How to protect vapor barrier from gravel

Today's question comes from  Philip in Annabel, Missouri. He wants to know if he's got gravel on the ground, what kind of a underlayment do we recommend And also he's wondering why he could possibly have mold in a house that does not have any standing water.

 

Crawl Space Underlayment

Underlayment can be useful when there is gravel in your crawl space, and there are "high traffic" areas. You want to protect the barrier and also get a break on your knees from all of the little rocks, well we tend to take 3 different approaches when it comes to protecting the vapor barrier.

  • Double up on the vapor barrier, this wont help you on the knees as much but it will protect your plastic and will ensure your crawl space remains encapsulated.
  • Felt underlayment, this will provide an extra layer of protection and will help your plastic stay say from the gravel.
  • Dimple underlayment,  this will be the one that gives your knees the most relief if you have to spend a significant amount of time in your crawl space.

Remember the point of encapsulating your crawl space is to control humidity and to ensure that the environment under your house is not a breeding ground for mold.

 

Mold in a new house that does not have standing water?

This is another good question from Philip, and its probably a misconception that many people have because why would a brand new house have mold? well if you think about it the wood that is used is exposed to the elements and the longer it takes for the house to be completed the more opportunities it has to receive moisture. According to FEMA mold only needs 24 to 48 hours to settle in and make a home, so remember a good dehumidifier is your first line of defense against high humidity in a crawl space!

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