cold, dry climates, such as the Upper Midwest or Northeastern U.S., a vapor barrier can provide adequate moisture protection. However, most of the United States, and especially North Carolina, is too warm and humid for a vapor barrier to be effective because it can’t block all the moisture in your crawl space. Creedmoor is not only extremely hot in the summer, but much of the year is also extremely humid, which means that you’ll need more protection than a vapor barrier can provide.
Vapor barriers simply can’t prevent all the moisture from entering the space under your home, so they’re only slowing down mold growth and wood rot. In reality, anywhere there are gaps and spaces, moisture can seep in and is more likely to enter your home through cracks and vents in your crawl space, then find holes and spaces under your flooring to enter. A better option is sealing the crawl space or basement.
Why a Vapor Barrier May Not Be Enough
If there is only a vapor barrier for protection, you may be surprised to find that humid and mold-laden air is still able to enter the area. Just like moisture from the ground, humid air from outside is just as damaging to your home’s structural integrity. Dampness can speed up wood rot and humid, warm air can encourage insects and termites. The damage that can occur may require professional floor leveling and extensive repairs.
The air under your crawl space isn’t fresh or healthy and can increase mold and bacteria growth. Unless you encapsulate your crawl space or basement, the air that enters will end up moving through the rest of the house and can make you and your family sick as well as cause damage to your walls, flooring, and anywhere mold can grow. Spores can also enter your HVAC system and circulate through your home, triggering asthma attacks, allergy symptoms, headaches, and other chronic issues.
Protect Your Creedmoor Home with More than a Vapor Barrier
In order to prevent damage to your home and poor air quality, it’s important to prevent as much moisture from entering your home through your crawl space as possible. That’s why the experts at Crawl Space and Basement Technologies recommend basement and crawl space encapsulation. This is a comprehensive solution to sealing all the cracks, crevices, and vents around the perimeter of your crawl space or basement as well as sealing the floor, keeping your home drier, healthier, and more comfortable!
Call Our Crawl Space & Basement Moisture Specialists in Creedmoor
If you’d like to learn what options are available to ensure a drier crawl space or basement, schedule your no-obligation estimate by calling us today at (919) 847-7072 or filling out our online form. We will visit your home to give you the most accurate price point for the job. Our trained specialist will guide you through the options to determine the best solution for you and your budget.