GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Tape test results

Martin Holladay | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

The results of my test of eleven air sealing tapes on six materials has been published.

Anyone interested in reading the results can find them here: Backyard Tape Test.


GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. eyremountllc | | #1


    I read this with great interest. I've personally used several of the tapes you tested here. I also understand the limitations of your testing program. I found it curious that you tested the Tescon No.1 for these straight seams. I used lots of it on our last project to seal penetrations, while I like the good adhesion the best part about it was the stretchiness that allowed me to wrap around circular penetrations. That same stretchiness actually makes it difficult to use for straight seams.

    For the straight seams, I much preferred the Tescon Vana (exterior and interior) and the Rapidcell for the interior. I believe Vana is a stiffer, thicker tape and perhaps would have been a better representative from the ProClima line of products.

    Overall, I learned a lot from your experiment. The article is already influencing my material decisions.


  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    Before I began my test, I called Ken Levenson at Four Seven Five and asked him which tape he would recommend for flat panel seams. He recommended Tescon No. 1, calling it an "all-around tape."

    After the test was complete, I had another opportunity to talk to Ken, and I noted that the flexibility of Tescon No. 1 was something of a mixed blessing; in some applications, it seemed fragile to me. Ken told me then that the virtue of Tescon No. 1 was its ability to conform to complicated three-dimensional shapes for sealing penetrations. That's true. It's possible that Ken's original advice to test Tescon No. 1 because it is an "all around tape" might, in retrospect, not have been the best advice for this test.

    Whenever a test is complete, the results raise new questions. If I had a lab and a big budget, I'd love to do more testing.

  3. user-757117 | | #3

    Will the results of your test be published an issue of FHB?

  4. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    It's in the latest issue of Fine Homebuilding (in your mailbox now). You can also read the article on the FHB website (as well, of course, as on the GBA website).

  5. DWBuilder | | #5

    Great article, Martin. Very helpful resource, thank you!

  6. Ken Levenson | | #6

    You are correct. And as my quote in the article suggests - the TESCON No 1 is ideally suited when "stretchyness" is the primary driver for penetrations and/or panel joints. For flat taping of sheathing, membranes or other components where the adhesion and/or strength of the backing is the primary driver (as in this test), TESCON Vana would be the tape we'd typically recommend. And TESCON Profil, for all inside corners.

    I don't remember the exact conversation and don't dispute your memory of it - but I'm surprised I would have recommended the No 1 over Vana for flat tape adhesion test. No worries though - it is an imperfect test in an imperfect world.
    We are very interested - along with you and Peter Yost and others - to get down to the qualities of these tapes and what the various "testing" really shows and what should be done to give meaningful information. It is a subject we look forward to exploring in great depth going forward.
    All Best,

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |