Membranes placed under concrete floor slabs—vapor barriers—work to retard transmission of water vapor. Glenn Tench, director of marketing with W.R. Meadows Inc., says vapor barriers should be chosen on puncture resistance and toughness. “They need to last through the concrete pour stage.”

National marketing director of Stego Industries Bret Houck adds, “The industry has recognized the necessity for materials with permeance levels well below the governing standard ASTM E-1745 maximum of 0.3 perms to protect modern day floor coverings and subsequent flooring adhesives. Manufacturers constantly are striving to improve their products to provide better protection.”

It is essential to use vapor barriers to stop water vapor from the soil from penetrating through your basement, crawl floors, and walls. Tom Stoebner, business development manager of Raven Industries Inc., says if a vapor barrier is not used, ground moisture will permeate into the building cavity through the concrete slab, and moisture will ruin floor coverings due to their adhesive being water based. If a barrier is installed incorrectly and it contains holes, unsealed seams, or unsealed penetrations, it will have the same effect as not putting down a vapor barrier to begin with. Below are a few companies that provide vapor barriers.

A. Stego Wrap Vapor Barrier

B. Viper VaporCheck

C. VaporBlock Plus

D. W.R. Meadows Air-Shield