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Gas/Moisture Barrier

Q: How do you sell your products to market?
A: We sell through distribution and have a large network of supply houses/distributors setup to provide excellent local service for our customers.
Q: How do I purchase materials from Raven?
A: Raven sells through distribution and works with a network of distibutors located across the country. You can contact Raven Industries to request the nearest distributor to your location, otherwise we have a “Distributor Finder” feature setup on this site to make the process of finding distributors seamless.
Q: What are ASTM test methods and what do they mean to me?
A: The ASTM (ASTM International, originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) standardized test methods are used so a fair comparison can be made between products manufactured by various companies. You can learn more about the actual test methods by visiting our Learning Center feature and clicking Test Procedures. Reputable manufacturers will normally always provide a product data sheet with the standard ASTM test methods used for their industry.
Q: Do I need to step up to a gas barrier instead?
A: The US market is becoming more aware of the need for vapor/gas barriers designed for moisture control and to restrict naturally occurring gases such as methane, radon and other harmful VOC’s from penetrating concrete slabs and walls. This type of barrier is especially important when building on Brownfield sites or areas containing high levels of naturally occurring methane gas, such as the city of Los Angles. Radon can be found in every state in the U.S. and can get into any type of building, whether it is a home, office, or school. It is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in this country, according to the EPA. Radon reduction systems offer an effective method of controlling gas migration and are less expensive when incorporated into the initial design of the building. Normal vapor retarders/barriers will block some VOC’s, but VaporBlock® Plus™ will block up to a 1,000 times more radon, methane & VOC’s.
Q: What about regular vapor retarders, would they work as a gas barrier?
A: Major advances have been made in lowering gas permeability by producing complex five and seven layer co-extruded materials with internal barrier layers added to decrease gas migration by more than 1,000 times when compared to typical high performance polyethylene vapor retarders. These new products allow a specifier or design engineer to address both moisture and gas penetration issues all in one product. A regular high performance vapor retarder/barrier without the added gas barrier resins will provide some protection to decrease gas migration; but will not on the same protection level as a true gas barrier product that contains the actual barrier resins incorporated specifically for this application.
Q: What do I need to know about the installation of a gas barrier?
A: Please review our detailed underslab installation guidelines for complete and though recommendations. VaporBlock® Plus™ installation guidelines.
Q: How are the Raven materials priced to the distributor?
A: In the plastic industry, MSF is a common term used, when pricing material. It simply stands for thousand square feet. The “M” is the Roman numeral for thousand. “SF” simply is the abbreviation for square feet. This pricing can then be converted to price per sq.ft. or other easily from this point. If you have any pricing questions be sure to contact your sales representative for further information.
Q: Isn’t plastic just plastic?
A: No. Even though a number of companies want you to believe that “it’s just plastic”, there are a number of major differences within materials in the construction marketplace. Being able to compare test values is a good first step. If a company is not prepared or doesn’t want to provide a product data sheet, this should be a red flag as to the type of product being sold. Raven post all product data sheets right on our website to assist customers and will send a physical sample of material upon request.
Q: Do all the companies out there selling vapor retarder/barriers manufacture their own material?
A: No. There are a number of companies that simply convert or resell materials from an actual manufacturer. Raven extrudes (manufactures) as well as converts for your specific needs.
Q: Why would it matter if we buy plastic from a convertor instead of a manufacturer?
A: An actual manufacturer can guarantee high quality control and product consistency within a factory controlled environment. Our full service quality assurance lab and production departments are continually verifying the extrusion process is meeting the specification requirements. All our material is manufactured under the strict guidelines of our ISO 9001:2008 certified management system. A convertor has the option to purchase the raw material goods based on cost vs. performance to maintain their overall profit margins and selling price. This makes it all the more important to verify that they are meeting performance expectations, since they are not controlling the process upfront.

Reinforced Enclosure Plastic

Q: How do you sell your products to market?
A: We sell through distribution and have a large network of supply houses/distributors setup to provide excellent local service for our customers.
Q: How do I purchase materials from Raven?
A: Raven sells through distribution and works with a network of distibutors located across the country. You can contact Raven Industries to request the nearest distributor to your location, otherwise we have a “Distributor Finder” feature setup on this site to make the process of finding distributors seamless.
Q: Are all types of Reinforced Plastic the same?
A: NO, many products being sold these days are very different in make up as well as performance. When you are researching reinforced plastic you will find a wide variation. A string reinforced material typically contains a fiber reinforcement scrim laminated in-between two sheets of polyethylene film. The fiber can be made from polyester, fiberglass, polypropylene, or other types, all giving various benefits in strength and performance. Next the pattern type comes into play contributing to how the material strength will be balanced throughout the material; if the scrim is laid equally in each direction the tear resistance would be the same, if the scrim is stretched more in one direction than the tear resistance will be solid in the non-stretched direction, but far less effective in the direction that was stretched.

