As a crawl space contractor in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area, we get a lot of questions about vapor barriers. Many times when a customer calls in, it is generally one of the questions below. If you have questions regarding vapor barriers (also called “moisture barrier”, please take a look at these questions and if you don’t see what you are looking for, please feel free to give us a call.
What Does A Vapor Barrier Actually Do?
A crawlspace is a dark, damp place. All of the moisture that is in the soil can vaporize and make its way up into the structure. Putting a vapor barrier down (Polyurethane sheeting) on top of the soil will prevent those vapors from rising and can also prevent some moisture damages. In addition to this, it can help with homes that have a musty smell by trapping some of those odors underneath the plastic.
How Much Does It Cost To Have Vapor Barrier Installed?
The cost of installing a barrier will depend on a few different factors. These factors include how tight the crawlspace is, how many pier posts or other obstacles are in the way, how much debris or layers of vapor barrier already exist, etc. These are just a few things that we consider when pricing a project, but as a general rule, we typically will price it at about 50 cents a square foot.
What Is The Standard Thickness Of A Vapor Barrier?
It can come in many different sizes, colors and thickness. The standard would be a black poylurethane sheeting with a thickness of 6 mil. Many companies will sell a 10 mil or even 20 mil product that we tend to think is a bit overkill.
How Is It Installed?
We install a vapor barrier based on what the building codes require. This includes getting complete coverage over all exposed ground and allowing for a 12 inch overlap along the seams and along the foundation. If the property is on a slope, we will sometimes use lawn staples to hold the plastic in place. Many people ask us if we will be taping the seams, but this is not something that code requires and we also don’t feel that it is effective or necessary.
Do You Guarantee Your Work?
Absolutely! Any work that we do comes with a 1 year warranty. The majority of our projects happen when someone is selling their home. If a home inspector comes through and wants us to fix or alter anything on our work, we will come out and fix it at no charge.
I hope that this article answers many of your questions regarding vapor barrier installation in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area, but if you still have questions, please do not hesitate to call New Leaf Crawl Space Solutions!