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DIY Testing Compatibility of Tapes and Flashing Materials

Stockwell | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

I have a foundation, but haven’t started into the next phase of my build. I had many questions about compatibility and suitability of products used for flashing, taping, etc. Nobody had all the answers, so I made this backyard test wall. It’s not particularly scientific, but it was informative for me, and it might be helpful to the odd person stumbling across it. It’s a 2×4 frame with cheap OSB sheathing applied, and a mock window opening. I wanted to know who stuck to who or what and how. Everything was applied as directed, allowed to cure, tapes were pressure applied as directed, etc.
My observations:
–FortiFlash flashing material is not very useful–doesn’t stick well to anything, and the liquid applied flashings don’t stick to it

–the Prosoco joint and seam filler/fast flash are interesting products. They are much tougher than I thought, stick tenaciously, and will have a part in my water and air sealing plan.

–A bead of Joint and Seam filler behind an aluminum nailing fin against OSB is immovable. Three large men were unable to budge it. Impressive. Same goes if you use it against FastFlash–amazing adhesive(and I would assume air and water tight)

–ExtoSeal Encors makes a great sill seal. It’s not going to come off. It’s thick, and would easily seal any penetrations. It’s an acrylic/butyl combo. Almost gooey in hot sun. Beats the pants off Fortiflash

–Tescon Vana and Siga Fentrim are the stickiest tapes I have ever used. It takes a herculean effort to strip them off after 24 hours. Zip tape is not far behind. Siga Wigluv is not nearly as impressive.

–Tescon Vana , Siga Fentrim and Zip tape stick very well to cured Fast Flash and Joint and Seam filler. Some say these tapes are not compatible with the fluid applied products, but they sure stuck well in my test. Long term? No idea. I am a backyard scientist with short term insights.

–Lexel does not stick to fluid applied products, nor to the tapes particularly well.

–If you have to use FastFlash over tapes for some reason, it doesn’t work well unless the tape has the felt coating like Tescon Vana or Siga Fentrim. Otherwise, it peels right off things like Zip Tape(zip says wipe with acetone first if you want it to stick), Extoseal Encors, SIga Wigluv, or the WRB, Siga Majvest.

–Siga Majvest doesn’t have near the adhesive power of any of the Siga Tapes, but does stick reasonably well. It is an adhered WRB. I wanted to test Solitex Adhero, but I could not procure a sample.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    I love it! I'm a big fan of backyard testing. Thanks for sharing your findings.

  2. Expert Member

    Thanks Kevin,

    If you are still enthusiastically sticking stuff to your test board, thing about trying some of the more common flashing tapes for comparison. I'd be interested to see how Dupont's Straight Flash, and Henry Blueskin WB do.

  3. Stockwell | | #3

    Malcolm--I will see if I can find some remnants to try. I used Straight Flash on my build in 2004. It worked very well then. From my readings though, the butyl types like Straight flash don't perform as well as the acrylics, at least as far as holding power.

  4. Expert Member

    Probably 99% of the builds here in Canada use Tuck Tape (which has an acrylic adhesive) for sealing the interior poly vb, WRB, window flanges - and because it's red, it works well as a temporary fix for cracked brake lights too. I'm amazed that one product could corner the market in the way it has. I've never seen it in any backyard test. Perhaps it isn't sold in the States?

  5. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #5

    As far as I know, "tuck tape" is Canadian slang for "housewrap tape." It isn't really a brand name, is it?

  6. Stockwell | | #7

    Here is one data point in looking at spec sheets for many of these products. I could find exact numbers for adhesion for the Tescon Vana and the 3M acrylic tape:

    TV says 3.34lbs/in on OSB and 4.45 lbs/in on Intello membrane
    3M says 2.81 lbs/in without specifying substrate

    Here is the surprise though! 3M 8067 tape(which I seem to recall Martin speaking highly of), has an adhesion to OSB of 3.75lbs./in! Adhesion to anodized aluminum of 4.375lbs./in!

    The search continues....

  7. Yupster | | #8
    1. lance_p | | #28

      LOL at the Tuck Tape comments!

      Having used Tuck Tape, I can confidently say it's terrible for sealing anything other than flat smooth seams. It's a thin plastic tape that doesn't stretch at all, meaning it does not conform to anything other than flat or cylindrical surfaces. Got a dryer duct exiting through your poly? It'll take no less than 10 carefully placed pieces of Tuck Tape to do a mediocre job of sealing that penetration. It will look like hell and add no less than 10 min. of frustration your life.

