Another important component of a closed crawl space is a vapor barrier. Do you need a thicker vapor barrier? What’s the right type of vapor barrier to get? What types of crawl spaces need a vapor barrier?

When it comes to vapor barriers, here’s how to maximize your enclosed crawl space. 

6-Mil to 20-Mil

Vapor barriers come in a variety of different sizes. These sizes are measured in “mils.” Rather than being short for “millimeter,” one mil is one-thousandth of an inch. Because this is such a small measurement, it’s easy to see why even these seemingly tiny differences make such a big impact.

There are many types of vapor barriers for many different uses. However, the thinnest vapor barrier on the market for crawl spaces tends to be a 6-mil barrier, and the thickest is a 20-mil vapor barrier.

The most effective thicknesses will depend based on who you ask. However, you’re unlikely to find anyone who uses anything lower than 6-mil or higher than 20-mil. 

The Industry Standard

What’s the industry standard for vapor barriers? That’s a tough question to answer. Again, it somewhat depends on who you’re asking; the person you’re asking will often claim it’s whatever they use.

Some contractors use 12-mil barriers. The 12-mil barrier is also very popular among DIY homeowners who want to save money. That’s because the 12-mil barrier is much cheaper than the 20-mil barrier.

Although you’ll still see 12-mil barriers in use at times, the industry seems to be moving toward embracing the 20-mil barrier as the standard. It’s certainly the premium standard among high-quality contractors like JES. 

Choose a 20-Mil Liner for Best Results

A 12-mil barrier doesn’t have the same usefulness as a 20-mil barrier. It’s too thin, making it liable to tear or allow water vapor into the crawl space, both things you’re trying to avoid.

Instead, you should choose a 20-mil liner for an enclosed crawl space. Although some contractors feel this is too much, JES believes it’s better to overcompensate than undercompensate as it can save you money now than having to replace it or patch it when the 12 mil tears in the future.

If you’re looking for a crawl space encapsulation that actually encapsulates, you’re going to want to choose a 20-mil liner. Talk to a JES expert today about utilizing CrawlSeal to keep water vapor out of your crawl space.

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