If you are thinking about either finishing your crawl space yourself or contracting with a professional to do the work, it’s essential that you give good thought to the quality of the vapor barrier you choose to use. By using a vapor barrier of 20 mils as part of your crawl space encapsulation, you are giving yourself the best chance of maintaining a clean, dry space that will add a huge amount of value to your home.
Helps Avoid Tears and Punctures
As part of a quality crawl space encapsulation, the vapor barrier is laid in an overlapping way over the floors, walls, ceiling, and around any equipment in your crawl space. Since the intent is for you to be able to use the area by placing storage items there, it’s likely that you will put some strain on the floor barrier in particular as you walk and move over it. By using an extra-thick barrier of 20 mils, you greatly reduce the risk that you will poke through the barrier and minimize the effectiveness of the encapsulation. And if by some chance you do puncture the barrier, repairs are more likely to hold than if you were to try to repair a thinner barrier.
Better Protects Against Moisture
When attached properly to all the surfaces of your crawl space, a thicker barrier does even more to protect your crawl space and the rest of your house from moisture. Having moisture in this area can impact more than just the crawl space itself. Your equipment, such as heating and cooling systems, may operate less efficiently—and if you have a dehumidifier, it could be running far more often than it should.
A 20 mil vapor barrier goes a long way to helping ensure the value of your crawl space encapsulation project!