Denver Crawl Space Vapor Barrier
If your home has a crawl space underneath, you may notice that moisture tends to gather around the ductwork, wiring, and plumbing typically found there. Even though you probably don’t enter your crawl space much, it’s still important to pay attention to what is happening. Left unattended, the damp environment can breed mold, insects, and other things that may damage the structure. If you notice a sour smell in the area, or if the air smells terrible every time you enter, you may need a crawl space vapor barrier system. The earlier you get the problem treated, the more problems you can avoid.
What is a Crawl Space Barrier?
In most homes, the floor of the crawl space is the dirt upon which the house was built. When the soil gets saturated, water accumulates in the crawl space. Moisture from condensation also contributes to the problem. A crawl space barrier controls the humidity in your crawl space and keeps it from causing problems in your house.
The barrier, made of plastic, traps the water vapor underneath and keeps it from reaching your insulation. This system helps avoid the development of mold, mildew, and other common moisture-related problems. Depending on your environment, the barrier may be up to 20-mil thick.
If you see any of the following signs in your home’s crawl space, you should contact us right away. Waiting can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs if you procrastinate until problems are more advanced.
- After a heavy rain is an excellent time to check your home’s crawl space. If you see water accumulating in puddles or creating mud, that’s a sign of trouble. You may need a barrier to keep that water from getting any farther into your home.
- Some homeowners see an infestation of rats, termites, or other insects that thrive in damp environments in the crawl space if it stays moist. These creatures love the water source, and they can destroy your home’s infrastructure if you let them set up housekeeping in your crawl space. These pests pose a health hazard through the spread of disease, along with damage to your home.
- Decaying wood or rusting metal in the crawl space means the moisture is present often enough and long enough to damage the building materials. Replacing damaged components, such as plumbing and wiring, can be expensive, time-consuming, and even dangerous.
- Mold or mildew growing on the walls or floor are a clear sign that the crawl space is staying too moist. Though the problem may start in the crawl space, it could potentially invade the interior of your home as well.
- A damp or musty smell that’s always present when you enter the crawl space is another sign that you need a moisture barrier. While the scent may be most prominent after a rain, the crawl space likely smells unpleasant in dry weather as well.
Colorado Insulation & Whole House Fans can help you determine where the moisture is coming from and how you correct the problem. The answer may be crawl space vapor barriers. Though crawl space vapor barrier is the most common term you see when reading up on the topic, you may also see them referred to as air space sealers or crawl space encapsulation. These are all terms for a system that controls moisture in the crawl space.
How Do Crawl Space Barriers Help Overall Energy Costs?
When you have a crawl space vapor barrier installed, the plastic material helps reduce the amount of air that flows up from the ground. The atmosphere in the crawl space becomes “conditioned,” similar to the way your HVAC system heats and cools the air inside your home.
The temperature in the crawl space will stay about the same as that indoors. For example, in the winter, when the heat inside warms the floors, the crawl space stays warmer too. The result is that you use less energy to keep the home comfortable.
Crawl Space Barrier Facts
Crawl space barriers protect your home from moisture-related damages, but they can also help in other ways. Moisture and standing water can pose an electrical hazard by causing shorts that can lead to fires. A crawl space vapor barrier helps reduce those risks by controlling the humidity.
The installation of a crawl space barrier may increase the value of your home and save money on your homeowner’s insurance. Check with your carrier to get specifics on your policy as it relates to moisture barriers. When you want to sell your home, potential buyers will see the value in the steps you’ve taken to protect your home’s crawl space.
Where Do I Learn More?
If you suspect you have a developing moisture problem in your home’s crawl space, contact Colorado Insulation and Whole House Fans. We’re your experts in the Denver Metro and Colorado Springs areas.
Our team of highly-trained professionals can perform a thorough inspection and give you all your options for controlling any problems you may have. Above all, we want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.