5 Best Uses for a Vapor Barrier

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A vapor barrier is an important part of any type of construction. It doesn't matter if you are working on a new floor, wall, ceiling, garage, shed, or basement, a vapor barrier is essential to the quality of the construction. A vapor barrier is mostly thought of as a piece of plastic lining. However, vapor barriers can be PVC panels, a liquid rubber coating, or vinyl sheets.

Many Uses for Keeping Water From Damaging Construction

When it comes to saving your building materials from water damage, a vapor barrier is essential. It will make a tremendous difference in the moisture content, the damage from mildew and mold, and the humidity in a building. If you are not sure when a vapor barrier should be used, read through to learn some of the best uses for a vapor barrier.

Behind Fiberboard in a Bathroom

One of the best uses for a vapor barrier is in the bathroom, behind the fiberboard of the shower. When building a shower that is not a self-contained unit, fiberboard (a drywall-like wall covered with cement) is used to cover the walls. You can keep the moisture from the shower contained within that area, thus protecting the wall studs, by placing a plastic vapor barrier on the studs before installing the fiberboard.

Under Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant heating that is installed on the floor is becoming more and more popular because of the efficiency of the product. However, this radiant heating works through the use of hot water, meaning there is a tendency for the pipes to sweat, the moisture to settle, or leaks to happen in the tubes. A plastic vapor barrier, or a brush-on rubber barrier, applied on the floor sheathing above the radiant heating tubes, will protect the subfloor.

On Exterior Walls

Many people are turning towards vinyl siding today for the exterior of their homes. In order to install this vinyl siding, you have to remove the old siding down to the sheathing. You should place a vapor barrier over this sheathing in order to protect it from any moisture that seeps in through the siding.

Covering Attic Walls

If you have a home that has exposed studs in the attic area, a vapor barrier must be used. The humidity and heat in the attic area are much worse than in the regular living area. While attic fans release much of the heat, they do draw in outside air. This adds to the moisture content in the attic. Cover the studs and the ceiling joists with a plastic vapor barrier to better protect this wood and prevent mold from growing.

Basement Waterproofing Agent

If putting in a new foundation for a house, one of the things that must be done is to place a vapor barrier around the outside of the walls. A liquid rubber sealant serves as a vapor barrier and is easily brushed onto the walls. This should be done before the ground is backfilled against the foundation walls.