Crawl Space Vapor Barriers: The Complete and Ultimate Guide

moisture damaged crawl space in Charlotte

In a typical year’s time, how often do you go into your home’s crawl space? A typical answer might be a couple of times when you need your HVAC system serviced and once or twice annually when you’re putting something into storage (or taking it back out). But, overall, the response can probably be summed up with “Not often.”    

This can lead to an “out of sight, out of mind” scenario, one where moisture—and then mold, and mildew—can have free reign in your crawl space, which in turn can create the perfect environment for termites and all of the havoc that these destructive pests can wreak. 

The solution? A crawl space moisture barrier

This post will share more info about problems caused by moisture and why a vapor barrier installation can be the ideal solution. If you already know that you need this service and are wondering about the crawl space vapor barrier cost and the installation process, please contact us online for a free estimate or call 704-499-9922.     

Crawl Spaces in the Carolinas

Home foundations can be a slab or a basement—or, as is quite popular in the Carolinas, a crawl space. Nationwide, more than 76 million homes have a crawl space with 18% of new builds including one. Reasons for their popularity include how:

  • They’re a highly practical yet inexpensive type of home foundation.
  • There is easy access to HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems when they’re located in the crawl space. 
  • They’re ideal to create a level foundation when a home is built on sloping land.
  • Homeowners can use them for storage of lesser used items.
  • They lift the foundation off the ground by one to four inches, helping to reduce dampness.

So, clearly, there are plenty of positives when it comes with this type of foundation. Having said that, there are also challenges to consider and mitigate—and the problems with crawl spaces tend to be most significant when there is a humid environment. 

And . . . you know what’s coming next, right? North Carolina and South Carolina can be pretty darned humid. 

Challenges with Moisture and Humidity

In general, crawl spaces have more moisture and humidity than other parts of a home. In the Carolinas, this issue is compounded because of the areas’ high humidity, which can be extreme during the warmer months. This humid air can slip into the crawl space through vents in its walls, and moisture in the soil can seep in. Plus, if there is a plumbing problem or drainage leak, the problems can become even more significant.

This moist environment is ideal for fungal growth, meaning mold, mildew, and more. This in turn can lead to:

  • wood rot, which can cause floor failure and other structural damage
  • decreased R-values with insulation
  • poor indoor air quality
  • people suffering from allergies and asthma attacks
  • unwanted funky smells
  • increased heating and cooling bills
  • pest infestations, including termites and all of the damage they can create

Healthwise, WebMD.com shares how mold and mildew can go beyond triggering allergies and asthma, also irritating people’s eyes, nose, throat, skin, and lungs. This can cause more significant problems in young children, older adults, people with compromised immune systems, and those with chronic lung conditions. 

The reality is that just one microscopic mold spore can expand into a big problem. All it needs to do is fall onto a damp spot where it can thrive. That’s why the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) advises that you “act quickly. Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause.” (The bolding is theirs.)

Fortunately, the solution can be pretty straightforward. According to Home Energy NC, you should focus on moisture control. That action alone “can dramatically reduce the risk and associated liability of mold and moisture damage in the southeastern climate.”

So, what’s the next step?

Crawl Space Inspection

Our trained technicians can conduct a thorough inspection of your crawl space, which includes a detailed analysis of relative humidity readings and moisture content data. We’ll share findings with you so that you get an accurate snapshot of the situation and recommend a solution that takes your Carolina home’s unique characteristics and challenges into account. 

Crawl Space Vapor Barrier 

This is an affordable solution that includes a combination of thick vapor barriers and the sealing of foundation vents to fight back against unwanted moisture and all of the problems associated with that dampness. The plastic covers we’ll use are created to block any moisture evaporation from the soil so that it can’t be absorbed into your flooring, framing, and other wooden components of your home. 

Although some companies will use very thin plastic, as thin as 2 or 4 mil, Noosa Pest Management uses at least 6 mil, making sure that it covers 100% of the crawl space floor (no gaps) and, during the vapor barrier installation, we’ll ensure that there aren’t any rips or tears in the material. 

A crawl space moisture barrier will help to protect your home from mold and mildew; sagging insulation; wood rot; and other structural issues. Plus, it helps to protect your home from an infestation of pests, including but not limited to termites.

Termite Treatments

During our crawl space inspection, our technicians may spot a termite infestation, which can threaten the structural integrity of your home. And, unfortunately, homeowner insurance policies don’t cover the damage they create. So, it often makes sense to pair your crawl space moisture barrier with our highly effective termite control services. 

We’ll identify the termite species and the size and location of the infestations, and then make customized recommendations for your needs. Options include a botanical alternative. Plus, with an ongoing termite service agreement, you’ll benefit from an annual inspection where we’ll proactively look for any new signs of these destructive pests. 

You can think of our crawl space vapor barrier service and termite treatments as a powerful one-two punch, a highly effective way to protect your home. 

Crawl Space Vapor Barrier Cost

Pricing for this important service will vary, based on the size of your crawl space, degree of moisture and humidity, and other conditions. For a free inspection and no-pressure quote for our quality vapor barrier installation, just contact us online or call 704-499-9922.

You can benefit from this protection throughout our service areas, which include:

Going Beyond: Crawl Space Encapsulation Services

If your Charlotte area home needs a heavy-duty solution to tackle the moisture and humidity, we offer crawl space encapsulation services. With this service, we’ll remove insulation in your crawl space subflooring and any existing crawl space vapor barrier before cleaning and removing fungal growth from wood and disposing of debris and removed materials, off-site. 

We’ll install foam insulation board and plastic liners, along with a permanent, commercial-grade dehumidifier. We’ll also affix ductwork to the unit so that the dehumidified air can be properly circulated. Also installed: a condensate pump to remove water from the dehumidifier’s operation; LED lighting; and a permanent hygrometer to monitor relative humidity throughout the crawl space. Hygrometer information will be available to you, 24/7, through an app.

If you’re wondering which solution is needed for your home—crawl space sealing or a full encapsulation—and want to compare what each includes and its costs, simply contact us online or call 704-499-9922. After we perform an inspection, we’ll provide you with a personalized recommendation, and we guarantee that we’ll never recommend more than what you need. 

Noosa Pest Management: The Smart Choice

Our locally owned and operated business has been serving our community since 2006, providing quality services that meet and exceed the needs of our customers. This includes the moisture and humidity challenges that you’re facing in your crawl space and any pest problems that come along with that environment.

We guarantee an immediate response during business hours and, during your appointment, we’ll make sure you have all the time you need to get answers to your questions. During your vapor barrier installation, you can count on our technicians arriving on time and treating you and your home with respect throughout the process. 

Just contact us online or call 704-499-9922!