If you live in the Nashville TN vapor barrier area and are having problems with mold growth, have vents that seem to be clogged or are experiencing a lot of condensation, then it would be wise to invest in a crawl space vapor barrier. A vapor barrier acts like a fine barrier between the earth and the building and keeps out air and moisture while maintaining airtightness. These are usually installed by professional contractors, but there are some do it yourself kits available as well. Conduit dampers prevent water from rising up through the earth while vapor barriers to keep out the moisture.
The vapor barrier in use today is actually much more effective at stopping water from rising up through the earth’s crust than the old metal sheeting that was used before it was replaced. Old sheeting would only keep out the water vapor until it reached the upper levels of the earth, at which point it would condense back into the crawl space. The new barrier is about twice as effective in keeping water from rising up past the original level of the crawl space. The vapor barrier also allows a little bit of air flow to circulate around the walls so moisture from the walls can be vented out and away from the home.
If your crawl space is starting to smell musty, is becoming very dark and has mold growing on the walls, then it may be time for a vapor barrier to be installed. Air that is not allowed to move freely throughout the structure of the house can cause problems such as mildew and mold growth. Mold spores will travel from the crawl space into other areas of the house and spread potentially deadly diseases. The new barrier will also add an additional layer of insulation against heat loss during the winter months. You may even want to consider attaching a humidifier to the wall unit so you can have continuous air circulation in the crawl space.