A vapour barrier is a sheet material that is specifically made to prevent moisture or water vapour from entering an area where it is not wanted. It can be installed in floors, wall, attics, cellars, ceilings, roofs or DIY projects to prevent moisture cause building materials to be damaged by rot or grow mould.
If a vapour barrier membrane is not installed moisture can to get into the flooring, walls, roof or structures potentially allowing damp or rot to occur and making structures unsafe and unhygienic.
No matter what type or style of vapour barrier you choose you will need to understand why you need it, how it works and how to install it correctly. Please see our FAQ's for more information this.
Why do you need a vapour barrier?
Vapour barriers is there to stop water damage, from spreading into the floors, walls, ceilings and roofs where it could cause water damage. This could be to stop water vapour from entering your house or garden structure from the outside environment such as up from the ground or getting into inside of walls. A moisture barrier can also prevent water from escaping from inside your home such as wet-rooms.
Where does the water vapour come from?
Water vapour comes from a lot of different sources such as from in your home or the outside conditions but the most common are the ground, cooking, washing and drying clothes and bathing.
From inside your home water vapour is released from cooking, bathing, drying clothes, etc creates steam or water vapour to be released.
From outside your home or structure from weather conditions or from being below the water table.
Why use vapour barriers?
A vapour barrier is important to use to stop the vapour getting into the walls, floors, roofs and structures where it could cause water damage.
Water from outside you home or structure comes from the natural environment such rain soaking the ground it then is soaked up by a dry structure that is in or on the ground. Also as the water dries naturally become vapour and collects on cold surfaces where it condenses into water droplets.
All the water vapour from inside the home is from cooking, bathing, etc and drifts around until it finds a cold surface such as a wall or window frame etc. where it condenses into water droplets.
These water droplets will seep into the wall and structures and if left will create rot and mould.
Rot will lead to the structure becoming unsafe and may lead to the structure falling. E.g. Wood will swell and if left will decay. Bricks are designed to soak up water, however, without a barrier this water will seep further into the structure.
Mould is a fungus can pose a health problem, especially for people with an allergy, an existing respiratory problem, or a weakened immune.
How to stop this happening.
Vapor barriers are usually best installed on the side of the wall that experiences the hotter temperature and moister conditions: the inner surface in colder climates and the outer surface in hot, humid climates. In existing spaces vapor-barrier paints offer an effective moisture barrier. Consult building inspection offices for local recommendations.
At Homefix we have we provide water vapour barriers, vapour paints, wet room kits, weep trays, cavity trays and accessories to help you get the job done. You could get a pump kit that kicks in when the water from the ground is deep enough to be pumped out.