One of the realities of building and fixing commercial buildings is that you always have to be aware of the dangers of moisture. Rotting wood, mold, chipped paint, and more are all risks of water getting into the building in places where it’s not supposed to be. Thousands of dollars of damage could be caused by one good leak, and an area that is already at risk could get even worse if it isn’t dealt with quickly. So prevention is the best way to protect buildings from the damage that moisture can do.
But a rotten roof and a huge storm aren’t the only ways water can get into a commercial building. From the ground up, it can cause damage that building owners don’t even know about until it’s too late.
Damage that can be caused by moisture in the crawl space can be:
Most people don’t give much thought to the space under a building. A lot of people don’t think about the crawl space except when they need to get tools or parts.
Unfortunately, crawl spaces usually have dirt floors, which makes them the most likely places for water to get into a commercial building. That’s because if water vapor from the soil isn’t kept out, it can slowly erode your building from the ground up. We’re talking about things like structural damage, electrical shorts, pipe erosion, and the decomposition of insulation and fiberglass insulation, which is bad for your home. Not to mention the risk that mold spores and dust mite droppings could get into your home.
Fortunately, a crawl space vapor barrier is a simple way to solve all of this.
Crawl Space Vapor Barriers are used to keep air from getting into the crawl space.
It’s important to use crawl space vapor barriers because they keep water vapor from getting into the crawl space. These barriers are made of durable membranes. The best way to keep water out of your crawl space is to use a vapor barrier and a waterproofing system. This way, you keep both liquid water and water vapor from getting into your home.
They keep out vapors.
These barriers are usually made of thick plastic that is put across the soil to keep ground water from getting into the space at all.
Now, it’s important to know that these barriers only keep ground water from getting into your crawl space and building. Runoff from storms or broken pipes could still cause moisture to build up in the crawl space area, which is another reason to think about adding waterproofing to your barrier.
Does a Vapor Barrier Really Need to be in your Crawl Space?
If you live in a dry place, you might think you don’t have to worry about crawl space vapor. At the end of the day, how much moisture could be in the dirt under a building in Arizona or any other place?
Quite a few. In fact, a study by Advanced Energy in Flagstaff, Arizona found that homes and buildings with sealed crawl spaces use 15% less energy each year. This means that there is less moisture in the air, which makes it easier to control the temperature inside.
If a building has a crawl space, it can benefit from a crawl space barrier, no matter where you build it.
There are two ways to figure this out:
10 and 15 mil thickness options are available for the vapor barrier under the floor. It can be hard to figure out which thickness level is right for the building you’re working on. It often comes down to how much protection you need.
For even more puncture resistance, PERMINATOR HP is also available. It comes in a 15-mil thickness.
Having a high puncture resistance is important because the barrier will be outside, not inside a concrete floor slab. This means that it could be damaged. It’s called ASTM E1745 and it’s the standard for plastic vapor retarders that are in contact with the ground. Both PERMINATOR 10 and 15 mil far exceed this standard, though.
Where Can You Buy Crawl Space Vapor Barriers?
PERMINATOR underslab vapor barrier is available in Canada and the United States, as well as in many other places around the world. You can find a distributor near you by going to our manufacturer’s website.
Before you start, read this.
Before you install a crawl space barrier, you’ll want to get rid of anything that’s been stored down there. This way, you can get to the ground you’ll be covering. It’s also important to dry out the crawl space before you start.
Getting rid of any visible moisture sources (like puddles), getting rid of wet insulation and debris, or even hiring a professional to get rid of mold could help.
Once the crawl space is clean and dry, you’ll need to get your tools together for installation. Some items you might be grateful to have:
- A tape called “PERMINATOR PERMINATOR”
- The Termination Bar
- It’s PERMINATOR BUTYL TAPE.
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- A pick axe and a utility knife are shown.
- Changing the blades
- a hammer drill is a tool
- Saws that move back and forth
- A tape measurer.
- A screw driver set and a hammer
- Staples made out of wire
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- Crawl space vapor barriers: how to put them up
The crawl space is clean and dry, and you have all the tools you need. It’s time to start.
Perminator’s installation can be done quickly and easily:
Check with your local building codes to see how much space you should leave at the top of your masonry wall. Typically, this is 3 inches. You should put PERMINATOR BUTYL TAPE around the foundation wall where you want the PERMINATOR underslab vapor barrier to stick to.
To keep the PERMINATOR underslab vapor barrier in place and make the foundation look cleaner, think about applying PERMINATOR BUTYL TAPE around the base of the foundation wall as well.
Unroll the PERMINATOR underslab vapor barrier and spread it out across the ground and up the foundation wall, sealing at the PERMINATOR BUTYL TAPE you’ve already put on the ground and the foundation wall.
When you put the TERMINATION BAR on top of the PERMINATOR underslab vapor barrier, it should be in line with the PERMINATOR BUTYL TAPE that comes with the barrier.
Using PERMINATOR tape, completely seal the PERMINATOR underslab vapor barrier. This includes all penetrations, all columns, and at the TERMINATION BAR, where the vapor barrier ends.
Adjust the PERMINATOR underslab vapor barrier across the floor of the crawl space to make sure it covers the whole floor and is long enough to cover all surfaces.
If you live in an area where building codes say you can’t have more than a certain amount of space between things Some people want at least six inches of overlap, but others want up to twelve inches of overlap, so it’s important to pay attention. Seal the seams with PERMINATOR tape.
Crawl Space Cross Ventilation needs to be improved
As PERMINATOR is the best product on the market for controlling vapor infiltration and soil contaminants, such as radon, as well as having a high puncture resistance, it is the best way to keep your crawl space dry. But you might want to think about combining it with other water-proofing measures to get the most out of it.
What about water that comes from runoff or leaky pipes?
Starting to build a waterproofing system in the crawl space area may be best done by sealing the area to keep water from coming in from the outside. Air from the heating and air-conditioning system can help quickly dry up any more water that might get into the crawl space. Installing a humidifier and venting the air outside are also good ways to keep the crawlspace dry.
In the end, we all want to keep the commercial buildings we’re building safe. You can start protecting your home from water damage by using PERMINATOR vapor barrier to keep ground water from getting into the crawl space.