Business Advice5 min

The Importance Of Vapor Permeability In Building Envelopes

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.

The Difference Between House Wrap and WRB

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.

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Inspiration7 min

Creating Distinction and Variety in Tract Housing

Some new-build communities have limited exterior design options, making entire neighborhoods look the same, with little variety in appearance to distinguish one home from its next-door neighbor.

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News & Stories5 min
‘Tis the Season: LP Gives “Shed” an All-New Meaning

In recent years, sheds have become popular for uses beyond practical storage solutions, like a place to put holiday decorations during the off-season. You may know them as she sheds, man caves, hobby sheds, home offices and even backyard bars. Whatever your customers' needs, sheds offer multifunctional versatility that can help bring them to life in unique ways.

Business Advice7 min
What to Do When You Uncover Asbestos

Most re-siding projects are on older homes, so it's a good bet you've seen your share of asbestos siding if you operate in the business of siding renovations. Asbestos is a silicate mineral that was commonly added to cement board siding for durability and resistance to fire and weather during the 1920s to 1980s.

Industry Trends6 min
Choosing Durable Building Materials for Distinct Coastal Design

As an architect, putting your stamp of approval on building materials that stand the test of time is one of your top priorities. Multifamily builds when located on the coast, bring their own challenges from the start. With coastal weather conditions, you have unique durability challenges to consider. Coastal weather conditions include increased moisture, heat, humidity, and inclement weather-and your building materials must withstand them all. SAGA Construction, Inc., located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, is no stranger to the coast's weather. When they embarked on a recent multifamily project, Cambridge Cove, SAGA executed a design with building materials that would appeal across demographics (homeowners and vacationers alike) while emphasizing durability. Let's see how they did it.