Canadian Contractor
BUILDWIRE

More than one way to keep a wall dry

Advancements in building wrap technology offer diverse methods for managing bulk water while reducing material costs and streamlining installation


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August 31, 2018 by canadiancontractor

This is a sponsored post from Typar

Drainage is widely accepted as one of the most effective measures for reducing damage due to rain penetration and is a critical component in allowing a building wrap to do its job, particularly in keeping walls dry. Historically, drainage has been achieved through the use of furring strips that separate the wrap from the structural sheathing and framing, but new technologies have emerged that are helping to simplify this process.

Today’s most advanced building wrap products feature integrated drainage gaps through creping, embossing, weaving or filament spacers. These new products eliminate the need for furring strips, helping to reduce material costs and streamline installation.

The drainage efficiency of a building wrap is generally tested in accordance of ASTM E2273. In simple terms, this test involves spraying water onto a wall assembly and measuring its collection over time. However, given the variety of drainable building wraps available, how quickly bulk water is drained can vary significantly. Here’s a look at a few of the methods modern building wraps use to drain water from a wall assembly.

Integrated Rainscreens

One method for achieving bulk water drainage is the integration of a rainscreen material onto the building wrap. These products eliminate the cost and time-consuming labor of installing furring strips by creating a gap between the sheathing and the cladding, which facilitates both drainage and continuous airflow. Where wood strapping only vents approximately 85 percent of the wall, building wraps with an integrated rainscreen provide a continuous vented airspace over the entire surface area of the wall, providing greater drainage and more effective drying. And because many rainscreen products use a matrix of plastic material to achieve the gap, they aren’t subject to saturation and decomposition that could compromise wood furring.

Rainscreen products are recommended in areas with wind-driven rain, high amounts of rainfall (40 to 60 inches annually), or high temperature and humidity. Coastal areas and hilltop exposures are prime examples of when this technology would be ideal. In these situations, the importance of creating a drainage plane is heightened when using an absorptive cladding material like wood or fiber cement.

Wraps with Spacers or Dimples

Another approach gaining in popularity is the incorporation of unique spacers, or dimples, onto the building wrap itself. These drainable building wraps are able to achieve a 1mm drainage gap through a pattern of integrated spacers and can be as much as 100 times more effective than standard building wraps at removing bulk water from the wall. Most can be installed in any direction without affecting performance.

These products are recommended behind wood, fiber cement, vinyl, stone and stucco cladding, or where budgets don’t allow the use of a full rainscreen system.

Integrated Fibrous Layer

The cutting edge of drainable building wrap technology are products that create a drainage gap through an additional layer of polypropylene fibers. TYPAR Drainable Wrap, for example, uses this technology to create a 1 mm drainage gap and has been shown to achieve 94.8 percent drainage efficiency per ASTM E2273 without sacrificing any of the durability and ease of installation benefits builders and contractors have come to expect from premium building wraps, since it essentially handles and installs the same as a standard TYPAR building wrap. In addition, it is backed by an industry-leading lifetime-limited warranty that includes both materials and labor.

Like dimpled wraps, these products can also be installed in any direction without affecting performance. And they are vapor permeable, so moisture will not become trapped in the wall assembly and lead to mold or rot issues.

Which product is best for your project will depend largely on project conditions, climate, budget and what other products will comprise the wall assembly. However, having access to a variety of drainable building wrap products, each offering a different approach to bulk water drainage, gives builders and contractors many ways to keep walls dry no matter the situation.

Drainage is widely accepted as one of the most effective measures for reducing damage due to rain penetration and is a critical component in allowing a building wrap to do its job, particularly in keeping walls dry. Historically, drainage has been achieved through the use of furring strips that separate the wrap from the structural sheathing and framing, but new technologies have emerged that are helping to simplify this process.

Today’s most advanced building wrap products feature integrated drainage gaps through creping, embossing, weaving or filament spacers. These new products eliminate the need for furring strips, helping to reduce material costs and streamline installation.

The drainage efficiency of a building wrap is generally tested in accordance of ASTM E2273. In simple terms, this test involves spraying water onto a wall assembly and measuring its collection over time. However, given the variety of drainable building wraps available, how quickly bulk water is drained can vary significantly. Here’s a look at a few of the methods modern building wraps use to drain water from a wall assembly.

Integrated Rainscreens

One method for achieving bulk water drainage is the integration of a rainscreen material onto the building wrap. These products eliminate the cost and time-consuming labor of installing furring strips by creating a gap between the sheathing and the cladding, which facilitates both drainage and continuous airflow. Where wood strapping only vents approximately 85 percent of the wall, building wraps with an integrated rainscreen provide a continuous vented airspace over the entire surface area of the wall, providing greater drainage and more effective drying. And because many rainscreen products use a matrix of plastic material to achieve the gap, they aren’t subject to saturation and decomposition that could compromise wood furring.

Rainscreen products are recommended in areas with wind-driven rain, high amounts of rainfall (40 to 60 inches annually), or high temperature and humidity. Coastal areas and hilltop exposures are prime examples of when this technology would be ideal. In these situations, the importance of creating a drainage plane is heightened when using an absorptive cladding material like wood or fiber cement.

Wraps with Spacers or Dimples

Another approach gaining in popularity is the incorporation of unique spacers, or dimples, onto the building wrap itself. These drainable building wraps are able to achieve a 1mm drainage gap through a pattern of integrated spacers and can be as much as 100 times more effective than standard building wraps at removing bulk water from the wall. Most can be installed in any direction without affecting performance.

These products are recommended behind wood, fiber cement, vinyl, stone and stucco cladding, or where budgets don’t allow the use of a full rainscreen system.

Integrated Fibrous Layer

The cutting edge of drainable building wrap technology are products that create a drainage gap through an additional layer of polypropylene fibers. TYPAR Drainable Wrap, for example, uses this technology to create a 1 mm drainage gap and has been shown to achieve 94.8 percent drainage efficiency per ASTM E2273 without sacrificing any of the durability and ease of installation benefits builders and contractors have come to expect from premium building wraps, since it essentially handles and installs the same as a standard TYPAR building wrap. In addition, it is backed by an industry-leading lifetime-limited warranty that includes both materials and labor.

Like dimpled wraps, these products can also be installed in any direction without affecting performance. And they are vapor permeable, so moisture will not become trapped in the wall assembly and lead to mold or rot issues.

Which product is best for your project will depend largely on project conditions, climate, budget and what other products will comprise the wall assembly. However, having access to a variety of drainable building wrap products, each offering a different approach to bulk water drainage, gives builders and contractors many ways to keep walls dry no matter the situation.


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canadiancontractor

Canadian Contractor is the independent voice of residential renovators and home builders everywhere in Canada.
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