Are vapor barriers still required in FHA appraisals?

Are vapor barriers still required in FHA appraisals?

I received a message this week from a reader who is selling their home with possible FHA financing. The real estate agent mentioned to the seller that they would probably need a vapor barrier installed underneath the house, but they vapor barrier and fha weren’t sure. Let’s take a look at what a vapor barrier is and what the FHA rule is.

What is a vapor barrier?

A vapor barrier, in case you don’t know, is a sheet of plastic beneath the home in the crawl space area. It is used to reduce or prohibit moisture from getting into the house. This is what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says:

The crawl space must be adequately ventilated, providing positive airflow with no dead air space. A vapor barrier is not typically required; however, if moisture problems are evident, a vapor barrier should be required.

So, at the current time a vapor barrier is not required unless there are problems with moisture collecting beneath the house. Of course, if water is collecting, there may be some other problems such as inadequate drainage away from the house or possibly some other foundation issue that needs to be looked at.

Some potential problems that moisture can cause include mold, rotting of wood sub-floor, and termites. While not a current HUD requirement, a vapor barrier can help prevent these conditions from occurring.

Question

Do you have another question about vapor barriers or any other HUD appraisal question? If so, leave your question below. If you would like to make a comment about something else feel free to, and as always thanks for reading.

If you liked this post subscribe by email (or RSS feed). Thanks for visiting.

Comments

  1. Are vapor barriers now required by FHA if no moisture problem has been indicated by appraiser? The appraiser made note in bold that there was no moisture barrier. Mortgage broker is saying it’s required.

    • Vapor barriers are no longer a requirement unless there are existing problems with moisture in the crawlspace, in which case a vapor barrier would then need to be installed.

  2. Nice job on this Tom and perfect timing. I’m trying to decide whether or not to add a vapor barrier to property right now. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the brush up on vapor barriers Tom. I pulled up the hole to a crawl space a few years ago and the water was so deep that it was almost touching the cover. They had a plumbing leak causing the problem. The owner had no idea and the vapor barrier was acting like a liner to a swimming pool.

  4. Nice job, Tom. I like how you said, “at the current time” when talking through the issue. As we all know, FHA standards (like any standards) can change over time. This is good advice.

    • Thanks Ryan. You’re right about FHA standards changing. As you know, this new relaxed standard was a change from the older one that required all FHA loans to have the vapor barrier.

  5. Bill Harb says:

    Peeling paint (minor) on foundation exterior and storage shed. Is repainting necessary?
    House was built prior to 1978. Thansk.

Speak Your Mind

*

 

Sign up and get valuable content!

  • Get local real estate market data
  • Learn valuable information from a seasoned appraiser
  • Find out what adds value to your home

I respect your privacy. Your information stays with me.