Commercial, Mixed-Use and Strata Roof Maintenance in Vancouver, B.C.

Air Barrier, Vapor Barrier & Weather Barrier.

Air Barrier, Vapor Barrier & Weather Barrier.

Your residential and commercial property is continuously subjected to air, vapor and other elements from the time it is built. To protect your property from these damaging factors, different types of barriers are available in the market.

The main three types of barriers are air barrier, water/ vapor barrier and weather barrier.

In this article we will learn about these barriers in detail. Along with their benefits and the materials used in each barrier. If you are a property owner this article is for you.

What Is An Air Barrier?

Air Barriers are materials that control the flow of air through a building. By keeping in check the inlet and outlet of air through the building. They also help manage pressure differences between inside and outside, completely isolating the temperature of the building from the outside.

How Do Air Barriers Help?

An effective air barrier ensures that the building is protected from the effects of airflow and air leakage.

This can be a life changer in places with harsh climatic conditions. Be it the hottest of summers or the coldest of winters, air barriers will keep you comfortable.

Air barriers can prevent the leakage of conditioned air, saving up on heating/cooling costs and lowering utility bills.

What Roofing Material Is Used As An Air Barrier?

An array of materials can be used as air barriers, including, but not limited to poured concrete, glass, drywall, rigid foam insulation, plywood, and peel-and-stick rubber membrane. While these substances ensure that air does not leak through them, the air can certainly leak through the edges.

To prevent this, additional materials such as tape, gaskets, or caulk might be needed to cover the edges and seams. Air barriers need to be rigid and durable. An ideal air barrier conceals the whole structure effectively.

What Are The Benefits Of An Air Barrier?

Air barriers offer multiple benefits, some of which are listed below:

  • Air barriers act as building insulators. This helps create an isolated space within the structure, which can then be controlled as per the requirements.
  • Spaces like factories and manufacturing plants require a heavily controlled environment, air barriers can prove to be a game changer.
  • Air barriers help prevent the spread of smoke or even fire.

What Is A Vapor Barrier?

A vapor barrier is a thin sheet that reduces the rate at which moisture and other vapors can flow through it. They’re also known as vapor diffusion retarders.

How Do Vapor Barriers Help?

An effective vapor barrier ensures that the building it’s installed in is not affected by the water vapor in its surroundings. They essentially keep the building’s ceilings, attics, walls, crawlspaces, and roofs dry, preventing them from rot, mold, and other issues due to condensation.

What Roofing Material Is Used As A Vapor Barrier?

The ability of a vapor barrier to slow down the rate of diffusion of water vapor is measured in units called “perms”, short for permeability. Materials for vapor barriers are therefore categorized into three classes:

Class 1 barriers have a perm of less than 0.1, such as glass, sheet metal, and rubber membranes.

Class 2 barriers have a perm between 0.1 and 1, such as extruded polystyrene, plywood, asphalt-coated paper, and bitumen-coated kraft paper.

Class 3 barriers have a perm between 1 and 10, such as gypsum boards, bricks, board lumbar, and concrete blocks.

What Are The Benefits Of A Vapor Barrier?

Apart from preventing the flow of water vapor and the accumulation of mold, vapor barriers offer more benefits, which are listed below:

  • Moisture that passes through the surface of the building can condense on the inner walls, making the building cold and increasing the energy bill. Since vapor barriers can prevent this, they make the building more energy efficient.
  • Reduces the risk of structural damage to the building.
  • Vapor barriers can improve indoor air quality.

What Is A Weather Barrier?

A weather barrier is a material that is used to protect the building from the elements. In addition to protecting the building from water, wind and dust, a weather barrier also helps to reduce noise pollution.

How do Weather Barriers help?

A weather barrier is an important component of the building envelope, which is the outer layer of a building that separates the interior space from the external environment. They protect the structure and its contents from the elements making it energy efficient, comfortable and durable.

What Roofing Material Is Used As A Weather Barrier?

Many different roofing materials can be used as weather barriers, and the best option will depend on factors like the climate, the location of the building, and the style of the building. Some commonly used weather barriers are Asphalt shingles, Rubber Roofing, Metal Roofing and Slate Roofing.

What Are The Benefits Of A Weather Barrier?

  • There are several benefits to using a weather barrier on the roof of a building, including:
  • Weather can help to extend the life of the building and reduce the need for repairs.
  • A weather barrier can help to reduce the amount of noise that enters a building from the outside, making it a more comfortable and peaceful place. Also, the inside noise does not go outside.
  • A weather barrier can help to strengthen the building and make it more resistant to wind, snow, and other forces that can cause damage.


We hope this article has offered you a clear idea as to what air, vapor and weather barriers are. If you have any further questions feel free to reach out to us.

If you need a professional roofing service to take a look at your roof, contact us anytime!

Leak-Stop is a one-stop destination to meet your roofing-related requirements. We offer roof repair, replacement, maintenance and inspection services all over GVRD (Greater Vancouver Regional District).

We offer a free inspection to first-time clients. Connect with us TODAY at 1 866 777 0084 for immediate assistance!

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