Visqueen has become the generic name for plastic sheeting, just as Kleenex has become the generic name for tissue. When someone asks for Visqueen, they are referring to a lesser grade of plastic sheeting. The plastic sheeting known as Visqueen has become a generic name for Construction and Agricultural Grade Polyethylene sheeting (C&A film)? People will often do a search for "anti-static visqueen, or fire retardant visqueen" when they may be looking for an engineered plastic.Did you know that Visqueen is actually a company in the UK? C&A film contains up to 25% post consumer recycled content, and is made from the least expensive resins available at any given time. While it is excellent for use in many projects, we do not feel it is ideal for any use that requires sustained strenght such as a tarp or for use as a vapor/moisture barrier or retarder. Our choice is to recommend engineered films like VaporBlock Plus for this purpose to block as much of the moisture, radon, methane and VOC's as possible.
The engineered films are designed to last forever buried in the soil, where C&A film often completely breaks down within a couple of years. Have you ever dug up some old black plastic? Remember how torn and crusty it was?
It's important that today's vapor/moisture barriers or retarders should pass the ASTM E1745 Class A, B and C (standard for underslab vapor retarders in contact with soil or granular fill) , especially since most homeowner's insurance coverage for mold is very limited today. Builders are experiencing a much higher level of mold related repair costs and lawsuits since the time when most insurance companies changed their mold coverage to active leaks only.