water-resistive barrier

Housewrap Tape Problems

Posted on March 27,2015 by JeffHoch in building tape

Every year we inspect thousands of homes with one brand or another of housewrap installed as the water-resistive barrier (WRB). As energy costs increase and energy code requirements become more stringent, we are seeing housewrap installations where the seams are sealed with tape. Many housewrap manufacturers have proprietary seam seal tapes that they sell for exclusive use with their housewrap system.

Testing Building Assemblies for Moisture Resistance

Posted on March 27,2015 by AlexWilson in climate chamber

When I was in Portland, Oregon, the week before last for the Living Future Conference, I had an opportunity to visit a facility in nearby Clackamas where building assemblies and components can be tested for water intrusion and water vapor penetration. One of the high points of being a researcher and writer is the opportunity to visit really cool manufacturing and research facilities, so I usually jump at the opportunity to visit something new. I wasn’t disappointed on my recent trip.

Understanding Air Barriers, Vapor Barriers, and Drainage Planes

Posted on March 27,2015 by ab3 in air barrier

Is housewrap a vapor barrier? What's the purpose of building paper? Who'll stop the rain? I've covered this topic in various forms before, but the confusion about what the different building materials do is so widespread that I have to keep coming back to it. I'm going to keep it simple here so maybe we can get a few more people to use the proper terms, and especially to know when not to use the term “vapor barrier” ... and when not to use it.

What’s New with Water-Resistive Barriers

Posted on March 27,2015 by AlexWilson in 475

I remember years ago — I hate to remember how many; it must have been around 1982 or 1983 — writing for New England Builder (now the Journal of Light Construction) about Tyvek housewrap. It was then a fairly new product — and really a new idea: a material that would wrap over the outside of a house to provide an air barrier and improve energy performance.

A New Encyclopedia Article on Water-Resistive Barriers

Posted on March 27,2015 by GBA Team in encyclopedia

GBA's library of articles and blogs continues to expand. The newest article to be added to the ever-deeper GBA Encyclopedia covers water-resistive barriers (WRBs).

Walls Without Water-Resistive Barriers

Posted on March 27,2015 by ScottG in asphalt felt

Unless a builder has opted for a Zip System wall or is willing to ignore building code requirements, a layer of housewrap or building felt typically covers any exterior sheathing before the siding is applied. This water-resistive barrier, or WRB, helps to protect the sheathing from damage in the event that water is driven past the siding.

New Green Building Products — September 2010

Posted on March 27,2015 by user-756436 in can light

In this new-product roundup, I'll look at a cover for recessed can lights, a new caulk for polyethylene, and several new water-resistive barriers (WRBs) that promise better performance than Tyvek or Typar. A fire-resistant hat for recessed can lights A Delaware manufacturer named Tenmat is selling an airtight hat for recessed can lights. Tenmat light covers are made from mineral wool; according to the manufacturer, they are fire-resistant.

Using Rigid Foam As a Water-Resistive Barrier

Posted on March 27,2015 by user-756436 in foam sheathing

Do foam-sheathed walls also need housewrap? There’s no simple answer to the question. It is possible to use foam sheathing as a water-resistive barrier (WRB). However, those who choose this route should know:

  • Some brands of foam have been approved for use as a WRB, while others have not.
  • Even if you choose a code-approved foam, you can run afoul of your local building inspector if you don't follow strict fastening and seam-sealing details.

Housewrap in a Can: Liquid-Applied WRBs

Posted on March 27,2015 by user-756436 in housewrap

When it’s time to cover wall sheathing with a water-resistive barrier (WRB), most residential builders choose plastic housewrap, asphalt felt, building paper, or rigid foam sheathing. Some commercial builders, however, choose a fifth option: a liquid-applied building wrap. Liquid-applied WRBs come in a bucket and are applied to wall sheathing or concrete blocks with a roller or a spray rig. These products cure to form a tenacious, flexible coating that seals small cracks and penetrations.

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