WHAT KIND OF CRAWL SPACE BARRIERS?

While our main focus on this website is about 12 mil crawl space vapor barriers, it doesn’t mean that we won’t discuss other vapor barrier sizes. Perhaps you don’t know what type of crawl space vapor barrier you need. Maybe your a new homeowner and you don’t know what a vapor barrier is and you stumbled across our website. What ever reason it may be, we’re discussing vapor barriers, different sizes, different uses and what brands work best.

Crawl space vapor barriers, also called crawl space liners, come in a variety of different sizes. These vapor barriers can come in the following sizes:

20 Mil Vapor Barrier

12 Mil Vapor Barrier

10 Mil Vapor Barrier

8 Mil Vapor Barrier

6 Mil Vapor Barrier

Before we get into it, I want to say the information in this article is solely based on our decades of experience installing vapor barriers and encapsulating crawl spaces.

Now, in the crawl space industry, you don’t always get what you pay for. I don’t want to scare you from buying, but rather I want to educate you to the fact that things are not always as they appear. Just because a vapor barrier is priced high does not make it a quality product. Just because a vapor barrier is priced low doesn’t mean it’s not a quality product. Yes, confusing a little, but I’ll be sure to explain everything so you clearly understand.

Crawl Space Vapor Barriers For Encapsulation

Crawl space encapsulation is the process of sealing off your crawl space from the outside environment. During this process, the crawl space floors and foundation walls are covered with vapor barrier.

The two most common crawl space liners used are the 20 mil and 12 mil sizes.

20 Mil Vapor Barrier

The 20 mil crawl space vapor barrier is commonly used to cover the crawl space floor. It’s a heavy duty liner, able to store heavy objects on it without the worries of tearing. Most likely, you won’t see a 20 mil liner on the foundation walls.

12 Mil Vapor Barrier

The 12 mil crawl space vapor barrier is commonly used on the crawl space foundation walls. This is especially true when you use a 20 mil size for the floor. 12 mil liners are also used on the floors of the crawl space. Some of you may use the 12 mil size all around, on floors and foundation walls.

Smaller Vapor Barrier Sizes

Smaller vapor barrier sizes such as the 6 mil, 8 mil and 10 mil are usually used in small crawl spaces. In most cases, you get a bigger size on the floor than the foundation walls. If crawl space insulation is used, the insulation should go on the foundation walls first, than followed by the vapor barrier.

RECOMMENDED VAPOR BARRIERS

Rarely will you find us using the smaller crawl space vapor barrier sizes. This is typically because we work on large crawl spaces. Over the years, we’ve worked with a lot of different crawl space liners. If you are a regular to our website, you’ll find there’s 3 liners that we recommend. Not because they have great reviews, not because what other contractors say, but because we’ve been using these 3 brands for many years.

I highly recommend that you choose a high quality vapor barrier. The last thing you want is failure. You do not want to be back down in the crawl space within a year doing it all over, right? I didn’t think so. Our motto is “One and Done,” and with these 3 brands of liners, you’ll get affordable, accurate and quality all in one. Let’s show you the brands you should use.

DiamondBack™ 12 Mil

The DiamondBack™ 12 Mil crawl space vapor barrier is one of the top in the industry. The size on this 12 mil liner is accurate. The DiamondBack™ 12 mil is 13’4″ wide by 75′ long (1000 sq ft). and ships folded to in half and rolled on a 82″ long tube. This liner is reinforced with a 1000 denier polyester cord to stablize the layers and prevent the vapor barrier from ripping.

GuardianLiner 12™ Mil

The GuardianLiner™ 12 Mil crawl space vapor barrier is another top rated liner. The DiamondBack™ 12 mil is 13’4″ wide by 75′ long (1000 sq ft). and ships folded to in half and rolled on a 82″ long tube. This 12 mil has a basic string reinforced vapor barrier that is commonly compared to most other brands on the open market for the same pronounced thickness, 12 Mil. Actual 12 mil is equal to .012″, not 12mm.

SilverBack 12 Mil & 20 Mil

The SilverBack™ crawl space vapor barrier comes in two different sizes, the 20 mil and 12 mil. It’s one of the highest reviewed liners on the market. The liner has an unique look from other vapor barriers with a white front and silver back. Both the 12 mil and 20 Mil  SilverBack™ vapor barriers measure exactly correct. The 20 Mil is actually 20 mil at the plastic and the 12 mil is actually a 12 mil size. Several vapor barriers we worked with in the past measure at the string reinforcement, which is NOT the correct measurement. This is one of the concerns I mentioned above.

This 12 Mil SilverBack™ vapor barrier weighs 65 pounds (of plastic) per 1000 square feet. Compare that to the competitions 12 Mil @ 38 pounds per 1000 square foot. That is a 27 pound less per 1000 sq ft roll in material you are paying for.

The 20 Mil SilverBack™ is available in 3 roll sizes:

  • 6’7.5″x100′ (675 sq ft)
  • 13’4″x50′ (675 sq ft)
  • 13’4″x90′ (1200 sq ft)

This 12 Mil SilverBack™ vapor barrier weighs 65 pounds (of plastic) per 1000 square feet. Compare that to the competitions 12 Mil @ 38 pounds per 1000 square foot. That is a 27 pound less per 1000 sq ft roll in material you are paying for.

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