vapor barriers, concrete construction, Stay Go Home, Stego, Stephanie Builds

Unleash the Ultimate Vapor Barrier Installation

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

Think dry climates like Utah are immune to moisture issues? Think again! Join the Matt Risinger and brilliant Stephanie as she takes us under the slab to uncover the critical role vapor barriers play in preventing catastrophic water damage – even in desert environments.

See why unforeseen excavation risks and potential for water accumulation in arid soil make robust under-slab protection an absolute must. Gain insights into leveraging the superior durability and impressive thickness options of Stay Go Home’s vapor barrier systems.

Learn pro tips on achieving watertight, impenetrable seals using Stego’s ultra-sticky tapes and mastics. From meticulously sealing seams and lapping over footings to handling penetrations, Stephanie reveals the keys to a moisture-free success.

But vapor barriers’ benefits extend beyond just waterproofing! Discover how they enhance indoor air quality by blocking radon gas and create healthier living spaces. Get the scoop on integrating termite-proof barriers to safeguard against invasive pests.

Whether new construction or remediation, delivering dry, sound concrete slabs requires mastering under-slab vapor barriers. Let Stephanie guide you through best practices for avoiding moisture nightmares – no deserts required!

Over to Matt and Stephanie!

Unleash the Ultimate Vapor Barrier Installation

Video Transcript

What’s up guys? I’m Matt Risinger and I’m Stephanie Dy. We are in Utah at one of Stephanie’s job sites outside Salt Lake City. We got a giant foundation and we’re talking all things Vapor Barrier today on the V show. Let’s get going!

Okay y’all, we’re talking Vapor Barrier. Stephanie, first off, beautiful job site, giant house you’re building here. It’s a modest size, but we’re in the desert, right? This is not a rainy climate, and not necessarily a humid climate, so not everyone would think that you necessarily need a vapor barrier in Utah, would they?

They wouldn’t. I think historically you see this a lot in areas that are a lot more damp, but we have our own set of water issues here. And it rained not too long ago, and I’m noticing on the outside of your foundation here, the soil to me looks wet. Is that is that what I’m seeing here? Does it?

Exactly, yeah. We had some rainstorms over the weekend and you can see that soil kind of retaining the moisture there. So yeah, and I also heard didn’t you tell me a story that when you were excavating you found some water you didn’t expect?

On the show, we did our first set of plans. We started digging down, which was supposed to be 17 ft, and we hit water at 15 and a significant amount of water. It was actively running into, so we kind of had to take a step back, redesign the plans and start over. But this is a great product.

Yeah, so let’s talk vapor barriers. Why you need it, you know, when we think about soil moisture and that moisture coming up, concrete is porous, right?

So if this concrete was in contact with moisture on the other side, it would wick through. And that’s why we do foundation waterproofing and that’s why we also need to think about vapor barriers. And this is code for you guys here as well, isn’t it?

It is, yeah. The code says 10 mil. Utah has a state amendment that brought that back down to six, but what we’re using today is a 10 mil product.

Okay, I don’t know what code is across the whole country, but I have seen that in places where it’s code to have a vapor barrier, not everybody’s doing it and they’re not always doing it continuous. And that’s something that I really wanted to correct on this video.

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You know, in Texas, Stephanie, we do a lot of structural slabs where we’ve got beams that cut through a structural slab and we’ll see a vapor barrier on the top where the concrete’s going to be placed, but they’ll cut it where the beams are going and that’s a big mistake that I think is pretty common. Have you seen that at all before?

Yeah, and it doesn’t do you a lot of good if you start to cut the hole in it. What’s the point in putting it down?

That’s right. So then walk me through what you guys are doing here. What’s the product and talk to me about the details?

Yeah, so the product we’ve chose to use is Stego Home. Okay, this product does come in two different thicknesses, a 10 mil and a 15 mil. Like I said, we’re using a 10 mil here on this project. And they’ve got a few different tapes and mastics that are also part of their kind of suite of products that they suggest you use.

Now this 10 mil is pretty thick. I mean, you’d have a hard time ripping that even if you wanted to, right?

Exactly, it’s pretty serious. But you could go up to the 15 mil as well. You could. I mean this 10’s pretty impressive though. I think you’d have a hard time making a puncture through this.

You guys obviously did a good compaction job here, but as I walk around this, I don’t feel like anything’s going to be poking through this to make a cut, correct?

And the beauty about the Stego products are this tape that you’ve got here. They actually have a detail if you do puncture the vapor barrier, how you should reseal it. So they have different requirements for each one, but this is used to kind of seal those punctures. And then also tape seam to seam, and then on our application you can, so that’s how we keep the continuity from the from the sheets, right?

Correct, yeah. We’re overlapping them somewhere between 6 inches and a foot, and then taping the seams.

Gotcha. Now that’s one thing that I got to say, stego has down – this tape is absolutely bomber, super sticky. This seam tape, I mean, you could use that for uh, for a lot of things, but when you stick that to the stego on one side and stick it onto the other, it is not coming off. That is stuck for good.

Exactly. And then the other option they have here, this is the stego tack tape, and you can see how sticky this stuff is. Now this, this prod, I think I know how they got their name, yeah. This product is used for the vapor barrier to be stuck to the concrete, okay?

