If you’ve ever had to go under your home, especially in the summer, you’ve noticed how hot and humid the air is in your crawl space or unfinished basement. As water in the soil under your home evaporates, that muggy, stagnant air can transfer moisture and bacteria into your home, leading to health problems and expensive structural damage.
With 40 percent of the air on your home’s first floor coming from your crawl space, reducing the heat, moisture, and bacteria is essential to your health as well as necessary for reducing energy bills and preventing insects and mold.
What Is a Vapor Barrier?
A vapor barrier is a frequently used method to mitigate moisture from entering a home through the crawl space or basement. It’s a plastic sheet material that is placed under your home in order to block evaporation which leads to damage, mold, and other problems. While evaporation from damp earth does play a role in the amount of moisture under your home, it’s not the only factor, especially in a humid climate. In fact, if you have a vented crawl space or basement, a vapor barrier only reduces the amount of moisture under your home. It can still enter from outdoors through small cracks, crevices, or vents and cause the same problems.
Is a Vapor Barrier Right for Your Wake Forest Home?
A vapor barrier is generally an acceptable way to block moisture transmission in cold or dry climates. However, most of the United States is too warm and humid for a vapor barrier to be 100 percent effective. Wake Forest is not only extremely hot in the summer, but much of the year is also extremely humid, so you need something more comprehensive.
Vapor barriers simply can’t block all the moisture in your crawl space, so they’re only slowing down mold growth and wood rot. In reality, anywhere there are gaps or openings within your foundation moisture can enter and seep into your home, whether by permeating your subflooring or entering through cracks and crevices.
Why a Vapor Barrier May Not Be Enough
If you’re only relying on plastic sheeting to keep your vented crawl space or unfinished basement dry, you are still susceptible to insects and termites, and over time, this can cause your home’s foundation and floor joists can become damaged or weakened, requiring professional floor leveling and intensive repairs. Regardless of where moisture enters your crawl space, either from evaporated condensation under the house or from air flowing in from outside the foundation, the same problems can result
Unless you encapsulate your crawl space or basement, the air that enters will move through the rest of the house and cause damage to your walls, flooring, and anywhere mold can grow. Spores can also enter your heating and air conditioning system and circulate through your home, triggering asthma attacks, allergy symptoms, headaches, and other chronic issues.
Protect Your Wake Forest Home with More than a Vapor Barrier
In order to avoid expensive repairs and health problems, you need to prevent as much damp, unhealthy air 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 highly effective method of sealing the area, including blocking 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 Wake Forest
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.