Have you ever heard of a vapor barrier?
Have any idea what one is or what one does?
If you answered yes to either question do not feel bad as the majority of mobile home Buyers and Sellers within the Sarasota Florida area have no clue of what these are and what they do!
A vapor barrier looks like a large black trash bag and is attached to the underbelly of the mobile home. Most vapor barriers will run the entire length and width of the body of the mobile home but usually not the Florida room, carports, or outbuildings of the mobile home.
Vapor barriers can be attached to any size of the mobile home, whether it is a single-wide, a double-wide, or a park model mobile home.
A vapor barrier protects the underside of the mobile home, its plumbing, subfloor, and any attachments added to the bottom of the home such as additional plumbing fixtures from added moisture and critters.
If the mobile home does not have a vapor barrier or if one is severely damaged then one can be replaced or repaired by a local company without a large cost.
It is common for most mobile homes to have one from the factory but, like with anything they will only last so long so if it you are not sure if when the last time yours was inspected we strongly suggest finding a reputable company to take a look at it and make sure it is in proper working order.
The subflooring system of a mobile home is wood-based and the vapor barrier will help in preventing the subflooring from getting wet which could lead to wet spots popping up all over your floor much faster than expected.
Critters are notorious for causing havoc on the plumbing systems of the mobile home that is located underneath the mobile home. If the vapor barrier is in good condition and doing its job then it should be a solid defense against these pesky guys from causing any issues with your plumbing system.
Moisture is a common issue in mobile homes. Whether it is caused by humidity or crawl space, you will not like it. There are several ways to deal with mobile home vapors but, first, we need to understand what it is all about.
Crawl space moisture develops when there is an excessive amount of water within the crawl space. It will happen regardless of whether there is enough ventilation or not. Usually, once the air seeps into this space, it cools off, which increases humidity. This humidity could rise to a level where condensation becomes inevitable.
On the other hand, the rise in humidity within the mobile home could also be a problem. It will arise when you don’t properly manage the inside temperature of your home. Some activities that cause the humidity to increase include cooking, bathing, washing, and other activities that include water and steaming. This condensation makes the home prone to stains and molds.
Fortunately, there is something that can solve this issue – the vapor barriers..
Vapor barriers for mobile homes come in three different options depending on your mobile home requirement. These barriers could be either Type 1, 2, or Type 3. Your choice will be dependent on your needs, budget, and even preferences. Ideally, the type of barrier you choose depends on the material it is made from and its cost. Some of the top choices you will get include the following.
Class 1 vapor barriers will often come with a permeance of less than 0.1. That implies that the amount of moisture allowed through these barriers will hardly go over 0.1 perm.
Class II vapor barriers pride themselves on permeance of more than 0.1 but less than one perm. While they might not be as reliable as class I barriers, they assure you of relatively enhanced credibility. Some of the top barriers you might want to consider under this category are asphalt-backed kraft paper, unfaced expanded polystyrene, and asphalt-coated paper.
Class III vapor barriers might offer the highest permeance, but you will still find them reasonably reliable. They assure you of permeance of approximately one but less than ten perms. Materials that provide you with this level of permeance include cellulose insulation, board lumber, fiberglass insulation, and gypsum board.
If you can afford it, the Class I vapor barriers will be the best choice.
Mobile homes are exposed to various challenges and elements that if not attended to, could result in costly maintenance repairs. For this reason, insulating your mobile home is an ideal preventive measure. This should be coupled with properly installed vapor barriers.
Installing vapor barriers can be a piece of cake for people who are fond of doing DIYS and have enough extra time to fix their mobile homes. But if you have trouble finding the extra time and don’t have the necessary skills and tools to do it, hiring a professional vapor barrier installer would be your best choice.
When looking at buying a mobile home in the greater Sarasota Florida area we strongly suggest you always get the vapor barrier inspected prior to purchase because if it is severely damaged or nonexistent then this could be a sign that you have bigger problems on the horizon!
This is Mark Kaiser with The Mobile Home Dealer and we help mobile home Buyers and Sellers get to a better place in life.