WHY YOU NEED VAPOUR BARRIERS
You have the plan ready for your new, finished basement. You know where the television is going to go, what type of furniture you have your eye on, and the carpet and colour of the walls has already been decided. However, have you thought about how you are going to make sure your new living space stays comfortable, clean, and healthy? This is where vapour barriers come into play. Insulation is a must, you already know that, but did you know that vapour barriers are your best defence against a damp, mouldy basement?
Moisture travels through the air, that’s just a fact of nature. Unfortunately, that moisture can easily pass through breathable building materials such as drywall and insulation. Typically this isn’t a problem, but when warm air and moisture passes through one side of a wall and reaches a much cooler surface, condensation will occur and can build up, creating costly damages.
The best way to prevent this is with vapour barriers. Vapour barriers do not prevent airflow through your walls, but it does help to prevent the moisture carried in the air turning into damaging condensation.
HOW VAPOUR BARRIERS WORK?
Vapour barriers work hand-in-hand with air barriers, yet they do not have the same function. Vapour barriers prevent moisture from passing through, while air barriers prevent air movement while not blocking moisture. The reason air barriers are important is because moisture travels through the air – the less air you have moving through your walls, the less moisture will be carried through them as well. A good vapour barrier coupled with a well-sealed home, can effectively keep your walls void of unwelcomed condensation.
Also, it is important to make sure the vapour barriers are installed on the warm side of the wall. In a colder climate, the vapour barrier should be installed on the inside of the insulation, between the insulation and the interior wall. This will prevent warm air, from inside your home, carrying moisture through your walls and creating condensation on the outside walls of your home.