Tag Archives: air barrier

Using Vapor Retarders to Manage Airflow and Reduce Moisture


Industry codes are tightening the building envelope and increasing the required R-value of walls. This is a good thing for energy savings and thermal comfort. Yet, one change to a building’s system sets forth a series of other changes. The tight-envelope construction techniques to which architects and builders are now required to adhere have led to a steep reduction in air movement through walls.

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Draining the Rain: Advancements in engineered rainscreen walls


Over the years, there has been a tremendous amount of innovation in the building industry—still, the ability to achieve a waterproof wall system still eludes design/construction professionals. If the wall is not properly designed, this moisture will remain trapped causing numerous issues, such as the corrosion of structural reinforcing, and the proliferation of rot and mold.

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Durability of Water-resistive Barriers

wrb_file opener

Many new water-resistive barrier (WRB) products are being introduced, including liquid-applied membranes. These new products join traditional wraps, self-adhered membranes, felts, and building paper, making for a crowded marketplace. A WRB will be concealed behind cladding, where it cannot be inspected, maintained, or replaced, so it must last for the design life of the building. However, will the new products be durable?

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Using Temperature to Control Condensation in Cold Climates

Photo © BigStockPhoto/Pavel Losevsky

Initially, water vapor diffusion was seen as the likely culprit for condensation problems; designers and consultants spent hours running and analyzing wall assemblies using the dewpoint method. With such analyses came the concept the wall system should be tuned for maximum condensation resistance by altering or selecting the appropriate permeability of the wall components. However, to create a truly robust wall system with the greatest condensation resistance and drying potential, designers need to look at altering the temperature profile of the wall assembly by moving insulation as far as possible to the exterior of the wall.

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