Then you have the other type of reinforced material out there called woven reinforced. In woven reinforced plastics you have a weave of polyethylene ribbons that make up most of the product thickness and then the remainder is a thin poly coating to hold the ribbons together. Since a woven plastic relies primarily on a thin coating to keep the product intact, once this coating becomes fractured the plastic is vulnerable to pinholes and fraying. For example when using a weaker enclosure film to secure your jobsite, once the plastic fails, weather outside is going to move inside. For the small investment upfront an enclosure film is by far the most inexpensive way of protecting your site from the damaging forces of Mother-Nature.
Q: What makes your clear/FR string reinforced products better than the competition?
A: We manufacture our own products, consistently test our materials, our tear and puncture strengths are greater, our clarity is second to none and we have a long proven history of manufacturing high quality film and sheeting products to our customers. All products are run within the strict guidelines of our ISO 9001:2008 Certified Management System.
Q: What are ASTM test methods and what do they mean to me?
A: The ASTM (ASTM International, originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) standardized test methods are used so a fair comparison can be made between products manufactured by various companies. You can learn more about the actual test methods by visiting our Learning Center feature and clicking Test Procedures. Reputable manufacturers will normally always provide a product data sheet with the standard ASTM test methods used for their industry.
Q: How are the Raven materials priced to the distributor?
A: In the plastic industry, MSF is a common term used, when pricing material. It simply stands for thousand square feet. The “M” is the Roman numeral for thousand. “SF” simply is the abbreviation for square feet. This pricing can then be converted to price per sq.ft. or other easily from this point. If you have any pricing questions be sure to contact your sales representative for further information.
Q: Isn’t plastic just plastic?
A: No. Even though a number of companies want you to believe that “it’s just plastic”, there are a number of major differences within materials in the construction marketplace. Being able to compare test values is a good first step. If a company is not prepared or doesn’t want to provide a product data sheet, this should be a red flag as to the type of product being sold. Raven post all product data sheets right on our website to assist customers and will send a physical sample of material upon request.
Q: Do all the companies out there selling vapor retarder/barriers manufacture their own material?
A: No. There are a number of companies that simply convert or resell materials from an actual manufacturer. Raven extrudes (manufactures) as well as converts for your specific needs.
Q: Why would it matter if we buy plastic from a convertor instead of a manufacturer?
A: An actual manufacturer can guarantee high quality control and product consistency within a factory controlled environment. Our full service quality assurance lab and production departments are continually verifying the extrusion process is meeting the specification requirements. All our material is manufactured under the strict guidelines of our ISO 9001:2008 certified management system. A convertor has the option to purchase the raw material goods based on cost vs. performance to maintain their overall profit margins and selling price. This makes it all the more important to verify that they are meeting performance expectations, since they are not controlling the process upfront.

Vapor Retarder/Barrier

Q: How do you sell your products to market?
A: We sell through distribution and have a large network of supply houses/distributors setup to provide excellent local service for our customers.
Q: How do I purchase materials from Raven?
A: Raven sells through distribution and works with a network of distibutors located across the country. You can contact Raven Industries to request the nearest distributor to your location, otherwise we have a “Distributor Finder” feature setup on this site to make the process of finding distributors seamless. 
Q: Aren’t all Vapor Barriers/Retarders the same?
A: NO, many products in the market today (Yellow, Grey, Orange and Blue) are made from inexpensive low quality resins that can be very unstable in performance whereas our VaporBlock® is made from first grade virgin resins designed to give VaporBlock it’s uniquely high puncture and tear resistance along with its ultra low perm ratings.
Q: What are the differences among characteristics of vapor barriers as they apply to concrete applications?
A: The higher quality vapor retarders all meet ASTM standard E-1745 for “Water Vapor Retarders Used in Contact with Soil or Granular Fill Under Concrete Slabs”. Under this standard, the materials must meet minimum values for water vapor permeance, tensile strength and puncture resistance, all vital elements for an effective moisture retarder/barrier. In order to truly meet these requirements manufacturers utilize virgin high quality resins that result in effective and durable underslab vapor retarder/barrier systems.
Q: What are ASTM test methods and what do they mean to me?
A: The ASTM (ASTM International, originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) standardized test methods are used so a fair comparison can be made between products manufactured by various companies. You can learn more about the actual test methods by visiting our Learning Center feature and clicking Test Procedures. Reputable manufacturers will normally provide a product data sheet with the standard ASTM test methods used for their industry.
Q: What about regular 6 and 10 mil poly plastic for a vapor retarder?
A: Some of the industry still uses a common construction grade “C&A” polyethylene film made of post consumer reclaimed resin in an effort to save material costs where ASTM E-1745 standards are not required. Unfortunately, these films typically do not meet ASTM E-1745, since they vary greatly in physical properties and performance. They generally have much lower tensile and puncture strengths. Permeance will also vary greatly in this type of product for any long term durability.
Q: Do I need to step up to a gas barrier instead?
A: The US market is becoming more aware of the need for vapor/gas barriers designed for moisture control and to restrict naturally occurring gases such as methane, radon and other harmful VOC’s from penetrating concrete slabs and walls. This type of barrier is especially important when building on Brownfield sites or areas containing high levels of naturally occurring methane gas, such as the city of Los Angles. Radon can be found in every state in the U.S. and can get into any type of building, whether it is a home, office, or school. It is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in this country, according to the EPA. Radon reduction systems offer an effective method of controlling gas migration and are less expensive when incorporated into the initial design of the building. Normal vapor retarders/barriers will block some VOC’s, but VaporBlock® Plus™ will block up to a 1,000 times more radon, methane & VOC’s.
Q: What types of different seaming methods are there, and what are their differences?
A: Seaming Tape. Polyethylene film backing with an aggressive rubber adhesive. Most tapes consist of 4” widths by 180’-210’ in length. Tapes are applied on top of the overlap of the materials and then pressure is applied to the tape for a secure adhesion. This is the most common used method when sealing Vapor Retarders/Barriers together.

