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Getting barriers straight

joenorm | Posted in General Questions on

So let me clarify.

I can sheet a house in plywood, tape or goop the seems and nail holes, and this can be considered my air barrier. Correct?

What are the biggest problem spots for air leakage to look out for? What kind of tape is trusted (I know there are article on this, I will search). Is liquid applied goop a better solution? More expensive? Labor saving?

After the air barrier I need a WRB, correct? This can be Tyvek, liquid applied membrane, tar paper.

Or…..I can get them both with Zip Systems, if I can accept OSB as a building material. If Zip made a plywood version it would be a perfect product. Probably expensive though. The WRB has to be vapor permeable, Correct?

thanks for clarifying.

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Replies

  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    >"I can sheet a house in plywood, tape or goop the seems and nail holes, and this can be considered my air barrier. Correct?"

    Essentially correct. You have to goop the transition to top & bottom plate framing etc, too.

    >"What are the biggest problem spots for air leakage to look out for?"

    The transitions between top of the foundation to the foundation sill, band joists, and bottom of the sheathing are huge.

    >"After the air barrier I need a WRB, correct? This can be Tyvek, liquid applied membrane, tar paper."

    You've got it!

    >"The WRB has to be vapor permeable, Correct?"

    Depends on the climate, and the material stack up of the rest of the assembly. In US climate zones 1A & 2A there are sometimes benefits to making it impermeable.

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    Joe,
    You might want to read this article by Allison Bailes: "Understanding Air Barriers, Vapor Barriers, and Drainage Planes."

  3. Expert Member
    Peter Yost | | #3

    HI Joe - in terms of key spots to address, you should take a look at the Energy Star Thermal Bypass Checklist: e.g. this article: https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/navigating-energy-stars-thermal-bypass-checklist.

    Or if you google this lots of resources but this one is key: https://basc.pnnl.gov/resources/thermal-bypass-checklist-guide.

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