How to Install a Vapor Barrier

Written by ehow home & garden editor
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Homeowners concerned with protecting their homes from water damage can employ vapor barrier installation as a solution. These barriers block water from reaching the framing of your home while providing an outlet for water vapor. Wall vapor barriers can also be bought with a built-in flame retardant. Follow these steps to install wall vapor barriers for a more energy efficient home.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Vapor barrier roll
  • Staples or nails
  • Seam tape

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  1. 1

    Remove any visible water from the surface to which you are applying the wall vapor barrier. Walls should be free of any debris and completely dry. Caulk any areas such as around windows or gaps within your wall surface itself.

  2. 2

    Roll vapor barrier onto the wall making sure to it falls at least 2 inches below footings. This will stop water from seeping in as it rolls down. All joints should have double layers of wall vapor barrier by at least 4 inches.

  3. 3

    Staple or nail wall vapor barrier, spacing about 2 feet apart to secure it in place.

  4. 4

    Seal seams created by the vapor barrier to walls using special seam tape. Alternative taping may compromise the seams and allow water seepage.

  5. 5

    Apply finish to wall within 30 days of installing your wall vapor barrier to prevent damage to it's surface.

Tips and warnings

  • Walls with insulation inside the wall and in a climate with greater heating should have the wall vapor barriers installed towards the inside. Cooler dominated climates should have them applied toward the outside.

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