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by • December 30, 2013 • Insulation & Air Sealing, ReviewsComments (10)4733

Siga Wigluv Air Sealing Tape Review

There are 4 things every house needs to control (in order of importance):

  1. Water
  2. Air
  3. Vapor
  4. Thermal

The building codes have dictated the Thermal/Vapor Control that builders must adhere to, and nearly every builder in the US knows off the top of their head the R-value of the insulation in their walls/attics.  But, until recently the building codes haven’t addressed air control.  The 2012 IRC now dictates that builders in my climate zone need to achieve a Blower Door test of 5ACH50 which is actually pretty tight and will make quite a few builders need to research air sealing methods in order to truly reach this level of air-tightness.  As an aside, it’s interesting that codes barely touch on water control which is of course the most important control layer on any house.  What difference does it make what R-value your wall has if water is getting into that wall through a leaky window, or a poorly sealed plumbing or hvac penetration?
  So, in my quest to build ever tighter houses I’ve decided that my goal is for every house I build to get as close to 1ACH50 as possible.  Not every house I build will get to this standard as I’m sometimes limited by the Architecture on the weather-stripping of exterior doors.  I’ve found that sliding glass doors, custom doors, “store front”, and other Architecturally cool doors can really kill my blower door tests.
  If you’ve followed my blog, I’ve used a ton of different methods to air seal inside a house.  Spray foam, Owens Corning Energy Complete, Caulking, etc.  Using these methods I’ve been able to get most houses below 2.5ACH50.  But, to reach that goal of 1ACH50 I’ve decided to take a page from the PassiveHouse playbook and tape my exterior sheathing seams.  In reading Martin Holiday’s “Tape Test” article from March 2013 Fine Homebuilding, I thought that Siga Wigluv was the clear winner as the best tape for OSB sheathing seams.  Martin’s article says that it’s best to use a primer and I fully agree.  I bought my Siga tape online from SmallPlanetWorkshop.com along with the Siga accessories.  I also recommend using a J-Roller to roll out the tape and ensure good adhesion.  Here’s some photos of the install process:

All OSB Sheating with a bottom 2′ course of Pressure Treated Plywood

I use Carlisle CCW 705 on the bottom 12″ to ensure this vulnerable area is protected.

The CCW 705 runs over the concrete slab by 1-2″ to air seal and move water away from the sheathing. Notice the dark primer before adhering the peel & stick CCW 705. 

Siga Wigluv 60 (2.25″) tape, Dockskin primer, Siga tape dispenser, and J-Roller to ensure a tight install.

This tape is expensive, but you get what you pay for.  It sticks tenaciously! 

Carpenter using a mini-roller to apply the Dockskin primer to the OSB seams prior to taping. 

Siga Wigluv on the PT Plywood to OSB seam. 

Almost fully taped…

Tape is completed and the whole house gets DuPont Tyvek Commercial Drainwrap as the WRB over the OSB. 

I made two videos of the Siga Tape.  This first video is my impressions and a good destructive test.

This next video is the more complete version showing the install process.

Unfortunately, I’ve been waiting on the rear and front doors for this house so I’ve not been able to perform the blower door test!  I’m expecting this house to get very close to my goal of 1ACH50!  I’ll post and update to this blog post once I get the results.  Overall, I’m really happy with this Siga Tape and I think this method is superior from an Best Practice standpoint on that list of Control Layers. 

Best,
Matt Risinger

Risinger Homes in Austin, TX

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.
Be sure to check out my video blog on YouTube, and follow me on Twitter @MattRisinger 

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  • Matt,
    What is your opinion of the OSB with Siga tape and commercial Tyvek versus the Zip system? Also, what insulation methods did you use for this house internally and externally? Thanks!!!

  • Ryan, I prefer Siga and Commercial D Tyvek over Zip wall. I like how Tyvek can be properly lapped/shingled and I’m not a fan of being tape dependent for waterproofing. I think Zip is OK, but I like Tyvek a lot better. Regarding Insulation this house got 5.5″ of open cell foam in the walls, 8″ in the roof. We didn’t do exterior rigid foam on this project it was “value engineered” out. I win some, I lose some…
    Best, Matt
    Here’s a link to the video I shot inside this house regarding the spray foam.
    http://youtu.be/WMV20XwaL1g

  • What were the blower for test results? And how did the results compare to sticky wrapping the whole house that you mention in later videos?

    • Grant, Great question! I’ll know the answer to that next Friday when we do the blower door test. We had some custom doors at this house and couldn’t do the test till those were completed and weatherstripped. The other house with the Delta Vent SA fully adhered house wrap will be tested in about 60 days. Same issue there with a custom made front door. I’m expecting these to blow a low number! Best, Matt

  • Matt, love your site. I’ve heard you mention Zip System several times but haven’t ever seen an application. It sounds like a great system for air tight and rain-safe envelope. What are your thoughts?

    • Chuck, Thanks for your kind words. I’ve got my first Zip project going now. I’ve been a hold out on their system as I’m not a huge fan of relying on tape (and not gravity/lapping) for my waterproofing. I’ll do a review after I finish this first project with Zip. It’s also my first Timberframe project with Bensonwood homes and they really believe in Zip with their super-insulated SIPS panels and SIGA tape on the inside. Look for that review in 2-3 months. Thanks, Matt
      PS> My blog is moving web addresses soon to http://www.mattrisinger.com so be on the lookout for this blogger.com address to go away. Best, Matt

  • Grant Tanner

    Did you ever get the results back from the blower door test? I’m interested in hearing about the results.

    • Grant, I just did the test last week. This house blew a 1.9 ACH50. Good, but not as good as I had hoped. As I’ve set a goal for myself to get my houses to 1.0 this result has given me some directions. I think the Siga did a great job on the outside, but I believe my open cell foam in the attic is leakier than I wanted to admit. Have you seen my Perfect Wall house? I’m testing that later this month and that will be telling to see how it scores. Best, Matt

      • Grant Tanner

        1.9 ain’t bad. Yes, I’ve been eagerly following the perfect wall series-fantastic building science. I’m super interested as well to see how it performs. Thanks for the insights!

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