Water Vapor And Its Impact On Insulation

Do you understand the importance of vapor barrier on your insulation? There are many persons who are of the opinion that they know what vapor barrier is all about but the truth is that they have a vague idea which is, more often than not, ironies. Do you know that your house generates a lot of water vapor?

Your kitchen is a very rich source of water vapor. Every time you cook something on the stove, water evaporates and forms vapor. Despite the best ventilation and despite best efforts to remove the vapor from your house, a small portion is always left in the house. Considering the fact that the air pressure inside the house is always more than the pressure outside, the vapor is attracted outside.

It is not necessary for the vapor to pass through the windows alone. It may rise upwards towards the roof for the ceiling. In such a scenario, it is common for water vapor to get collected on the roof or in the walls. Once the temperature comes down, it condenses and converts into water. This waters an absorbed by the walls, ceilings and other parts of your house.

Since the insulation acts as a barrier between the wall and the outer surface, it is obvious that this insulation shall be the first to get moist because of water. Over the years, the accumulation of water vapor can lead to significant degradation of the quality of insulation. Not only will the energy efficiency of your house be affected, it will also set the fire safety track record of your house.

In such a scenario, you will have to make use of alternatives that will prevent the accumulation of water vapor. Further, you will have to protect the insulation from the damage that water causes. Once the insulation becomes wet, you will find it impossible to make it completely dry.

The only option left is to use vapor barriers that will prevent the vapor from coming in contact with the insulation material. You should try and push the collected water vapor towards the outside surface of the wall. This is because the surface can be scrapped and repainted. This will automatically result in extraction of wall vapor.

However, if you allow it to sink inside the wall, you are only creating scope for complications. Not only with energy efficiency of your house be affected, it will increase the damage that the fire may cause in event of a breakout.

Babies and Vaporizers

Not everyone may recall but most of us spent our infant years beside a vaporizer. They are s great tool to relieve a lot of problems that babies face. It is most frequently used as an infant nasal decongestant although it can also be used as an aid to heal ear problems.

Vaporizers and babies are a pair that we are all familiar with. Read on to find out more about this dynamic duo.

Babies love vaporizers period. It’s almost a miracle how babies react to the scent of their first aroma. The moment they sniff the menthol flavored vapors they put on a smile. Nobody knows for sure why but humans tend to want to breathe scents similar to eucalyptus.

Babies seem to magically lose their colds when given some vaporizer “air time.” The vapors that are released from them act as a nasal decongestant on adults and babies. Colds and sneezing are often a problem when the air is stale and dry. These devices moisten and smoothen this air and “flavor” it to provide some sort of a healing haze.

Aside from its healing properties, vaporizers are also sleeping aids. Babies can be trained to sleep when one gets switched on. This way it will be more convenient to put babies into a “sleep mode.” This is often attributed to the increased oxygen intake babies get from the saturated air that vaporizers give.

For all its positive sides, vaporizers need to be used with caution. Even if babies love them it is important to be careful not to place them very near the babies. A steam that gives of an attractive aroma near an old enough baby will arouse its curiosity. Babies will naturally reach out or crawl towards this very hot device.

A lot of accidents have happened when vaporizers burn the baby’s skin. This is often the case when vaporizers are placed too near the babies. Therefore it is best to place these devices on remote and unreachable places. A common place to put them is on top of cabinets near the roof.

Vaporizers can benefit babies a lot and relieve a lot of problems that parents have to deal with. However since they are literally boiling pots care must be taken in positioning them away from baby’s reach or even away from most adult’s for that matter.

Crawlspace Vapor Barrier Installation

Installing a crawlspace vapor barrier is not rocket science. It is not physically difficult. Whether installing a quality vapor barrier in a vented crawlspace or doing a complete crawlspace encapsulation, it only takes a little time, a little patience and a willingness to crawl around on your hands and knees for a couple of days.

Where to Buy a Crawlspace Vapor Barrier

There are many places to purchase a crawlspace vapor barrier. An on-line search will provide contact information many retailers. And the products they offer vary from inexpensive clear plastic to woven and coated fabrics much like swimming pool liners. The inexpensive liners can also be purchased from many hardware stores and home centers.

What Vapor Barriers Are Available

The inexpensive vapor barriers will do the job but it’s been our experience that they tear easily, don’t stay in place, and become brittle and crack after four to five years. But they are inexpensive.

The alternative is to spend a couple times more initially and purchase a product with a twenty five year warranty. The reinforced or woven products require no more time to install than the inexpensive shorter-lived products.

The real question is whether an installer wants to spend a couple of days crawling around in a damp crawlspace every four or five years, or wants to spend a little more initially and have an installation that is maintenance-free and will last for decades. Personally, it makes more sense to me to do it right the first time and be done with it.

Installing the Vapor Barrier

Whether doing a full crawlspace encapsulation or simply installing a vapor barrier in a vented crawl space, the installation of all products have a lot in common.

First, the floor needs to be completely covered, with all seams overlapped 6″ to 12″ and sealed with tape. While duct tape is a wonderful product with countless uses, it does not do a good job sealing the seams of a vapor barrier. A quality, water-proof vinyl tape designed specifically for sealing the seams is recommended.

