Vapour Control: Everything you Need to Know

Insulation is such an essential part of building work, but to the average person not working in the trade, the mention of vapour control might be confusing and seem like jargon they can’t understand. The main aim of vapour control is simple, to stop condensation. It’s installed within your home to prevent moisture from getting into the insulation and the wall. Read on to find out everything you need to know about vapour control.

What is Condensation?

To put it briefly, condensation is water that collects as droplets on a cold surface when humid air comes into contact with it. The most common causes of condensation in buildings are cooking, drying clothes and showering/bathing. 

Condensation is a bigger problem in winter when we tend to have warmer baths and dry clothes on radiators. Our breathing also produces water vapour; studies show that one person can make 40 grams of water vapour per hour!

All of this water vapour finds a cold surface to cling to, such as an uninsulated wall. This vapour then forms as water droplets. If these droplets are left and no action is taken, black mould can begin to form. This can be incredibly dangerous to breathe in, so you should take action to keep your family safe.

What Damage Can Condensation Cause?

Condensation can cause multiple problems in properties. Firstly, it is inconvenient and can make your windows look unattractive. Unfortunately, condensation can cause a lot more severe problems. If not treated, it can lead to mould, which can penetrate your walls and cavities; in some instances, this can lead to structural damage. Alongside this, condensation can lead to ruined wallpaper and paintwork. Furniture and belongings can also get damaged; once mould grows, it can be challenging to remove.

Not only can condensation cause problems in your property, but it can also have adverse effects on your health. Mould exposure can increase your risk of many different health problems, including allergies, asthma, and flu-like symptoms. A study found that mould exposure is a leading cause of chronic sinus infections.

Not only can condensation cause physical health problems, but your mental health can also be affected. Studies have found that people who live in mouldy environments experience higher amounts of depression, alongside other mental health problems. 

What is Vapour Control?

Vapour control is the process of managing the condensation in a property. A vapour control layer is a layer that restricts moist air from inside a property from entering the insulation and walls. Vapour control layers can be made from different materials, but usually, they are foil or plastic. It reduces the risk of condensation within walls by managing moisture levels. 

Benefits of Installing Vapour Control

As we now know, the main benefit of vapour control is to reduce levels of condensation. What other benefits does this lead to?

  • Protects our physical health
  • Protects our mental health
  • Stops moisture causing structural damage
  • Prevents decor being damaged by condensation
  • Prevents furniture being ruined by mould
  • Stops insulation from losing its performance 
  • Keeps energy bills down as insulation works effectively

It is important to note that you will never manage to stop 100% of water vapour from getting through, but only a tiny amount can penetrate through walls when a vapour barrier is installed. This amount of water vapour should never present any significant issues.

Do I Need Vapour Control?

If you are installing insulation to the inside and/or outside of your external walls, then yes, you need vapour control to avoid any serious issues occurring. You should never miss this step.

Installing Vapour Control

You should always install a vapour control insulation layer on the warm side of the insulation. There must be no holes in the vapour control layer, any holes from where it has been nailed or stapled should always be taped. All joins into the layer need to be taped to ensure the vapour control works properly. 

It is crucial to have your vapour control installed by a professional who has received all required training and has access to the correct products. Failure to have your vapour control installed correctly could affect future insurance or warranty claims/on your property.

Hopefully, you now feel knowledgeable about vapour control, what it is and why it’s so important. If you have any questions, send us an e-mail or give us a call on 01636 556733. Here at SuperFoil, our high-performance products are made from 40% recycled materials. Claim your free sample pack today.

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