What are moisture barriers? Is there a difference between moisture and vapor barriers? At Alamance Insulation and Gutters, we can help you understand this difference. One of our many services is installing moisture barriers in your home. Serving many areas in eastern North Carolina, we specialize in providing quality products and expert services to meet the unique needs of our customers. We offer services to help both homeowners and builders alike.

In the building industry, there are many terms that may be overall similar but include some subtle differences. For example, moisture and vapor barriers essentially refer to the same thing. These are building materials installed to prevent water from getting past the barrier, though no vapor barrier is able to stop all moisture from passing through all the time.

Air barriers are another term in the building industry that is similar to a moisture barrier, but a bit different. Air barriers are necessary all the time in a building, but vapor barriers are not. Like insulation, air barriers control the movement of air with moisture in it. This does not stop the moisture altogether, but instead allows for it to be dispersed appropriately. Air barriers are made of different materials, and they provide a contained amount of air to help control the movement of energy in and out of a building. Typically, air barriers are used with vapor barriers to increase the efficiency of energy use.

There are also many types of vapor barriers, which are made from many different types of materials. For example, rigid foam insulation is a relatively effective vapor barrier that’s commonly used. Polyethylene plastic is another common type of vapor barrier, because it has one of the least amounts of measured moisture permeability. Vapor barrier paints and primers are specially designed, and they can sometimes be applied to materials like bricks to provide an adaptable vapor barrier. Aluminum foil successfully blocks moisture, but this is less commonly used because it’s not a material that’s practical to use.

Vapor and moisture barriers are often recommended by construction workers, but for different reasons and in many different circumstances. Vapor barriers can be applied to interior walls which are mainly cold. They are best applied to exterior walls in mainly hot climates though. Usually, vapor barriers will be installed in finished basements between the concrete and the floor treatment. This helps to prevent damage from leaks.

If you have questions about moisture barriers, call Alamance Insulation and Gutters. We service many areas in North Carolina, including but not limited to Burlington, Greensboro, Elon, Mebane, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh. We’re happy to help with all your insulation and gutter needs!