Wrapping the Crawlspace Piers

Second, the floor material needs to be sealed around all the foundation supports. Whether steel posts or concrete block piers, it is necessary to prevent the migration of water vapor from around the foundation supports. This is usually done by wrapping the piers – sealing the piers with the vapor barrier 6″ to 12″ up from the floor. This provides a sealed pier to which the floor material can be sealed to using seam tape.

Wrapping the piers can be a little problematic. No safe, nonflammable, nontoxic construction adhesive is effective with the available materials except for a newly developed, patented proprietary wall and pier liner. The vapor barrier is typically applied to the piers using a combination of tape, mastic, caulk, and mechanical fasteners. The mechanical fasteners require that holes be drilled into the piers using a masonry bit and hammer drill. This adds exponentially to the installation labor.

The patented wall and pier liner can be applied to most any surface using a low VOC and nontoxic construction adhesive. Being low VOC and nontoxic, it is nonflammable and safe to use in the confined area of a crawlspace. It can be safely installed in a fraction of the time. It is the only material of its kind and can be ordered from it manufacturer.

Sealing the Crawlspace Walls

Finally, regardless of whether you’re installing a vapor barrier in a vented crawlspace or doing a full encapsulation, it is necessary to seal the floor material to the crawlspace walls. Most experts agree that this is a vital step for a well installed barrier or encapsulation.

If installing a vapor barrier, the floor material should be sealed to the wall 6″ to 12″ above the outside grade. Like wrapping the piers, most companies recommend the tape-caulk-mechanical fastener combination. The mechanical fasteners should be placed every two to three feet long the perimeter of the crawlspace. If taking this approach, be sure to use a respirator as concrete dust can cause severe respiratory problems.

If doing a full encapsulation, the entire wall, a minimum of three inches down from the sill plate to allow for a pest control inspection, should be sealed. Enough floor material can be purchased to extend up the walls or, the method we’ve found easiest, the wall is covered and sealed with a wall liner and the floor material is sealed to the wall liner using seam tape. Regardless of which method you use, the vapor barrier must be securely attached and sealed to the wall.

The manufacturer of the pier wrap also makes a patented wall liner that attaches to and seals the wall in one simple step. It reduces installation time by several hours. Like the pier wrap, it is available from the manufacturer.

Cool Mist Vaporizer

What is a Cool Mist Vaporizer
Basically, it is another term for an air humidifier. It is a room-sized electronic device that has three components; one – water reservoir, two – a drum/disk, and three – a spout that releases the water vapor in the air. In this vaporizer, the water is not heated before getting released into the room. In fact, the spinning disk creates water vapors and emits them through the spout in the air. However, there can be a possibility that bacteria or germs could generate and get accumulated in the still water, inside the cool vaporizer. This is one of the reasons many health care professionals do not particularly recommend cool mist vaporizers. According to them, these devices harbor bacteria in the environment instead of killing them.

But, having children in the house and considering the situation with that aspect, this vaporizer is a much safer option, because there are very less chances of children getting serious burns and injuries from the vapor released, when they attempt to get closer to the machine, by either putting their hands or face near it. For people suffering from common cold, allergies, or nasal congestion during dry climates, these devices are extremely effective. Perhaps, you can install it in a child’s room, in case he/she is suffering from any respiratory tract infections or common cold, etc.

The cool moisture vaporizer does a very simple job – it simply moisturizes the room or the environment around your child. This effect, in turn, makes your child feel better and at ease from all the heavy congestion he/she is already undergoing due to the bad cold condition. So, leaving behind one of these flaws of this machine, there are ten fold good dots to note down about the same. Surely, there is one thing you can do to avoid this disqualifying opinion about cool mist vaporizers; you can wash the water reservoirs regularly with soap and water. It will not gather much of bacteria and will remain clean to a certain extent.

Few Additional Benefits
Try to avoid use of normal household tap water in these vaporizers since they disperse some sort of minerals and herbs in the atmosphere. Always use distilled water in the vaporizer machine; it won’t cause any health hazards. Also, speaking about the cost of these machines, they are cheaper than the warm mist vaporizers, because there is no heating element present in it. Moreover, a cool mist vaporizer holds an enormous advantage on the medical benefits by putting out moisture in the air. People who are suffering from different cold symptoms, allergies, severe sinus problems, etc., gain grounds to a good healing and comfortable breathing atmosphere in their rooms. However, there is one major limitation to using cold mist vaporizers in your home. They do not humidify the entire house, but are effective to just a small area or a room where they are installed.

Basically, there are many types of humidifiers available in the market. They are devices used in cold weather, to humidify or moisten the dry air in the house by releasing cool droplets of moisture. And vaporizers also release vapor in the air, but in the hot or warm type of condition. In such vaporizers, water is heated and is then released to give a warm, cozy atmosphere in a room. Hence, in both the cases, the humidification of the room takes place, which, in turn, elevates the chances of the occurrence of bacteria and molds. Thus, you will have to regulate on the cleanliness in your house by cleaning the machines regularly, by following simple instructions offered at the time of the purchase. It is vital, especially with your baby or a child around.

Well, it is obvious that the preferences in choosing a warm mist humidifier or a cool mist vaporizer varies from person to person. Therefore, it is necessary to know the difference well between both of these machines before purchasing.