Most people are unsure what to do with the moisture barrier when working on floors. The basic question that everyone needs to know is that Do you need it? If so, when? More importantly, what does a moisture barrier do? Overall, moisture barriers are often misunderstood as materials that are only used to make walls. In fact, It is used for both walls and floors.
By learning more about what moisture-proof film or moisture barriers do and how to use them? We are here to talk about and answer when you consider installing ones. Let’s scroll down.!
What is a Moisture Proof Film?
As you know Moisture can seriously damage any item whether it’s made of wood, aluminum and everything affected by moisture. For example, if your floor gets wet, it can cause mold and mildew and even destroy your floor. Nobody wants that, so there is Moisture proof film to help prevent the floor from getting wet.
A floor vapor barrier is usually a sheet of plastic or foam that reduces moisture from passing through the wall or subfloor. A moisture proof film prevents water from absorbing from the ground, through the sub-floor, and into the hardwood floor. It is used when installing floors or walls in areas with a risk of moisture or excess moisture, such as basements, ceilings, or crawl spaces.
Moisture Proof film is a low-density Polyethylene film that can be used during the installation process with laminate, vinyl, and engineered wood floors. No need to bother with large fold-out, low-quality, off-spec, construction-grade films, which are bothersome and hard to use before the floor is installed.
Moisture-resistant foils, also known as moisture barriers Or moisture blocks, are recommended for use on floating wood and laminate floors that have been padded to the base during manufacturing. This Film is also known as an underlayment that is placed under the floor. You can purchase this film separately.
Features of Moisture Proof Film
- Constructed with 100% polyethylene for long-lasting moisture protection.
- Designed for use on most types of subfloors.
- It helps protect wood or laminate flooring from damaging surface moisture.
- It covers 100 sq.ft. Roll measures 40 feet x 30 inches.
- Roll out the film and tape all seams for easy installation.
When Do You Need a Moisture Proof Film/ Barrier?
If you need a moisture barrier for your floor, you should consider these factors are following
In temperate climates, vapor barriers are not as high as expected. However, if your environment is harsh, such as snowy winters, heavy April showers, and humid summers, evaporation may be necessary.
On some levels of the home, moisture barriers are more important than others. For example, a basement is below grade, so it is more prone to moisture. Therefore, surfaces that see a lot of water vapor need a moisture barrier. If the home does not have a basement, the ground surface may be more susceptible to moisture.
You’ll typically need a vapor barrier installing flooring over concrete. Therefore, moisture will move to a relatively low-humidity area in high-humidity areas, even through concrete. Therefore, since concrete is porous, it is a good idea to install a vapor barrier over your concrete subfloor before installing the floor. This way, you can prevent water vapor from reaching your floors, and protect them from any damage.
Advantages of Moisture Proof Film
When installing the walls or floors of your home, you may wonder whether or not to install a moisture barrier. A moisture barrier is designed to prevent damage to your home’s building materials as many of them are prone to rot and water damage. They are best suited for hot, humid climates. Homes with cooler temperatures can also benefit from them.
The key to finding the ideal moisture barrier placement depends largely on your home’s climate. Do heat and moisture escape more often from the inside or the outside? If you live in a cold climate, you can heat your home from the inside to beat the cold.
Moisture barriers also help protect against destructive insects such as termites and carpenter ants.These pests are attracted to moisture, are difficult to remove and can cause serious damage to your home.
There are four categories of underlayments:
This necessary underlayment is usually 1/8 inch thick foam. It’s not a moisture barrier, just a light cushion. Foam is the cheapest type of underlayment, and it’s easy to install. Foam underlayment also provides some sound insulation.
Combination Film and Foam:
A combination of foam and moisture barrier is ideal for flooring on damp sub-floors such as concrete or crawl spaces. This combination of membrane and underlayment comes in rolls. It has an adhesive strip to join and seal the seam.
The modified underlayment is thicker than the collection types. They use dense foam, rubber, synthetic fibers, or felt paper. Hardwood floor installers use a modified underlayment for hardwood floors above the first floor in homes and high-rise buildings. Most of them have added sound-deadening features like cork but are less expensive.
Cork is the underlayment for high floors when codes call for maximum sound reduction. Installers choose cork for condominiums and other residences where local codes and regulations demand specific sound reduction. Cork offers both thermal and acoustic insulation. Because it is made from tree bark, cork underlayment is the most environmentally friendly option.
