Is a Vapor Barrier Necessary in Your Basement?

Is a Vapor Barrier Necessary in Your Basement?

What is a Vapor Barrier?

A vapor barrier is an encapsulation made of foil or plastic designed to keep moisture out of the basement. This material will help damp-proof your basement or crawlspace, helping you avoid moisture-related damage, like dry rot and mold. It is not the same thing as waterproofing, but it is an important part.

Signs You Need a Vapor Barrier

vapor barrier in crawlspaceIn addition to the humidity levels in your area, several everyday factors can contribute to moisture in the air, like cooking, house plants, and showers. When too much moisture builds, your home is susceptible to dry rot and mold, which is dangerous to your house’s structure and your health. Keep an eye out for these signs that you need a vapor barrier: 

  • Mold or mildew in your basement.
  • Musty smell in the basement.
  • Moisture seepage.
  • High humidity throughout your home
  • Higher heating bills than usual.


If a vapor barrier doesn’t fully waterproof your basement, why is it necessary? The best kind of waterproofing has multiple lines of defense in place, including keeping moisture away from your basement walls. Here are the benefits of having a vapor barrier in your basement or crawlspace:

  • Keeps The Elements Out: Avoiding a wet basement prevents mold growth, wood rot, and pest infestations. Less damage means fewer repair costs down the road. This is safer for your health and better for your wallet.
  • Healthier Air Quality: The air you breathe upstairs comes from under your home. When you protect your basement from moisture, you create a better breathing environment for the rest of the house. 
  • Energy Efficient: High humidity makes your HVAC system work harder to keep your home comfortable. When HVAC works harder, your energy bills go up. A barrier can help reduce those energy costs.
  • Creates Usable Space: A wet and moldy basement or crawlspace is not a space you want to actually use. A properly protected space feels less wasted and more useful for storage or living areas. 

Protect Your Home with Rapid Foundation Repair

If you do not have a vapor barrier in your home, now might be the time to start thinking about it. This solution is a no-brainer if you already see signs of moisture damage, like mold, mildew, or high humidity. However, even if you can’t see the signs, you may want to install that protection before any long-lasting damage sets in. Call Rapid Foundation Repair to help you with your vapor barrier and other waterproofing needs.