30 Apr '14, 10am

Building Science: What Happens When You Put a Plastic Vapor Barrier in Your Wall?

A lot of people have heard advice about vapor barriers and vapor retarders . Many of them have walked away confused. A big part of the problem, I think, is that they've been told what to do — "Put it on the warm-in-winter side," or "Never use one" — but they haven't had the physics of what happens explained to them. In this article, I'm not going to get into the details of vapor barriers or all the possible scenarios of different wall assemblies and moisture loads. I'm simply going to explain what happens in a wall cavity with and without a plastic vapor barrier installed. Scenario 1: plastic on the inside, hot humid weather I'm writing this article because one of our HERS raters came across a house in Charleston, South Carolina that had polyethylene under the drywall, on the interior side of the wall assembly. Polyethylene, often shortened to poly, is a Class I vapor reta...

Full article: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/building-s...

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