      But it's cheap and works great if you don't care about what you're doing! Having said that, my goal will be to build a 100% Tuck Tape-free house.

      When I worked at a building supply 20 years ago, the only flavor available was RED. Now there's a tasty looking new BLUE flavor available, apparently optimized for adhering to poly:

      There's also a new "easy tear" red flavor available, because when you're trying to permanently seal something shut, why not use something that tears apart more easily?

      Does make great bondo, though! This guy might as well we waving the Canadian flag!

  8. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #9

    I stand corrected. It's not slang -- it's a brand name, and it's manufactured by:

    Cantech (Canadian Technical Tape Ltd.)
    455 Côte Vertu
    Montréal, Québec H4N 1E8
    Tel.: 514.334.1510

  9. Stockwell | | #10

    Thanks Yupster--now I was able to dig around and find Tuck Tape data--adhesion to steel of 2.5lbs/in, and the Canadian Construction Materials Centre reported its adhesion to Tyvek at ~1.7lbs/in(compare to 8067 at 3.125 lbs/in).

  10. Expert Member
    RICHARD EVANS | | #11


    Thanks for sharing your results- very helpful!

    I too have had great success with Tescon Vana and Zip tape. I was shocked to hear about your results for the Wigluv tape- which I presumed would be a top performer.

    In my experience, I didn't like Extoseal that much. It certainly has a tenacious adhesive but the material itself blistered and bubbled in the warm sun. Some of our windows/sliders easily punctured and tore through the Extoseal during installation- leaving the wood substrate exposed. We had to go back at patch the holes with 3M tape. In the future, I will opt for liquid flash for sills. I had success with Zip liquid flash. The application is more time consuming but there is no place for a window or trim-board to 'grab' and then pull off as can happen with tapes/adhesives.

  11. Stockwell | | #12

    Thanks for the input. I can see where the Extoseal would tear, or maybe smear would be a better word, in the hot sun. It's an odd product. I too would prefer the liquid flash for a sill, but it would have to stick to the WRB beneath the sill. If you are using Zip, that wouldn't be an issue. If you are using something like Tyvek or Solitex Adhero or Siga Majvest, I wouldn't trust the fluid applied to stick. I could easily roll it off some of the tapes. As for the Wigluv, it was definitely sticky, but it didn't perform nearly as well as Tescon Vana, Siga Fentrim, and Zip tape.

  12. Yupster | | #13

    3M 8067 Flashing tape would be an interesting one to stick on your testing board. I've been using it to flash the head and jambs of windows and it seems to stick fabulously provided the substrate is dry and clean. Doesn't stick very well at all to something even a little damp. It's also reasonably priced and can be purchased on Amazon. Handy for people living in areas with no high-performance building products. (looking at you rural Ontario...) No idea how it sticks to fluid applied flashing.

  13. Expert Member
    MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #14

    Ha - Kevin is going to need a bigger piece of OSB!
    Calling every type of tape "Tuck Tape" is pretty comm0n up here in Canada.

  14. Yupster | | #15

    And Tuck Tape makes great auto body repair material. As long as your truck is red.
    Can we crowdfund him a bigger piece of OSB? Alternatively, I have a piece here he could pick up...

  15. Expert Member
    MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #16

    Oh you Torontonians caring about the colour of car you use Tuck tape on.

    1. Yupster | | #17

      Easy now, rural Ontario speaking here. And at least our hockey team...oh, wait, that's not going to help.

  16. Stockwell | | #18

    UPDATE: I have left the entire board out in the elements. That has appeared to kick the Siga Wigluv into high gear! It is now just as firmly adhered as the Tescon Vana and Siga Fentrim.

    I have some 3M 8067 on its way to add to the mix.

  17. Expert Member
    MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #19

    What do you think activated the Sign Wigluv? Heat or...?

  18. Stockwell | | #20

    Malcolm--I laid the board down in the back of my truck facing up. That means sun, heat and rain. I'd guess some heat/sun did the trick. Whatever caused it , it is significantly more difficult to remove now.

  19. this_page_left_blank | | #21

    Tuck Tape is junk, in my opinion. Actually, it's useful for temporary taping, because it's very easy to pull off. I had it on some Zehnder Comfopipe, which is expanded polypropylene, and I removed it after several weeks. Didn't even damage the EPP. On poly vapour barrier, the force of gravity is just about enough to pull it off.

