A breathable membrane is a must-have to prevent dampness in a building. Installing this membrane will help keep mould at bay, a problem normally caused as a result of damp conditions.

You’re probably wondering:

How does breathable membrane work? And what exactly is it, anyway?

That’s what we’re going to help you find out in this guide!

Let’s crack on.

Table of contents

What is breathable membrane?

Glidevale Protect VP400 Plus LR Vapour Permeable Felt Underlay

Also known as breather membranes, these are used to help insulate your property and protect it from a variety of external issues. This includes:

  • Insects
  • Dirt
  • Weather penetration

Do you have a conservatory? Perhaps a shed that you want to protect. Find out why a breathable roof membrane can help with insulating a conservatory or insulating a shed in our handy guides.

Why use breathable membrane?

A breathable membrane allows an insulated building to release surplus moisture vapour into the air. This keeps the structures secure and dry.

Many property owners and tenants face the problem of dampness in buildings. It can cause serious issues, including breathing problems, frost damage and even structural damage.

Tyvek Supro Breather Membrane

How does breathable membrane work?

Breathable membranes are water-resistant, snow-resistant and dust-resistant. They are air-permeable, too, which separates them from typical membranes.

You would normally use a breathable membrane within external walls or roof structures. Areas in which the exterior cladding may not be completely water-tight or moisture-resistant. This could be anything from tiled roofs to framed wall constructions.

On a typical installation, you’ll find the membrane on the cold side of the insulation. This is how it will prevent moisture from piercing further into the structure, especially if it’s been getting through the external cladding.

Having said that, their air permeability works as a vent for the structure. This avoids the accumulation of condensation.

Roofshield Air and Vapour Permeable Breather Membrane

Breathable membranes also act as a secondary layer of protection. This helps prevent external environmental impurities like dirt and rain. Stopping them from entering the structure and causing damage.

If you used no membrane, the water would condensate and begin dripping down through the structure. Over time, this would weaken the structure and make it look unappealing. It would also cause damp problems further down the line.

Additionally, you can use breathable membranes to improve a structure’s thermal properties. This is because they provide short-term protection, particularly from adverse weather conditions during essential construction or repair works.

How to measure for breathable membrane

You’re familiar with breathable membrane. So, how do you measure it?

Well, use our size and measuring guide for your breathable membrane project to find out how much you need.

Glidevale Protect TF200 Thermo Insulating Breather Membrane

Final thoughts

Breather membranes offer several advantages in construction projects.

Primarily, they serve as a protective barrier against moisture ingress while allowing vapour to escape from within the building envelope, which prevents the buildup of condensation and potential mould growth. This feature helps maintain the structural integrity of the building by preserving insulation effectiveness and preventing timber decay.

Additionally, breather membranes contribute to energy efficiency by reducing heat loss through the building fabric, enhancing thermal performance and potentially lowering heating costs.

What’s more, they act as a secondary defence against wind-driven rain and dust infiltration, enhancing the longevity and durability of the structure.

Bottom line:

The use of breather membranes aids in creating healthier, more comfortable and longer-lasting buildings.

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