Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Vapor Barrier in the Basement

While the inspector is in the basement they should check for the presence of a vapor barrier and check to make sure it is not damaged or loose in areas. Please review the entire procedure below.


International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection


3.9. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation


I. The inspector shall inspect:



II. The inspector shall describe:



III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:



IV. The inspector is not required to:

C. Move, touch or disturb vapor retarders.


Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should check for the presence of a vapor barrier and for any general damage to that barrier. We also want to note if it is properly secured.


Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect Basement Vapor Barriers.



  • While inspecting the basement we will want to check for the presence of the vapor barrier and check for any damage on that barrier. If the walls are finished, we will not be able to tell if there is a barrier that is present. If there is a vapor barrier we will take one picture for this section and it should show the vapor barrier on the wall.

Common Defects

  • The vapor barrier was damaged or not secure in areas.


Common Mistakes

  • Not checking for the presence of a vapor barrier or checking for any damage on the vapor barrier.


Report / Software


  • The vapor barriers of the basement appeared to be in acceptable condition at time of inspection.


  • Most of the walls and ceilings in the finished basement were covered and vapor barriers were not visible. It was not possible to determine whether a vapor barrier was present behind these coverings.


  • A vapor barrier was not installed in the basement at the time of the inspection.


  • The vapor barrier was damaged in some areas. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary and according to current standards.