Vapor Retarders, once thought of as convenient tools for construction projects, are now codified as mandatory materials to have in the foundation of commercial and residential buildings. As a builder or contractor, choosing the best high quality vapor retarder for concrete slab foundations can be overwhelming.
When using vapor retarders in heavy-duty applications like under-concrete slab installation, it must be durable enough to withstand installation while meeting required specifications like ASTM E1745.
ASTM International, or the American Society for Testing and Materials is an international organization regulating building materials and the methods for testing and categorizing them. ASTM E1745 is the “standard specification for plastic water vapor retarders used in contact with soil or granular fill under concrete slabs.” This code divides vapor retarders into class A, B, or C, with Class A vapor retarders having the lowest permeability and therefore being the highest recommended for under-concrete slabs.
Related Article: What is a Class A Vapor Barrier Material?
Typically, vapor retarders undergo either one of two permeability tests. This lets contractors know, at a glance, if this sheeting will meet their compliance requirements.
What are the Methods of Testing Vapor Barrier Permeability?
Testing for vapor retarders is codified under ASTM E96 or ASTM F1249. Both tests measure Water Vapor Transmission Rate (WVTR) and are acceptable test methods under ASTM E1745.
ASTM E96 is the standard test method for water vapor transmission of materials. This method involves sealing the material being tested to a test dish opening and then creating either a high or low vapor pressure environment.
The low vapor pressure environment method is called the desiccant method or the “dry cup” method and involves filling the test dish with calcium chloride. The high vapor pressure method, also called the water method or the “wet-cup” method, fills the test dish with distilled water. The “inverted wet-cup” method tests how much vapor is pulled into the test dish, as opposed to permeated out of the test dish. ASTM 96 runs over a few days, and permeance is measured by weight.
ASTM F1249 is the Standard Test Method for Water Vapor Transmission Rate Through Plastic Film and Sheeting Using a Modular Infrared Sensor. This test seals material between a wet chamber and a dry chamber, using an infrared sensor to determine the amount of moisture transmitted. This testing method involves sensitive machinery, allowing for precise measurement, and can typically be run faster than ASTM E96 testing.
What is the Best Low Permeable Vapor Barrier?
Contractors can be confident that the certified vapor retarder they choose will meet the compliance requirements because of regulated testing. Americover carries industry-standard plastic sheeting materials that can offer builders the best service, expertise, and pricing.
Related Article: What is the Best Vapor Barrier to Use Under Concrete Slabs?
ASTM E96 Tested Vapor Retarders for Under Slab
VaporBlock® Vapor Barrier: VAPORBLOCK® is a high-performance underslab vapor barrier designed to retard moisture migration through concrete slabs-ongrade. VAPORBLOCK® vapor barriers exceed ASTM E-1745 Class A, B, and C requirements for plastic water vapor retarders used in contact with soil or granular fill under concrete slabs.
VaporBlock® Plus: VaporBlock® Plus is a highly resilient underslab vapor retarder and gas barrier designed to restrict naturally occurring gases such as radon and/or methane from migrating through the ground and concrete slab. This material exceeds ASTM E-1745 and Class A, B and C requirements.
ASTM F1249 Tested Vapor Retarders for Under Slab
Pro Crawl Barrier: PRO Crawl Barrier is a high-performance multi-layer extruded vapor barrier specifically designed to ensure low permeability to protect the building fabric from moisture vapor damage. PCB is manufactured with virgin polyolefin-based resins to produce high tensile strength and superior puncture resistance. This 10 mil class 1 vapor retarder is a high gloss white offering a clean, professional finish. Each roll is 10′ x 100′ and rolled on 32″ cores.
Vapor Barrier Retarder: Vapor Barrier Retarders are composed of high-performance polyolefin resins to create a highly puncture-resistant vapor barrier for use under concrete slabs or in the building envelope to stop moisture migration and reduce mold, mildew, and fungus. Americover’s vapor barriers meet or exceed ASTM 1745, Class A, B, and C standards for water vapor retarders used in contact with soil or granular fill under concrete slabs.
Yellow Vapor Barrier: Our Yellow Vapor Barrier is a highly puncture-resistant vapor barrier composed of polyolefin resins. It’s ideal for use under concrete slabs or within structures to help stop moisture migration and reduct mold, mildew, and fungus growth. The Yellow Vapor Barrier exceed ASTM 1745 and Class A, B, and C standards.
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