Suggestions/advice on vapor barrier product to use?

Old 03-25-15, 05:09 PM
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Suggestions/advice on vapor barrier product to use?

In the basement of my house (built in 1900) in NE Ohio...Half of the basement floor is finished, the other half is dirt floor covered by a few inches of crushed stone gravel (see pics)Attachment 48509Attachment 48510. I had a mold issue, so looking to put a vapor barrier over the gravel floor. Also am getting slightly elevated radon level about about 4.9 to 5.1. I'm hoping maybe to solve both issue with one fix. Here's my dilema...I'm looking for a vapor barrier material that would withstand occassionally walking across it. The furnace is located on the gravel side of the basement, as well as we use that area for storage (holiday decorations, etc). There wouldn't be heavy traffic, but would need to walk over to change furnace filters, swap out holiday decorations, etc. Can anyone recommend a product that would act as a vapor/moisture barrier that could withstand some foot traffic? Also, the barrier would be installed on top of the gravel, so looking for something that wouldn't be easily punctured by the crushed stone gravel underneath. Thanks.Name:  IMG_6694a.jpg
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Old 03-26-15, 03:56 AM
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Rubber roofing or more appropriately, EPDM. You could certainly make a substantial covering using the 40 mil version of the material. Check with any commercial roofing supply house. Probably run $ 160.00 to 200.00 for 500 sq.ft. roll.
Old 03-26-15, 06:20 AM
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You will need to get some radon ventilation under any vapor barrier you install. Although heavier is better, walking on a vapor barrier over gravel is just asking for a puncture which would be bad for both radon protection and vapor control. Grave is a good base for radon extraction as it allows the entire floor to be depressurized.

My thinking would be some pressure treated walking and storage areas above the vapor barrier and zero walking on it. If you have a sump pit or a water issue those need to be considered with your plan.

There are vapor barrier products made specifically for basement floors that are heavier, and more expensive. The EPDM sounds good if it can be sealed at the seams and sealed to the walls.

Note, local codes vary, but exposed foam may need a fire rated covering if what I see doesn't have such.


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