Since 1898, the American Society for Testing and Materials (now called ASTM International) has developed technical standards for a wide variety of building materials. They test for things like burn resistance. For weather-resistant barriers (WRBs), ASTM has developed rigorous tests for water resistance and water penetration, plus an air barrier assembly test. But an equally important test is ASTM E96, which measures water vapor permeability over a 24-hour period.
Even after exterior cladding goes up, walls can get wet. Small amounts of moisture in the wall turn to gas (water vapor) that needs to escape. If walls can't dry out thoroughly, the home is susceptible to mold and rot.
The term vapor permeability (sometimes called "breathability") refers to a material's ability to let water vapor pass through it. ASTM E96 measures this in units called "perms" - and today's building codes require WRBs to provide 5 perms or higher.
Since the 1960s, many builders have relied on plastic house wraps to achieve superior vapor permeability. But house wraps are applied after traditional sheathing is installed and approved by code officials. Then a crew has to return to wrap and tape the whole house.
In contrast, a product like new LP WeatherLogic™ Air & Water Barrier requires fewer steps. The sheathing and weather-protective layer are combined in a single panel that can be installed just like regular sheathing. The panel seams are then securely taped with an advanced acrylic tape that features one of today’s highest quality adhesives. And because the vapor-permeable overlay is permanently integrated into the panel, it won’t tear or blow away.
One of the best ways to get a tight building envelope is to use a structural panel like LP WeatherLogic barrier where the sheathing and vapor-permeable layer are tightly bonded during the manufacturing process. It's a breakthrough that involves fewer steps and less waiting than using house wrap.
In addition to shifts to accommodate the changing economy throughout 2020, LP sought to respond to ongoing industry trends, green construction, virtual design and construction and more. We recently discussed the upcoming year with many of our leaders to see what's next in the building industry in 2021.
Let’s examine the impact of water on wood building materials, how products from the LP Structural Solutions product portfolio can help you tackle moisture on the jobsite and how to avoid water damage to engineered wood.
Contractor Kyle Stumpenhorst's latest project in partnership with LP Building Solutions is the Oregon Music Garage in Oregon, Illinois. After successful builds including a shed project, a re-side project and the LP House, Stumpenhorst is at work on this exciting LP Structural Solutions special project: an addition to one of Oregon's longtime community sites.