If you own a home, you probably understand how important it is to ensure that the structure is supported by a strong foundation. In addition to the formidable amount of weight in the home's walls and roof, the foundation must also support the weight of the finishes, furnishings, appliances, and personal possessions of those who occupy the structure. The movement of occupants and pressures from wind and weather must also be absorbed by the foundation.
If the foundation is allowed to degrade for any reason, the home can quickly become unstable or even dangerous for occupancy. One of the ways in which homeowners can help to protect the foundation of their home is by installing a vapor barrier in the crawlspace. Homeowners who are unfamiliar with vapor barriers may find the following information helpful.
Protection from moisture
The first and most obvious reason to install a vapor barrier inside the crawl space of your home is to protect the foundation and the structure of the home from the effects of damaging moisture. A properly installed vapor barrier effectively stops moisture from the soil from permeating the crawl space and creating unhealthy levels of humidity. A vapor barrier can help ensure that wooden, concrete, and masonry elements are protected from exposure to moisture and humidity.
Protection from insect damage
Another reason to invest in the installation of a vapor barrier inside the crawl space of your home is to offer increased protection from insect damage. Termites are drawn to spaces where there is enough humidity and moisture to support a growing infestation. When a vapor barrier is installed, moisture levels in wooden beams and joists are reduced, making them much less attractive to insects, like termites, who must ingest wood fibers to survive.
Protection from interior humidity issues
The installation of a vapor barrier in the crawl space of your home can also offer benefits that may be felt throughout the interior living spaces of the structure. When moisture levels are reduced in the crawl space, humidity levels can be more easily normalized inside resulting in better air quality and fewer problems with mold or mildew.
When humidity issues are resolved inside the home, heating and cooling appliances are also able to function more efficiently, creating a more comfortable atmosphere for the occupants.
To learn more about the importance of protecting your home's foundation in this manner, contact a contractor who performs crawl space vapor barrier installations in your area.