  20. Yupster | | #22

    It's a decent housewrap tape, which is what it is designed for. Code in Ontario actually requires a new kind of tape for interior poly, because red tuck tape doesn't work well for poly. It's the blue Tuck tape you can find in stores now. (Perfect for patching a Leafs jersey!)

    1. this_page_left_blank | | #26

      The weird thing is I remember the red Tuck tape from before house wrap was really even a thing here, and it has always been ubiquitous in big box stores frequented mostly by people likely to be installing PE vapour barriers (home DIYers) and unlikely to be installing housewrap. Meanwhile, I only recently began to see this blue version.

      1. lance_p | | #29

        Funny, red Tuck Tape is all the building suppliers used to carry when I worked at one 20 years ago. I guess it took a decade or two since then to realize this stuff is garbage. I too have only recently noticed the blue version... the code change must have been recent.

  21. jaccen | | #23

    Thank you for the tests. They are always greatly appreciated.

  22. Stockwell | | #24

    3M 8067: Sticks crazy well on OSB, as good or better than Siga Wigluv/Fentrim, ZIP and Tescon Vana. Oddly, it has very little adhesion to the fluid applied products. Over time, ZIP and Siga Wigluv have had the best adhesion to the fluid applied products. I find the 8067 more difficult to handle as well compared to the other tapes, and it's outside layer grabs and tries to tear when you use a tool to press it down(like a rigid plastic "card" to pressure activate the adhesive).

    1. finePNW | | #33

      Did you happen to try 8067 with 3m 90 spray in terms of adhesion to FastFlash?

  23. Yupster | | #25

    Nice to know, thanks Kevin! Agreed, definitely need a roller if you want to pressure it with something other than your hand. Most of the installations I've seen have just been hand-pressure applied. I'd be interested to know how well it adheres with just hand pressure. Maybe I should go home and do some of my own testing...

  24. Expert Member
    MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #27

    Fascinating stuff. Thanks for sharing your first-hand experience.

  25. lance_p | | #30

    Kevin, thanks for your hard work! Perhaps once you have a couple weeks on your samples you can summarize with some sort of table? If so, perhaps this can be added to Martin's data from the (in)famous Backyard Tape Test?

  26. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #31

    If you're willing to summarize your findings in a guest blog, we'll publish it. Contact me anytime:

    Martin Holladay
    martin [at] greenbuildingadvisor [dot] com

  27. AVYPerformanceTapes | | #32

    Love the interest in Tapes and the "real world" backyard testing. If your interested in learning a lot more about Tapes or sharing your knowledge directly with these manufacturers there is an organization of Tape manufacturers (including 3M, Avery Dennison, Berry Plastics, Cantech-now owned by IPG, etc) called PSTC (Pressure Sensitive Tape Council). They would love to interact with you.

    As an industry the Tape Manufacturers are very interested in creating products in this space and would love to hear more about how you think about the use of Tapes to perform as needed.

    -Steve Flannery
    Avery Dennison - Performance Tapes Division

  28. sterilecuckoo58 | | #34

    A whole house experiment…

    Based on this thread and pre-CoViD touch-sniff-feel-stretch moments at demo opportunities we got a case of Tescon Vana, a roll of ExtoSeal and for WRB a 10’ wide roll of Solitex Mento 3000 (SM3k).

    For yuks, I picked up other purportedly sticky flashing/seam sealing products - none by the case.

    Henry Blueskin vapor permeable tape competes with the Tescon Vana in adhesive capabilities. Where used as window sill flashing tape it has stood the tests of exposure. It is more difficult for this novice to manage for continuity at sill/ window opening corners.

    The Extoseal’s stretch property is remarkable, but beware of over thinning it. It has stayed stuck. I paired Extoseal flashed lower corners with HB horizontally at the sill. They seem to play together well.

    Vycor lacks cooperative spirit. It is the most likely to have lifted its edges and has little adhesive strength on SM3k. Probably inappropriate for the application, hence user error. Thought it might be the fabric surface but told myself that other sticky products had no such issue. It was relegated to other uses .

    The unused Extoseal remained viable for install for 2.5 years. I used my last shred then, so I don’t know the outer limit.

    Tescon Vana is as tenacious as the day it arrived. Makes excellent clothing patches , hose repairs (with mechanical reinforcement), and other off-label applications. Even survives the elements, when forgotten on a roof.

    Although off topic, ContegaHF has been 95% novice friendly. It can be a little runny, but that’s more likely because I asked of it that which it should not be asked to do.

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