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How to Select An Effective Vapor Barrier for Your Project

Before you purchase a vapor barrier, it’s important to have all the facts prior to making your decision. Here’s what you need to know to select the most effective barrier for your construction project.

Qualities to Consider

Does the Vapor Barrier Have a Perm Rate of 0.1 or Less?

When looking at your options for vapor barriers, you want to ensure that they meet ASTM requirements and keep your projects safe.   Here are some questions to ask about your options:

  • Has the vapor barrier been tested for resistance to deterioration from contact with soil and still maintains a 0.1 Perm or less? 
  • Does the barrier meet the minimum puncture strengths required of an A, B or C classification and can it withstand installation stress? 
  • Does the manufacturer provide proper certification of independent testing, correct classification, and product labeling identifying class A, B or C?
  • Have you determined what classification you will require in order to meet your customer’s performance expectations?

What are the Needs of Your Construction Project?

You have a variety of vapor barrier options to choose from based on what is needed for your construction project. If you are working with a vertical wall, you may need a vapor barrier with enhanced tear resistance increased service life or fire retardant properties. It’s important to also take into account the type of compacted subgrade used on a slab-on-grade or a subgrade application. In order to resist conditions such as sharp, crushed rock, you may want to consider a more puncture-resistant vapor barrier along with an additional geo-textile underlayment.

In general, the more demanding the conditions of your construction project are, the higher the strength you will need from your barrier. In instances with high foot traffic and heavy stress from a concrete placement, consider a Class A or B vapor barrier.

Best Vapor Barrier Options for Controlling Moisture and Gas Migration

When guarding against moisture problems, it’s crucial that you select a vapor barrier that can truly protect your project. Americover’s vapor barriers are a time-proven, cost-effective means of controlling moisture within the building interior, building components, and materials within the structure. Constructed from high-strength polyethylene, Americover’s products are designed to help ensure quality construction and energy savings in your projects.

Moisture Barrier Under Concrete Slab

Americover’s vapor barriers protect your building’s interior and flooring system from moisture migration through the slab. 

VaporBlock® is a high-performance underslab vapor barrier designed to retard moisture migration through concrete slabs-on-grade. VaporBlock® is made from state-of-the-art polyethylene resins that provide superior physical and performance properties that far exceed ASTM E-1745-11 requirements.

Gas & Moisture Barrier Under Concrete Slab

In addition to protection from moisture migration, Americover carries barriers designed to resist radon, methane, and a broad range of harmful VOCs from migrating through the concrete slab. These barriers are typically used in conjunction with a passive or active control system extending across the entire building including floors and crawl spaces. 

The VaporBlock® Plus™ is a seven-layer co-extruded barrier made from state-of-the-art polyethylene and barrier resins to provide unmatched impact strength and superior resistance to gas and moisture transmission. VaporBlock Plus is a highly resilient underslab barrier designed to restrict naturally occurring gases and is more than 50 times less permeable than typical high-performance polyethylene barriers against methane, radon, and other harmful VOCs. VaporBlock Plus works to protect your flooring and other moisture-sensitive furnishings in the building’s interior from moisture and water vapor migration, greatly reducing condensation, mold and degradation. These barriers also meet the requirements of ASTM E-1745- 11 Class A, B or C.

Now that you know what makes an effective vapor barrier, it’s important to understand how to apply these correctly to your projects. In the next article in our three-part series, we will talk about how to properly install these materials.

Trusted by Growers, Builders, and Distributors

Americover is the smart source for plastic and polyethylene sheeting. Trusted by contractors and distributors across construction and agriculture industries, our American-made products combine reliability with quality and innovation.  Before using vapor barriers for flooring projects we recommend you check your flooring manufacturer’s warranty requirements.

As an Americover client, you will receive the personalized support of a dedicated account manager to simplify the ordering process and ensure the best solution for each of your construction projects. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions and fulfill orders Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you would like to speak with a representative, call us at 760-388-6294 or contact us at sales@americover.com.