Top Insulation Supplier Explains the Basics of Vapor Retarders


Have you ever walked down the aisle at a home improvement or hardware store and saw the words “vapor retarder?” Did seeing the product make you wonder what in the world it was for? Well, as longtime insulation suppliers, we can shed some light onto that mystery for you.

A vapor retarder is designed to do one very important task effectively and efficiently. That task is to prevent water vapor from entering into a certain area and causing damage. As such, many insulation suppliers attach them to their glass wool and rockwool products.

“So what materials are used in the creation of vapor retarders?”, you may ask. Believe it or not, there are quite a few different materials that have been used as vapor retarders over the years. Some of the more common are asphalt-coated kraft paper, paper-backed aluminum and foil-backed wallboard.

It is also important to note that not all vapor retarders are created equal. Thus, they are typically classified based on what’s known as a perm rating. Being knowledgeable insulation suppliers, we can tell you that there are three classifications. The difference between the three is the amount of water vapor that can feasibly permeate the material. The materials that have the lowest permeability possible are listed as Class I. The materials with the highest permeability are listed under the Class III heading.

The classification needed for a particular application will partially depend on the local building codes and the climate involved. The climate will also determine how the insulation and vapor retarder should be installed. For instance, in some areas the vapor retarder should face towards the building’s interior. In others, it will need to be placed facing the building’s exterior.  

To continue learning about this topic and more, please contact us. As one of the world’s top insulation suppliers, we welcome the opportunity to answer questions from home and business owners alike.

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