A bathroom involves a lot of hot water that consequently collects on the cold solid surfaces. The shower produces moisture including the steam that emanates from the hot water. It is common knowledge that keeping a bathroom dry is an arduous task. Many builders have struggled while trying to come up with a way of keeping moisture out of the bathroom or simply allowing it to dry. Regardless of how watertight you might think your bathroom is, moisture may still tend to be a niggling problem. Most builders have therefore come up with a way of regulating it through an improved vapor control strategy and a vapor barrier is a very central component of this whole strategy, as it is very instrumental in the protection of the bathroom walls.
There are many reasons as to why you should use it in your bathroom and they are all centered on ensuring that the moisture emanating from the shower does not penetrate thus causing damage to the whole fabric and potentially the whole structure of the house. The question therefore lingers; what is the purpose of a vapor barrier and how is it effective in controlling air moisture? This article discusses exactly that.
- Protection From Moisture or Vapor
A bathroom is generally a very warm place. This is because whenever warm air meets colder air, the formation of moisture is therefore guaranteed. The vapor barrier is vital as it screens the place where the moisture could definitely form. The condensation is therefore arrested thus curbing it from any deeper and further penetration. This works by reducing the amount of moisture before it returns to the air. It therefore dissipates as long as there is ample ventilation present in all the sides of the vapor barrier.
It is well known that water vapor will incessantly penetrate into varying kinds of surfaces until it is eventually stopped. The vapor barrier therefore comes in handy on the hotter side of any given wall. The vapor could readily penetrate into the insulation thus the barrier aids to prevent this on the outside wall. A vapor barrier should therefore be installed on the interior and exterior walls, making it a critical method to remedy the vapor problem that always manifests in the shower.
- Guarding the Green Board
A vapor barrier is strategically placed between the green board and the water. This inhibits the green board from soaking because of the moisture hence hindering it from possible eventual crumbling. A great vapor barrier should be around 10 to 20 millimeter of polyethylene and should not be placed right on top of the green board. The moisture may penetrate the whole surround but it cannot go further as it stops at the sheeting and does no damage whatsoever.
- Reinforcing the Cement Board
Ordinarily, a cement board is deemed strong and heavy enough to handle the moisture present in the bathroom. However, the barrier can be placed just behind the board hence preventing moisture from going further and deeper into the wall.
- Tile Over Drywall
Many builders often use a backer board in many constructions. However, it is also fitting to use a waterproof membrane prior to any tile installation. This is attained without necessarily having to replace the drywall. This kind of vapor barrier gives some ample protection to the drywall, as the moisture cannot go through it thus rendering in impenetrable. This barrier not only prevents the moisture from going through the studs but it also supports the drywall that in turn helps to hold up the whole weight of the tiles present on the walls of the shower.
Based on the foregoing, it is clear that moisture and its subsequent condensation is one of the toughest challenges that you can contend with in your bathroom. The aforementioned reasons are some of the few ways in which a vapor barrier can aid by preventing the condensation behind your shower enclosure, which often results in mold and the bulging of the studs present in the wall. If your bathroom or shower is still devoid of a moisture or vapor barrier, it is still subject to a lot of potential damage.
Water vapor can wreck even the sturdiest structures hence you should consider using a vapor barrier to help tackle any possible threats being posed against the general effectiveness of your bathroom insulation. It might not wholly barricade the water vapor but it significantly aids to remedy the problem. If you are still unsure of whether you should go ahead and install a vapor barrier, consider reaching out to professionals for assistance.