Can a Moisture Barrier Avoid Mold Remediation?

Can a Moisture Barrier Avoid Mold Remediation?

Mold can grow due to water damage or the presence of moisture, but can a moisture barrier reduce the need for mold remediation? The amount of damage mold can cause is significant. Even more concerning are the health effects it can have. Since mold spores require moisture to settle and grow, waterproofing your home can protect it. A moisture barrier provides just the solution to prevent water entry, which may lead to mold remediation in Los Angeles.

How Does a Moisture Barrier Work?

Moisture barriers are effective at keeping out liquid water. They’re often used to prevent water from seeping into a house from the ground. A vapor barrier, on the other hand, is designed to keep out water that’s in a gaseous state. Each barrier is classified based on its level of permeability (perms) and as follows:

  • Class I: At 0.1 perms or less, this is considered impermeable and is the strongest type of moisture barrier. It’s often made of sheet metal, rubber, polyethylene, or glass.
  • Class II: Rated at greater than 0.1 perms and less than or equal to 1.0 perms, these semi-permeable membranes let through some moisture. They can be plywood, bitumen-coated kraft paper, 30-pound asphalt-coated paper, unfaced or extruded polystyrene, or 0.0031-inch thick latex paint.
  • Class III: Rated greater than 1.0 perms and less than or equal to 10 perms, this class of moisture barriers is the most permeable. They’re often made of gypsum board, fiberglass insulation, concrete blocks, or 15-pound asphalt-coated paper.

Where Is a Moisture Barrier Installed?

Moisture barriers are often installed in exterior walls, crawlspaces, and basement floors. They may also be placed on subfloors, especially when wood is laid over concrete. Ground moisture seeping up into overlying materials can create a hidden breeding ground for mold. It can damage the wood above a concrete layer, and if you live in a colder climate, freezing and thawing can also damage concrete. Therefore, a moisture barrier can not only avoid the need for mold remediation but also costly repairs.

Moisture Barriers vs. Vapor Barriers

Moisture and vapor barriers are classified in the same way. However, a vapor barrier restricts the flow of moisture rather than keeps it out. However, limiting the flow of moisture and gas into a home is beneficial in a structure where indoor and outdoor temperatures are dramatically different. Therefore, the barrier is often used in hot climates, where it should be installed closer to a structure’s exterior; in cold climates, it’s best placed closer to the inner surface of an exterior wall. 

The general idea is to prevent temperature variances from creating condensation that can lead to mold. Aside from exterior walls, vapor barriers may also be installed in walls surrounding humid areas such as bathrooms, hot tubs, or pools.

Why the Difference Is So Important

It’s important to know the type of barrier you need in terms of mold remediation and protection. A professional can assess your home and determine whether you require a vapor or moisture barrier. If you use the wrong type of barrier, it will fail. Or, if it’s put on the wrong side of the wall, mold can grow inside the wall. Even a small hole or gap in the barrier can result in big problems, so it’s important to hire a professional for advice and installation.

Do I Need a Moisture Barrier?

Most homeowners don’t know their moisture barrier requirements. But we all know mold is bad. If your home is susceptible to water or moisture damage, it can be a conducive environment for mold to grow. Your climate doesn’t have to be excessively hot and humid or extremely cold. However, the environment determines the best type of barrier and where to install it.

If humidity is generated from inside your home, the barrier should be placed between the insulation and drywall. However, if humid air is on the outside, the barrier is best placed inside the exterior wall, between it and the insulation (to keep insulating materials dry). Preventing moisture entry indeed helps reduce the risk of mold and needing a remediation professional.

A moisture barrier also affords other benefits besides mold protection. It can also block termites, carpenter ants, and other insects that can damage your home. Water entry, mold, and insect infestations can all lead to significant property damage and compromise structural integrity.

Call Restorerz for Mold Remediation and Prevention Advice

Restorerz is a leading provider of mold remediation, property restoration, and water damage cleanup in Southern California. We’re available 24/7 to address emergencies. Our team is certified to perform any tasks required to make your property habitable again. We can also take measures to prevent or reduce the risk of issues in the future. To request assistance with competitive pricing and your satisfaction guaranteed, call (323) 970-4761 today.

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