Hot Air Welding. This is an application done generally on-site with a hand held or self driven hot air welder. Adjustable heat settings allows hot air welders to reach the appropriate sealing temperature. It is used by placing the gun between two pieces of overlapped material while using a rubberized hand roller behind the welder to seam or seal the material as it is heated up. Self driven hot air welders do not require hand rolling.

Factory Welds. Factory welds are done via either Hot Air or Extrusion welding in a controlled environment. Extrusion welding consists of introducing molten polyethylene between the overlap of two sheets of material and then running it through pinch rollers to seam the materials together. This is how heavy weight liners are joined together and is generally not used for lighter weight materials (20 mil and less).
Q: As far as the permeability of the barrier, what new advancements have there been with vapor barriers?
A: High performance vapor retarders / barriers that meet ASTM E-1745 standards are typically made of start-of-the-art resins and exceed the water vapor permeability requirements. Major advances have been made in lowering gas permeability by producing complex five and seven layer co-extruded materials with internal barrier layers added to decrease permeance up to 1,000 times more when compared to typical high performance polyethylene vapor retarders. Raven VaporBlock® Plus™ allows a specifier or design engineer to address both moisture and gas penetration issues all in one product.
Q: If a vapor barrier is not used or not installed properly, what are the effects?
A: If a vapor retarder/barrier is not used, this will allow ground moisture to permeate into the building cavity through the concrete slab. Once this happens, moisture can/will ruin floor coverings due to their water based adhesives. In addition, water vapor can cause rot, mold and mildew problems. These will not only affect the structure of the building, but can also cause allergens to humans.

If a vapor retarder/barrier is installed incorrectly and contains holes, unsealed seams, unsealed penetrations, etc., this will have a similar effect as not putting down a vapor retarder/barrier to begin with. Many times site installation and handling practices can have a large effect on the survival of the vapor retarder/barrier and this is the reason high puncture strength is a main component of high performance vapor retarders/barriers.
Q: How are the Raven materials priced to the distributor?
A: In the plastic industry, MSF is a common term used, when pricing material. It simply stands for thousand square feet. The “M” is the Roman numeral for thousand. “SF” simply is the abbreviation for square feet. This pricing can then be converted to price per sq.ft. or other easily from this point. If you have any pricing questions be sure to contact your sales representative for further information.
Q: Isn’t plastic just plastic?
A: No. Even though a number of companies want you to believe that “it’s just plastic”, there are a number of major differences within materials in the construction marketplace. Being able to compare test values is a good first step. If a company is not prepared or doesn’t want to provide a product data sheet, this should be a red flag as to the type of product being sold. Raven post all product data sheets right on our website to assist customers and will send a physical sample of material upon request.
Q: Do all the companies out there selling vapor retarder/barriers manufacture their own material?
A: No. There are a number of companies that simply convert or resell materials from an actual manufacturer. Raven extrudes (manufactures) as well as converts for your specific needs.
Q: Why would it matter if we buy from a convertor instead of a manufacturer?
A: An actual manufacturer can guarantee high quality control and product consistency within a factory controlled environment. Our full service quality assurance lab and production departments are continually verifying the extrusion process is meeting the specification requirements. All our material is manufactured under the strict guidelines of our ISO 9001:2008 certified management system. A convertor has the option to purchase the raw material goods based on cost vs. performance to maintain their overall profit margins and selling price. This makes it all the more important to verify that they are meeting performance expectations, since they are not controlling the process upfront.