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Fluid Applied Weather Barrier Testing

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.

17 different WRB's being tested for durability & exposure
17 different WRB’s being tested for durability & exposure

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.  

The simulated window flange on the Tar paper sample is looking terrible.
The simulated window flange on the Tar paper sample is looking terrible.
The tar paper is not faring well after a long exposure.  I don't see this as a viable option for a high exposure building.
The tar paper is not faring well after a long exposure. I don’t see this as a viable option for a high exposure building.

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.

StoGuard sample board.
StoGuard sample board.
Ouch. StoGuard looking terrible.
Ouch. StoGuard looking terrible.
Not a good showing for StoGuard
Not a good showing for StoGuard

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.

_MG_2809

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.

_MG_2822
Polyguard Alum-A-Flash was looking pristine at the mock window flange.
_MG_2821
I like Polyguard’s Alum-A-Flash because the aluminum face has basically unlimited UV resistance. The manufacturer says to cover in 1 year but this sample looks great after 2 years in the sun.
_MG_2849
Alum-A-Flash details look perfect still. I must say the installer did these with precision.

 

Fluid Applied Tyvek looks to be in great condition too.

_MG_2815
Fluid Applied Tyvek is faring well so far.

 

Grace VPO

Grace VPO Fluid Applied Looks good after 2 years exposure
Grace VPO Fluid Applied Looks good after 2 years exposure

Tremco ExoAir 230 is looking top notch in this testing.

Tremco ExoAir 230 looks very good.
Tremco ExoAir 230 looks very good.
Brick Tie with Tremco detailing
Brick Tie with Tremco detailing
Tremco ExoAir 230 is a very strong competitor in the Fluid Applied race for #1
Tremco ExoAir 230 is a very strong competitor in the Fluid Applied race for #1

Carlisle’s Fluid Applied looks good so far too.

Carlisle Fluid Applied WRB looking good.
Carlisle Fluid Applied WRB looking good.

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.

Zip System by Huber looks great after 2 years on the blazing Texas sun.  No failures visable.
Zip System by Huber looks great after 2 years on the blazing Texas sun. No failures visable.

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.

Tyvek HomeWrap is faded but not doing too badly.
Tyvek HomeWrap is faded but not doing 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.

Cosella Dorkin's Delta Vent SA is looking good.  All the tapes are stuck well and the whole assembly looks like it's taking the Texas sun just fine.
Cosella Dorkin’s Delta Vent SA is looking good. All the tapes are stuck well and the whole assembly looks like it’s taking the Texas sun just fine except for a slight wrinkle in the middle of the sample.

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.

Best,

Matt Risinger

Risinger Homes in Austin, TX

Visit my Blog at www.MattRisinger.com

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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