by • April 13, 2015 • Building Science, Housewrap & Waterproofing, RoofingComments (9)6647

Does your Waterproofing Membrane seal around nails?

This is a follow up to the long term durability test I post about last week.  We are talking today about how well a membrane seals around nail holes.  Specifically, an ASTM test that manufacturers subject their products to in order to show they meet a standard of “waterproofing”.  As a part of the Weather Resistive Barrier (WRB) testing the team ran their own version of this ASTM – D 1970 test that was created for roofing membranes that guard against ice dams and the leaks that occur when ice is forced under shingles then melts.  Well, it turns out this test is pretty tough to meet.  I heard from the UT team that in speaking with the test labs with the official ASTM results they apparently only publish the “passing” tests and not the failed ones.

So, which is the one that actually passes in the video?  Only Tremco’s ExoAir 220 actually passed the test run by the UT Durability lab.  This Fluid Applied (thick mil) WRB was the only one that successfully sealed around the backed out nails and kept water at bay for the required period of time.  This is only one test, but that’s a pretty big win for the Tremco WRB.

I’m working on a Journal of Light Construction article that will be published next month on this topic of WRB’s and the good/better/best methods for using them on your project.  Stay tuned for that, but in the meantime if you aren’t a JLC Subscriber you can use this link for a fantastic $9.99 new subscriber rate.


Matt Risinger

Risinger Homes in Austin, TX

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Risinger Homes is a custom builder and whole house remodeling contractor that specializes in Architect driven and fine craftsmanship work. We utilize an in-house carpentry staff and the latest building science research to build dramatically more efficient, healthy and durable homes.

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  • rj

    Apparently Tremco’s ExoAir 220 (black) is the leader in nail sealing, however in the previous post on WRB, Tremco’s ExoAir 230 (limestone color) was mentioned as a leader. Are there two different Tremco products being tested? I noted the 230 data sheet suggests UV resistance and window sealing capabilities that the 220 does not.

    • I believe the two products from Tremco are very similar (nearly identical) but the 230 has extra UV inhibitors. The 230 is likely a bit more expensive too because those UV inhibitors are typically very costly. Matt

  • Brandon

    Do you recommend this product over the 300HT? I am building soon, in a similar climate as Austin, near New Orleans. Brick, concrete slab, shingles and considering spray foam insulation. Given humid climate and construction materials, what barrier would you recommend – behind brick? and under shingles?

    • Brandon, If you are using Brick and have overhangs I’d recommend Tyvek Commercial Wrap. See this blog post:
      If your shingled roof has spray foam underneath I’d use Carlisle WIP 300HT. If it’s a typical vented attic the WIP isn’t necessary. 30lb felt is OK in that case. Best, Matt

      • Brandon

        Thank you for the response. I found your blog shortly after purchasing my lot and have really enjoyed reading your posts. They are extremely helpful and informative. I plan on staying in the house for a long time so I want to do it right the first time.

    • EPE

      Im in New Orleans as well I just used Tremco Exoair 220 on top of 2” rmax polyiso rain screen walls with 1-1/2” air gap,walls will have vertical metal corrugated siding covering . Tremco Exoair 220 rolls on like chocolate pudding and 1 coat is all you need, main thing is no rain for 72 hours to dry right and the southern humidity slows that down! Tremco fluid applied wrb’s are the best for the money got a great deal thru SSI construction supply. Check out pics of my 220 Exoair install here

      • Matt Risinger

        Looks nice! I’ve been wanting to try Exoair 220. I’m surprised to see you apply this OVER the polyiso rather than under it. What’s your thoughts on that? Matt

  • Doug Cameron

    Nice video Matt. On a similiar note, my experience has shown Zip with a Fluid Applied Flashing applied to the seams outperforms Ice & Water Shield as a tempetory roof membrane during construction. It’s simply way easier to see what you’re working with. These days, I don’t put my permanent roof on until after insulation. Fingers crossed, zero issues to date. I can’t say that about the Ice & Water Shield. I’m curious what fluid applied product mentioned in the video performed the best. Text me if you’re not supposed to let the cat out of the bag on camera 😉

  • Niaga Artha Chemcons

    great information, please read too the article about waterproofing membrane