sheathing

building-scienceheader image

Combining Sheathing With a WRB and Air Barrier

How well do Zip and ForceField sheathing integrate a structural panel with bulk water and air management?

Posted on Jun 22 2017 by Peter Yost

Full Disclosure: First, there are a lot of different ways to get continuous air and water control layers on the exterior of a building enclosure. You can use housewrap, taped-and-sealed rigid foam insulation, liquid-applied membrane, or either the Huber Zip or Georgia-Pacific ForceField system. Each approach has strengths and weaknesses.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Image Credits:

  1. Image #1: Zip sheathing - Elden Lindamood; ForceField sheathing: Georgia-Pacific
  2. Images #2 through #4: JM Huber
  3. Images #5 through #15: Peter Yost

musingsheader image

Wall Sheathing Options

Choosing between OSB, plywood, fiberboard, rigid foam, diagonal boards, and fiberglass-faced gypsum panels

Posted on Nov 20 2015 by Martin Holladay
prime

For the past 30 years, the majority of new homes in the U.S. have been built with wood-framed walls sheathed with oriented strand board (OSB). Most builders are so comfortable with OSB wall sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. that they never consider using an alternative material.

In fact, a wide range of materials can be used to sheathe a wood-framed wall. In addition to OSB, builders can choose plywood, fiberboard, rigid foam, diagonal boards, and fiberglass-faced gypsum panels. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool OSB user, it might be time to consider some of the available alternatives to OSB.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Image Credits:

  1. Image #1: Lunenburgfirehouse.blogspot.com

building-scienceheader image

Is Oriented Strand Board as Impermeable as They Say?

An interesting look at the vapor permeability of OSB

Posted on Aug 27 2014 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

Oriented strand board (OSB) gets blamed for a lot of problems that are really the fault of the designers and builders. Part of the problem, of course, is the perrenial confusion between correlation and causality. OSB hit the market as we really started getting serious about insulation and air sealing.


Tags: , , , ,

Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard
  2. Building Science Corporation
  3. Chris Timusk

QA-spotlightheader image

How to Seal Sheathing Boards

The owner of a house built before the age of plywood weighs his options for air-sealing and insulating exterior walls

Posted on Nov 4 2013 by Scott Gibson

The use of plywood and OSB sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. is a fairly recent phenomenon. Before these sheet goodsMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. became readily available, builders nailed wood boards to the frame of a house for sheathing, and it is a house with this type of sheathing that Nick Welch is trying to update.

His 900-square-foot house in Climate Zone 4C is sheathed with 1x8 boards, apparently over a layer of asphalt felt. There is apparently no insulation in the wall cavities behind the sheathing. His plan of attack is to air-seal the house, then install foil-faced polyisocyanurate insulation over that. The question is how.


Tags: , , , ,

Image Credits:

  1. Warren Gretz / National Renewable Energy Laboratory

building-scienceheader image

Solving Comfort Problems Caused by Attic Kneewalls

Insulation and air-sealing are key

Posted on Aug 21 2013 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

In Texas, they call them “hot walls.” My friend Mike Barcik likes to say they’re what separate you from the blast furnace. Down here in the warmer climate zones, where attics get up to 8,000°F (well, that may be a slight exaggeration), many people call them a liability. (Sadly, architects haven't gotten the message.)


Tags: , , , ,

Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

building-scienceheader image

Does Your Air Barrier Work in Both Directions?

An experiment comparing housewrap and taped sheathing under positive and negative pressure

Posted on May 15 2013 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

Do you want a good air barrierBuilding assembly components that work as a system to restrict air flow through the building envelope. Air barriers may or may not act as a vapor barrier. The air barrier can be on the exterior, the interior of the assembly, or both. on your house? Of course you do. No one who knows anything at all about building science believes that old myth that a house needs to breathe. We want airtight houses, but then we want mechanical ventilation to bring in fresh air from outside (well, at least as fresh as you can get from your outside).


Tags: , , , , , ,

Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

musingsheader image

How Risky Is Cold OSB Wall Sheathing?

The thicker your wall, the colder your sheathing. If you build a very thick wall, will your sheathing stay cold and wet?

Posted on Nov 5 2010 by Martin Holladay

During the winter months, wall sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. is usually cold. Cold sheathing is risky, since it tends to accumulate moisture during the winter. Unless the sheathing can dry out during the summer months, damp sheathing can rot.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Image Credits:

  1. GreenBuildingAdvisor

musingsheader image

Airtight Wall and Roof Sheathing

Arguments in favor of exterior air barriers

Posted on Apr 9 2010 by Martin Holladay

UPDATED on March 8, 2016

In the early 1970s, residential builders knew almost nothing about air tightness. The first residential air barriers were installed in Saskatchewan in the late 1970s, when pioneering Canadian builders began sealing the seams of interior polyethylene sheeting with Tremco acoustical sealant. The Canadian builders (and their American imitators) went to a lot of trouble to weave the interior poly around framing members at rim-joist areas and partition intersections.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Image Credits:

  1. South Mountain Company
  2. Coldham & Hartman Architects
  3. John Brooks

energy-solutionsheader image

How Much Insulation is Needed?

Posted on Jul 15 2009 by Alex Wilson

Standard residential construction in much of the country is 2x4 framing with fiberglass insulation, achieving a paltry R-10 or so in the walls. If insulation is installed at all on the foundation walls, it’s rarely more than an inch thick, and insulation is almost never put under slabs. In Vermont, we typically do a lot better. Act 250, enacted nearly four decades ago, required developers to improve energy performance and that led to a widespread switch to 2x6 framing in home building.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!

Syndicate content