After you’ve completed Step 1 which is your crawl space evaluation, the next step will be installing crawl space vapor barriers on the walls and floors. This is ONLY after you know if you can encapsulate your crawl space or not.
Step 2 – Crawl Space Vapor Barrier
As long as your crawl space can be encapsulated, the next step will be installing vapor barriers.
There’s a wide range of crawl space vapor barriers on the market, making the right choice can prove to be difficult. Let me the first to say, product materials matter. You want a high quality crawl space vapor barrier for your crawl space. I wouldn’t recommend going the cheap route and using cheap material, it will cause you more problems than good.
Crawl Space Encapsulation Materials
We know we’re going to need some crawl space vapor barrier rolls, but what other crawl space encapsulation materials will we need?
I am sure you already know, but I am going to say it anyway; it is so much easier, faster and cheaper to do ANY project when you have the right tools. Here are some tools to consider:
- crawl space shovel
- crawl space pick axe
- crawl space knife
- replacement blades
- 100′ tape measure
- hammer drill (not a drill with a “hammer” feature)
- reciprocating saw (for plumbing work, cutting roots and buried debris)
- screw drivers
- wire staples
- electrical cords w/GFI
- Crawl Space Lights
- organic mold cleaner
- crawl space broom
- small vacuum
- Heavy workshop paper towels
What Size Vapor Barrier Do I Need?
Typically, most encapsulated crawl spaces uses 1 of 4 different vapor barriers. These are the 20 mil, 12 mil, 8 mil and 6 mil. The recommended liner size you should use depends on the condition of your crawl space floors. In most cases, the biggest vapor barrier size is used on the floors as the walls are often smooth and without foot traffic or storage. If you plans to store items on your vapor barrier or have traffic across it, a thicker liner size would be recommended.
The most common crawl space vapor barrier size used is the 20 mil liner. Most encapsulated crawl spaces use a 20 mil on the floor and 12 mil liners on the foundation walls.
SilverBack Vapor Barrier Brand
Over the years, I’ve used a wide range of vapor barriers to complete encapsulation jobs all over the country. So I’ve been handling some crawl space materials for years. One of the main brands I use and recommend is the SilverBack crawl space vapor barrier. This crawl space liner can be found in 20 mil size and 12 mil size.
*Both can be found at CrawlSpaceRepair.com where you can read reviews and watch install videos.
Insider Tip – If you have any doubts about the SilverBack, I suggest contacting the manufacturer. I’ve personally seen the proof in my own two hands and the SilverBack is thicker than most of their competitors. You can feel and see the difference. This is why I know the claims they make are both true and accurate.