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How To Install A Vapor Barrier or
Vapor Retarder In A Crawlspace


Kelly U. from Snowville, UT wrote:

Hey Itchy,

I just went underneath the house into the crawlspace and found out there is no vapor barrier down there. What's the correct way to install this stuff?

Installing a crawlspace ground vapor barrier is simple and you can easily get it done a few hours so long as you don't mind getting a little dirty. You're going to need a extension cord, drop light, utility knife, duct tape and a dust mask. You might also want to take a stick or something similar to clear spider webs out of your way.

Before you get started, measure the length and width of your crawlspace where the vapor barrier is to be layed. Multiply to determine the square footage. This can usually be measured from outside of the house. Purchase some 6 mil polyethylene (plastic) sheeting in a width of 10 feet.

OK, get on down into the crawlspace. If you have any junk or debris you'll need to remove it. Roll out the vapor retarder and make cuts as needed with your utility knife. Make sure each piece overlaps at least 12" and secure it every 3 or 4 feet with 6" strips of the duct tape. When installing the vapor barrier it needs to be extended about a foot high on the foundations walls. Don't secure the vapor barrier to the foundation, just have it loosely laid against it.




Continue this process until the entire crawl space has been covered. Some areas may be tight and you may need to belly your way through it. If you encounter tight areas, it's OK to grunt and cuss - nobody can here you down there anyway. When finished, carefully exit the crawl space so the ground cover is not shifted.

Related Tips and Advice:

How To Install A Vapor Barrier On Walls
How To Install A Vapor Barrier On A Ceiling

How To Install Blown In Insulation In Your Attic
How To Insulate A Concrete Wall
How To Insulate Ducts

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