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vapor barrier

homehelp12's picture

We just bought a home built in the early 70's. We were replacing some of the subfloor prior to getting new carpet and discovered the vapor barrier thick plastic is sandwiched between the lower and upper sub floors. Is this ok. The house seems to hold odors and I didn't know if this was an acceptable construction practice or cause for concern ? The laundry room is in the center of the house and there was appearantly a leak at one point. We believe that the plastic held the water in and kept it against the top layer of subfloor which is why we replaced it. It still seemed solid but it was water stained and we were trying to eliminate any possible odor producing culprits. We suspect the plastic is all throughout but we didn't tear up all the sub floor so arent sure.Our utility bills are very reasonable so we think the sandwich of plastic is making the house air tight good on utilities but bad on odor. Got any insight that might be helpful ? Thanks so much.

upper and lower subfloors?

What do you mean by this?

Is this a two story home and there's visqueen on the 1st floor ceiling or on top of the joists and below the subfloor?

 

or

is it a one story with a crawl or perhaps damp basement and it's on top of the subfloor?

 

thanks for clarifying.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


vapor barrier

This is a 2100 Sq.Ft. all brick ranch. There are joist then a layer of some kind of sub floor then plastic  then a layer of wood top sub floor then our carpet. The bottom layer might be just joists but if that's the case then they are very close together. I think the first layer is mayby 1x6's. I just know if you remove the wood that is directly under our carpet you will find a thick plastic. There isn't any vapor barrier on the ground under the house in the crawl space. Is it acceptable for this plastic to be in the structure?

Home

First, let's get the description right.

Subfloor-initial sheeting or individual boards placed on top of the floor joists.  Need not be a finished product (smooth), it is there as a base for finished flooring.  In older homes, 1x6 was common-often layed on the diagonal to the floor joists.

What your are calling the "wood top subfloor" is wrong-it is either an underlayment (plywood, particle board or OSB (oriented strand board ((looks like wood chips)) , or a finished flooring-hardwood for example.  They used underlayment as a more finished base for carpet when necessary.

You must get some visqueen (plastic) (6 mil. minimum) put down on top of the dirt or stone in your crawlspace.  Overlap the runs of visqueen and tape the seams.  Run this up the foundation walls a foot if you can and caulk to the foundation.  This will keep moisture from migrating up into your SUBFLOOR and eventually into the rooms above.

What you have now could very well trap the moisture between your plastic and the subfloor below.  If you see water droplets or feel dampness under that plastic, that is the worst case scenario.

Does your layer of plastic need to be removed?   Not necessarily.  If you follow the direction to put down  visqueen in the crawlspace, you effectively keep the moisture where it belongs-in the dirt.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Since the bottom layer is

Since the bottom layer is planks (unusual for a 70s home) and (from the sound of it) you have hardwood over that, there are a lot of cracks for the air to go through.  Without the plastic (or some other air barrier) you'd be like Marilyn Monroe on a subway grate.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Is this house built over a

Is this house built over a crawlspace?

The plastic is likely not doing a lot of good, but it depends on how tightly the floor is put together -- it may be helping some with air infiltration.

You should also have plastic on the floor of the crawlspace, to keep humidity from the ground from entering the crawlspace.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Installation of vapor barrier

Installation of vapor barrier depends upon the climatic conditions where you live. when moisture passes from the wall it can cause mol and mildew on the walls.  Vapor barrier insulation can be installed towards the living space.

Tony

Did you read the original post?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Ignore him -- he's just

Ignore him -- he's just another spammer.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Well yes.........

but what the hell.  Perhaps I can encourage a little discourse from someone knowledgeable in the subject................

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/