This is a companion blog post to the video I shot at the University of Texas Construction Durability Lab. Please watch the video before reading this post. Next, here is the link to the official results published in a trade journal Construction Specifier.
Ok, so you’ve seen the video and you are asking who’s the winner? Well, this blog post is the UN-official results. I’m not an official member of this team, and this post is simply my observations and my inferences.
First, let me start with the losers (my opinion only). Upon close inspection, there are several that are not looking good.
Next, among the Fluid Applied samples the worst one is StoGuard. Remember that these were all applied in near perfect conditions and the manufacturers directions were followed to the letter.
Next on the naughty list is Prosoco’s Cat 5. It’s not peeling, but the mottled coloring and crazing of the surface looks like a failure is eminent.
There were several others that were faring quite well. I’ve started to use Polyguard’s Alum-A-Flash peel & stick and it looked really good after 2 years in the sun.
Fluid Applied Tyvek looks to be in great condition too.
Tremco ExoAir 230 is looking top notch in this testing.
Carlisle’s Fluid Applied looks good so far too.
Huber Zip System is being used alot in Texas and I must say that I’ve been skeptical of their tape dependent system. However, the testing at the Durability Lab is showing the Zip tape to be really good. After 2 years of exposure the Zip System looks great. Nothing on the tape looks like it has any failures whatsoever. Very impressive.
The Tyvek Homewrap sample is looking pretty faded by the sun after this long exposure, but the butyl based tapes look like they are still stuck well. This test shows why I like the longer exposure rating of Commercial Tyvek. Otherwise, it’s not faring too badly.
Cosella-Dorkin’s Delta Vent SA peel & stick vapor permeable house wrap is looking great. I like this product and it seems to be doing quite well in testing.
So, who’s the winner? There is really no clear winner here. I think the take away from this video and the experiments at the UT Durability lab are that you choose your WRB based on your exposure.
Houses with lots of exposure need more robust WRB’s. If you are building a commercial building that likely means a thick-mil Fluid Applied WRB. I’d pick one that is faring well in this test. I would personally stay away from the thin-mil WRB’s. The fact that they didn’t even test the thin versions tells you something.
If you are building a single-family residence with 2′ overhangs and little exposure then the more “basic” house wraps will work for you if you detail them and install them correctly.
Stay tuned for my “Nail Sealability Testing” video that I also shot at UT with the Grad student who tested all these products to find out how well they sealed around nail penetrations. I should have that video on my channel this week and a blog post next week about it!
Lastly, if you want to read all my posts about WRB’s click the TOPICS tab at the top, then click on “Housewrap & Waterproofing”. Thanks for reading, and be sure to comment below. I’d love your feedback and opinions.
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Does your Waterproofing Membrane seal around nails?