Step by Step Moisture Proof Film installation Guide
Useful Installation Tips
Before rolling out the underlayment, be sure to sweep, vacuum, and remove all debris on the substructure and Fill any significant holes, gaps, or breaks that may be present on the structure.
Things you must have
- Moisture Barrier PE Film 6 mil
- Broom or Vacuum Cleaner
- Measuring Tape or Ruler
- Utility knife
Step 1: Clean Your existing flooring to be perfectly clean. Before installing your moisture-proof film, take your broom and sweep up all dust and debris.
Step 2: Inspect Your Subfloor Once you clean your subfloor. So, Look for loose, wet, cracked, and uneven areas. If you find a rough surface, repair it for a smooth laminate surface.
Step 3: Repair the Damaged Subfloor. It’s essential to make it flat and enhance the floor’s durability. Fill excessive gaps or low areas using Portland cement or latex-based leveling compound. Allow it to dry before moving forward with your installation.
Step 4: Once your subfloor is ready, you can make your first row of PE film. Remember to roll parallel to the direction of the laminate floorboards. Work from left to right.
The moisture-proof film comes in rolls with a few folded 2 or 3 layers of plastic film. In this case, we suggest to pre-cut the length and then unfolding it.
Step 5: Remember when rolling the film that it is being placed as a vapor and moisture barrier. Overlap your underlayment 2 inches up the wall. This will create a smooth moisture seal.
Don’t worry about that overlap anymore. Once your floor is finished, you’ll trim the vapor barrier from the wall, and your molding will cover the rest.
Step 6: Apply PE film section wise. It will be better if you continue the process row by row. Doing this will give you complete control over your project and a smooth, moisture-proof connection between each section.
Step 7: When unrolling your rows, overlap each section by about 4-6 inches to ensure a tight moisture lock.
Use tape to seal the rows together, holding your underlay in place and ensuring vapor barrier functionality.
It’s Time for the final destination. Now, Install wood or laminate flooring even SPC Vinyl Flooring over your newly installed moisture proof barrier. Follow the instructions and enjoy your new floor!
FAQs About Moisture Proof Film 2022
When Should I Use a Moisture Barrier on My Floor?
Vapor barriers should be used where the floor is damp. The demp may be the reason for generating mold and mildew and can damage the floor entirely. Moisture barriers protect floors by controlling the movement of water vapor. Therefore necessary when installing floors where even a small amount of moisture is exposed.
Can I use Plastic Film as a Moisture Barrier?
A moisture barrier is a material that prevents moisture from penetrating other materials. Therefore, the plastic film or polyethylene sheeting is a kind of moisture barrier. When it comes to optimal humidity control, plastic sheeting is one of the best options.
What Thickness Of Moisture Proof Film is Best For Domestic Use?
The thickness of moisture proof film ranges from 6 to 20 mm. 6mm is the minimum for moisture control and best for domestic purposes, and 20mm is the most robust and puncture resistant. The ideal thickness depends on how prone the area is to moisture. The standard thickness is 6-11mm for dry climates.
What is The Best Moisture Barrier for Laminate Or Vinyl Flooring?
For any flooring that requires a floating installation method, whether laminate or vinyl planks, use 6mm (or thicker) plastic sheeting as a moisture barrier. You can also use an underlayment with a built-in moisture barrier to control water vapor.
How Long Does a Floor Moisture Proof Film last?
The vapor barrier under the floor will last up to the floor. Once the floor is installed, the vapor barrier underneath will not deteriorate over time because it is not stepped on or exposed to other elements.
Do You Need a Moisture Barrier on Your Hardwood Floor?
Yes, moisture can destroy hardwood floors. If you leave it alone, it will cause cupping, warping, and even mold. A moisture barrier must be installed to prevent water from entering from below.
Even for concrete, it is best to lay a waterproof membrane. If the slab cracks sometime in the future, the hardwood floor is protected.
How Can I Protect My Wood Floors From Moisture?
To protect the top of the floor from moisture, use an oil-based or polyurethane finish. You can protect hardwood floors by investing in a quality moisture barrier. Two considerations are:
- How to install flooring
- Type of subfloor
There are three methods of installing hardwood flooring:
- Hardwood floor with nailing it
- Hardwood floor Installation by glued
- Floating hardwood Installation
Remember that nails or screws will pierce any moisture barrier when attached to the subfloor.