Wine Cellar Innovations Blog

Understanding The Role Of The Vapor Barrier In Your Wine Cellars

July 9th, 2012

Remember how we elucidated last blog on the 5 Common Construction Mistakes in most wine cellar projects? We believe we have listed down neglecting to put up a vapour barrier as one of those mistakes. So the question would boil down to how important a vapor barrier is when it comes to creating a custom wine cellar, be it residential or commercial. So let’s try to delve into this subject a little bit more.

Vapor barrier vs. wine storage conditions

In understanding the role of a vapor barrier in your wine cellars, the first thing you need to take into consideration is the significance of maintaining the ideal storage conditions. In any wine cellar, it is imperative that the proper wine cellar temperature and humidity levels should be established and maintained. This would mean a temperature range of around 55-58 degrees and 55-75% relative humidity. These are the storage conditions that would allow every bottle in your cellar to age at a graceful pace. Frequent or sudden fluctuations in wine cellar temperature and humidity are extremely detrimental to the aging process of your wine as this will accelerate the same and bring in excessive oxidation. As a consequence, your wines will become bitter and will never achieve their peak taste.

So basically, when you embark on a wine cellar project, you have to ensure that the same is in an environment that needs to have the ambient temperature lower than the area outside it. Say for example you build a residential wine cellar. Your wine cellar needs to maintain the temperature range and humidity levels as earlier mentioned while the rest of your home may be kept at 75 degrees F. Hence, when you try to make a portion of your home cooler than the rest, the moisture or humidity from the warmer area (in this case your house) will gravitate and condensate upon contact with the much cooler one (your wine cellar). Without the right barrier to separate the two opposing environments, condensation will build up in your walls and literally destroy the same when moisture creeps in and causes the materials to get sodden and decayed.

Proper installation vs. the right materials

Essentially, putting up a vapor barrier prevents the warm air from traveling to the cooler environment in your wine cellars and disrupting the ideal wine storage conditions therein. Nonetheless, you still have to consider a few important things: the proper materials for your vapor barrier and its correct installation. These two factors are almost always overlooked especially in newbie wine cellar projects. The kind of material you will be using for your vapor barrier, the thickness thereof, the finishes and other applications to be utilized, all depend on the location of your wine cellar, the size, and its capacity.

For these reasons, it is highly recommended that you should talk things out with a professional wine cellar design specialist who will definitely know how to go about it. The same is true when it comes to actually installing the vapor barrier. In general, it has to be installed in the warm side of the wall and care should be taken that the application process is done thoroughly. This is where the installation and assembly services of the highly experienced wine cellar professionals at WCI come in really handy.

It goes without saying that when you plan on undertaking a wine cellar project, you have to do it right from beginning to end, taking into account ALL aspects thereof. This also means seeking the right professional guidance, especially when doubts creep in. For more information on wine cellar construction, just leave a comment below or contact us ASAP!


2 responses to “Understanding The Role Of The Vapor Barrier In Your Wine Cellars”

  1. Bryan Collins writes:

    I’m building a cellar in a mud room all 4 walls are insulated 2×4 Would RED GUARD vinyl moister barrier on the Sheetrock then 1-1/2 ISO with felt side work covered with cedar siding? bcollinsconstruction@yahoo.com

  2. Kristi writes:

    Awesome, Bryan! I’m having someone contact you about your questions on the vinyl moisture barrier.

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