The solstice seasons bring more than just extreme weather. They also carry the potential of rising energy costs as you scurry to either heat or cool your home, depending on the season. Older houses are especially more vulnerable to insulation problems that can end up costing homeowners a pretty penny.
However, the changing of the seasons isn’t the only cause of concern for your home’s insulation; home renovation and the building of any new walls can also bring this issue to the forefront. Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to remedy any current insulation problems and prevent future ones. One of these measures is by installing vapor barriers in your home.
Vapor barriers are precisely what they sound like: barriers that keep vapor from entering your walls and compromising your insulation. Dampness is your walls or crawlspace that can not only jeopardize your insulation but can also slowly rot away wood and cause some dreaded mold to grow.
Yikes! Thankfully, vapor barriers can help you sidestep all of these issues. Most vapor barriers are made of either plastic or foil and are quite effective at keeping unwanted vapor, and therefore unwanted mold or pests out of your home’s infrastructure.
Interestingly, these vapor barriers are surprisingly advantageous in many other ways.
#1 Cost-effectiveness and ease of installation
Some of the most apparent benefits of vapor barriers are how easy they are to install and the reduced energy costs of your home.
Another clear advantage is that they prevent moisture buildup in your home, and therefore keep bad smells, among the other unwanted guests we mentioned above, out.
#2 Protect your pipes
Did you know those vapor barriers can also protect your house’s pipes?
Any unwanted moisture that gets around your pipes can eventually compromise their integrity, leading to small disasters like bursting or breaking pipes. Drier pipes mean less money spent on damage repair and increased longevity.
#3 Prevent electrical problems
Unsurprisingly, many of your house’s “guts” (i.e., wiring, plumbing, insulation) are located in your walls. When unwanted moisture seeps into your walls, it can wreak havoc on everything inside, especially your wiring.
Most of your wiring is adjacent to your pipes, so water near the wires can translate to electrical shorts, electrical fires, and rusted cables.
Seeing as electrical problems could pose a danger for anyone living in the house, it’s both a smart and safe move to install a vapor barrier in your home.
#4 Keep your house’s structure in fighting form
As mentioned earlier, damp is one of the worst things that your house’s structure could suffer. Wood rot is also a pretty expensive problem to fix, so save yourself the time, money, and headaches that could come with trying to repair your house’s underlying wooden structure by installing a vapor barrier.
#5 Control the temperature better
Vapor barriers help regulate the temperature inside your home more effectively.
Interestingly, the extra moisture in your home absorbs and retains heat quite well, thereby requiring you to run your air conditioner for longer to maintain an average temperature. Longer runner hours for your HVAC also mean higher energy costs.
A simple vapor barrier installation can help keep moisture out and keep your house cooler for less during the summer months.
#6 Do I need a vapor barrier?
If you live in a dry climate, you might not even need a vapor barrier. However, it’s essential to figure out what your area’s typical weather conditions are like, taking into account the humidity and annual rainfall.
Those who live in a mixed climate, meaning an area with hot and humid summer months and winter months requiring heating, will most likely need a vapor barrier. However, the materials used to build some houses can also have a high moisture retention rate.
For example, houses made with brick, stucco, stone, fiber cement, or wood are capable of releasing moisture into the house’s infrastructure, thereby creating the host of problems that come from high moisture levels inside your home’s walls. Furthermore, any new exterior walls you choose to add to your home will also need vapor barriers.
However, you can rest assured that there are air/liquid moisture barrier professionals ready to help you get your home the right vapor barrier. The vapor barrier pros at W.R. Meadows have been making homes airtight for almost a century now.
Their products help individual homeowners, those working in the construction industry, and those working in home renovation. Visit their website today to check out their extensive selection of vapor barriers.