So, um, just depending on your application and how you choose to install, I’ve seen a lot where they wrap the vapor barrier up the foundation wall and actually tape it to this lower part of the foundation wall, this tape on, on concrete before, yeah?

And this in our application, I mean, you can see here we’ve got our gravel that’s been compacted and it’s right to that same level as the top of this footing, yeah. Your guys did a nice job on that, and we’ve cleaned it off nice and so we’re going to just put this tack tape on the seam and lay it right along the top of the footing, and that’s going to create a tight seal, yeah.

That’s a great way to go. Uh, this tape also works or you could use tack tape if you had a pier and beam foundation. I’ve used that in the past, but talk to me about the difference between green and yellow, cuz you know, when I’ve used stego in the past, sometimes I’ve used yellow and this green is a little different, yeah?

So you, the yellow is actually the stego commercial product, okay? Um, they’ve been around for years in the commercial industry and really prominent. You drive by any commercial job site you’re likely to see that neon yellow, yeah, vapor barrier down. But Sto’s home product is what you’re seeing in the bright green.

So it comes like I said in the 10 and 15 mil. The commercial product actually comes in a little more of a variety. They go all the way up to a 20 mil thickness, in the super thick, super thick, and really heavy to get those rolls in those, bet that would be, yeah. You start to see those like craned into the space with literally twice as thick a millage as this.

Absolutely, and with the home product, I think the reason they’ve done it in the sizes that they offer, because they do offer two different sizes, is so that you can carry it into the foundation and it’s easier to kind of maneuver with the rolls, yeah? So they came in those cardboard tubes or cardboard boxes, and it looked like you guys were using both 6ft and 12ft wide, we are, yeah.

The two options we’ve got here on the job site, for just depending on location, is a 6ft wide and the roll is 150 ft long, okay? And then the other option is a 12ft wide, like you see here in front of us, and that roll is 75 ft long, keeping the weight of the two rolls fairly similar.

Gotcha. And then I’m noticing, Stephanie, that you guys are taping where you’ve got penetrations, where you’ve got PVC pipes or other things coming through the foundation. Looks like you’re using the tape on that. Is there any other options for sealing those?

Yeah, there is. So stego makes a mastic, um, I think we’ve all used mastic before. It’s a messy product, yeah, it’s a real messy product. So the guys have done a really great job of cutting the holes nice and tight around these plumbing pipes that you see coming up, and then they’re just using the stego tape and taping around those pipes, making sure that they have a really good seal.

I like it. Now there’s going to be some radon benefit, I would suspect, in having this as well. And you guys are in a radon zone here in Utah, aren’t you?

We are. In every home we build, we put an active radon system in it. The beauty of putting this vapor barrier down is it really keeps that radon gas underneath the vapor barrier and out of the home. It’s just one added step to a really great system – sense healthy, cleaner.

Now you guys don’t have termite issues though, typically, right in Utah?

Typically we don’t. I mean, some of the older homes you do see that, but typically we don’t have much of a termite issue. So one additional step that I would take in Texas is I would come in and do termite mesh on these pipes after the stego is in.

So after the stego vapor barrier is complete and taped and sealed on all the perimeters, then I’d have my termite mesh guy come in and they put these collars in stainless steel around each one of the pipes, and they’re mechanically fastened. So the termites, as they tunnel up through the crack that’s going to occur between the plumbing pipe and the concrete, they’re going to hit a physical barrier and that will interlace with the concrete. So that’s something you would see in Texas.

But stego also makes a product called Pango that I’ve used before, which is a termite barrier wrap that can actually physically deter termites from going through it as well. That’s not what this one in particular is, but I got to say Stephanie, really good execution here, yeah.

The guys are doing a great job. I mean, it’s just been amazing to see two of them laying this down and how quickly they can get through it, so makes it nice. The weight on the rolls is fairly, you know, easy to carry around and pretty much anybody can lay it down, just the team and two of them, we’ve got quite a bit of it done.

Let’s talk, let’s talk speed real quick here because this is a pretty big foundation. It looks like here it is, you know, mid-morning, you guys are like a third, two-half done maybe?

Yep, exactly. You think you’ll do this whole basement in a day?

Yeah, I think these guys will probably get it wrapped up here before lunch, so yeah, not bad at all.

Now I would suspect if you had more penetrations, if you had beams, it might take a little longer but man, this is a really nice job by your crew, yeah?

Thank you very much, impressive. Guys, if you’re not currently following Stephanie, you should go check her out on Instagram. But even more importantly, as we’re publishing this video, Stephanie is our newest contributor to the Build Show Network, so she’s got her bio video. You can learn all about her past, how she got into building. She’s a second generation builder, and I always find those second generation builders are that much smarter, having spent all those years walking jobs with their dad as a kid on a Saturday.

Really excited to have Stephanie on the Build Show Network, so go check out her channel. We’ll put a link below and you can go follow her on @stephaniebuildsit on Instagram. Did I say that right?

Yep, absolutely, @stephaniebuildsit.

Big thanks to Stephanie for being on the Build Show Network. Stay tuned for more videos of Stephanie here on YouTube, but definitely go over and check out her videos on the Build Show Network. With that being said, Stephanie, you know my outro, right?

I do.

Follow us on TikTok or Instagram, otherwise we’ll see you next time on the Build Show.

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