How to Intall a Vapor Barrier

What You'll Need
Moisture barrier (which is usually plastic)
Caulk gun
Staple gun

In order to finish a basement and make it livable, you must install a basement vapor barrier. The main reason people do not like basements is that they gather a lot of moisture. By implementing vapor barriers, you will reduce the problems caused by moisture. The following is a guide for installing and cutting sections of basement vapor barriers.

Step 1 - Check for Vapor Problems and Dirt

Prepare the basement. The most important thing to check for mildew and mold in the area where you plan to apply the vapor barrier. Remove mildew as carefully as possible; you do not want to place the barrier in a moldy spot. Doing so will allow it to grow on the barrier. Clean the area well, making sure that it is free of dust and dirt; otherwise, the barrier will not properly attach.

Step 2 - Consider a Drylock

If you want extra protection, it is advisable to use drylock, which will prevent moisture from accumulating on the barrier.

Step 3 - Cut the Sections

Once the basement is ready, you should cut the barrier to the actual size that you want. Cut the sheets into 5-foot sections using your scissors. Make sure you wear gloves in case the edges are sharp. These lengths will make the barrier a lot easier to work with.

Step 4 - Apply the Caulk

Make sure to run a horizontal line of caulk along the basement wall where you want to hang the barrier. Don’t use a lot, just enough to hold the barrier up while you are working with it.

Step 5 - Connect the Sections

Take the first section and place it onto the caulk. When you are ready to attach the next piece of barrier, you will need to run a vertical line down the area where you want to attach the next piece of barrier.

Attach the second barrier to the top of the wall where there is caulk, then attach the vertical side of the barrier into the caulk which runs along the side of the first attached piece of barrier. That should be done about every 4-feet, depending on how wide you made the barrier sections. Continue until you have reached the end of the area you want a barrier for.

Step 6 - Final Section

Once you have finished, trim the barrier to be able to fit into the waffle board that goes around the bottom edge of your basement wall. Leave a few openings so that any moisture that might accumulate will run off into the drains of the basement floor.