Proper control of moisture in your home contributes to energy efficiency by improving the effectiveness of air sealing and insulation, and vice versa. Moisture control is particularly important in humid climates such as that of coastal North Carolina.
Moisture control strategies will vary depending on construction style. Most homes in the Cape Fear region are constructed on pilings and have a crawl space, which can be a critical area for controlling moisture. Three simple, cost effective measures are:
- Install a polyethylene ground cover on the earth floor
- Install insulation batts with attached vapor retardant barrier between floor joists
- Provide rain drainage that conducts water away from the house
Vapor retardant barriers such as plastic sheathing are difficult to install in the walls of an existing home without undertaking a major renovation. This is especially true in our geographic area, where vapor retardant barriers should be positioned around the perimeter of the house just under the exterior finish. Vapor retardant barriers should not be installed on interior walls in our area because they can actually trap moisture inside the wall cavities.