If you are running out of room for your things in the finished areas of your house, you may be giving thought to your crawl space and the square footage it could add to the useable area of your house. While finishing out the crawl space can be either a DIY or professional job, using a quality vapor barrier (10 mils or more) is essential to the wellbeing of the work.
What might happen in your crawl space with barriers that are thinner than 10 mils?
Separations, Punctures, or Tears
Your vapor barrier protection is only as strong as its weakest seal. While there is an overlap done during proper installation that helps remediate the potential problems, there is still a risk. The thinner your material, the more likely it is that it will separate, incur punctures, or tear with minimal stress. By using a barrier of at least 10 mils, you will help avoid the likelihood of these problems.
Inadequate Moisture Protection
Builder’s grade vapor barriers are typically closer to 6 mil in size, which is adequate for most basic situations but may cause problems as time progresses. If you develop moisture in your crawl space even after proper installation, it could have ramifications throughout your house. For example, let’s say you want to install wood floors on the main level of the house. One factor that installers take into consideration is the moisture level of the floor—in other words, your crawl space! If the moisture level is too high, the wood floorboards could warp or shift after installation.
Make sure you’re using a quality vapor barrier in your crawl space work to get the best results!