How to Install a Basement Vapor Barrier

A vapor barrier is useful for keeping moisture from making its way into a basement, keeping mold and water damage at bay. Get the inside scoop on these moisture barriers and find out how they can help protect your basement.

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By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Basements in Depth

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A basement vapor or moisture barrier is installed during the new construction of a home or the remodeling of a basement.

Polyurethane sheeting is a typical vapor barrier that contractors use to prevent moisture from penetrating the walls of a basement. The material is stapled to the frame of a basement wall before it is finished with plaster or drywall. A vapor barrier is also helpful to keeping a basement insulated and warm.

While a vapor barrier won't stop moisture from making its way between the foundation walls and the actual barrier, it will help prevent water from coming into the basement. This, of course, helps to dissipate moisture and mold – two things that no one wants to see in a basement.

You may also want to consider choosing insulation that comes enclosed in a vapor barrier. This option is popular among homeowners because it also encloses the fiberglass material from which insulation is typically made.

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